Oral culture v. writing culture: transformation of oral into written
“writing wrongs speech” (Neil Schmitz on Stein and Twain)
As primary technical/aesthetic issue for American modernism
Dialect, idiolect, dialogue, slang, vernacular, regional, accented, “nation language” (Brathwaite), demotic, syncretic (synthetic is Hugh MacDiarmid’s term)

vs standard, grammatically and lexically correct
Oral vs aural (a/orality [my term])
Issue of transcription (or aural/heard into writing), Bessie Smith lyrics in anthologies, etc
African-American dialect: Dunbar, early McKay, cf: Mark Twain
Vernacular in verse: Johnson, Brown, Hughes
Standard: Countee Cullen

JW: dialect as 2-stops: pathos and humor
Dialect v assimilation:
"mastery of form" or the "deformation of mastery (Houston Baker)

Under the Bamboo Tree" and popular culture

Covers of songs like Ma Rainey's "See See Rider" (in context of classic combination of modernist concerns: new vs. anew; but implicitly the key issue of "originality.".
Johnson's "The Creation" as homolinguistic translation; variation, retelling, refashioning.

Sermonic, oral culture, call & response, Johnson

Note: two related essays of mine:
Objectivist Blues: Scoring Speech in Second-Wave Modernist Poetry and Lyrics (American Literary History, 2008)
Poetics of the Americas (modernism/modernity) via Project Muse