Description : Who uses "skeeter hawk," "snake doctor," and "dragonfly" to refer to the same insect? Who says "gum band" instead of "rubber band"? The answers can be found in the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS), the largest single survey of regional and social differences in spoken American English. It covers the region from New York state to northern Florida and from the coastline to the borders of Ohio and Kentucky. Through interviews with nearly twelve hundred people conducted during the 1930s and 1940s, the LAMSAS mapped regional variations in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation at a time when population movements were more limited than they are today, thus providing a unique look at the correspondence of language and settlement patterns. This handbook is an essential guide to the LAMSAS project, laying out its history and describing its scope and methodology. In addition, the handbook reveals biographical information about the informants and social histories of the communities in which they lived, including primary settlement areas of the original colonies. Dialectologists will rely on it for understanding the LAMSAS, and historians will find it valuable for its original historical research. Since much of the LAMSAS questionnaire concerns rural terms, the data collected from the interviews can pinpoint such language differences as those between areas of plantation and small-farm agriculture. For example, LAMSAS reveals that two waves of settlement through the Appalachians created two distinct speech types. Settlers coming into Georgia and other parts of the Upper South through the Shenandoah Valley and on to the western side of the mountain range had a Pennsylvania-influenced dialect, and were typically small farmers. Those who settled the Deep South in the rich lowlands and plateaus tended to be plantation farmers from Virginia and the Carolinas who retained the vocabulary and speech patterns of coastal areas. With these revealing findings, the LAMSAS represents a benchmark study of the English language, and this handbook is an indispensable guide to its riches.
Description : Thoroughly revised and updated with some 500 new entries- including the addition of pertinent Internet sites-this is the only bibliographic guide to information sources for linguistics. Coverage spans from 1957 to the present, and DeMiller's detailed citations describe and evaluate each work, often offering comparisons to similar titles. Essential to the research and study of general or theoretical linguistics, the book is also indispensable in related areas.
Description : The fifth volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture explores language and dialect in the South, including English and its numerous regional variants, Native American languages, and other non-English languages spoken over time by the region's immigrant communities. Among the more than sixty entries are eleven on indigenous languages and major essays on French, Spanish, and German. Each of these provides both historical and contemporary perspectives, identifying the language's location, number of speakers, vitality, and sample distinctive features. The book acknowledges the role of immigration in spreading features of Southern English to other regions and countries and in bringing linguistic influences from Europe and Africa to Southern English. The fascinating patchwork of English dialects is also fully presented, from African American English, Gullah, and Cajun English to the English spoken in Appalachia, the Ozarks, the Outer Banks, the Chesapeake Bay Islands, Charleston, and elsewhere. Topical entries discuss ongoing changes in the pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar of English in the increasingly mobile South, as well as naming patterns, storytelling, preaching styles, and politeness, all of which deal with ways language is woven into southern culture.
Description : The location of "the South" is hardly a settled or static geographic concept. Culturally speaking, are Florida and Arkansas really part of the same region? Is Texas considered part of the South or the West? This volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture grapples with the contestable issue of where the cultural South is located, both on maps and in the minds of Americans. Richard Pillsbury's introductory essay explores the evolution of geographic patterns of life within the region--agricultural practices, urban patterns, residential buildings, religious preferences, foodways, and language. The entries that follow address general topics of cultural geographic interest, such as Appalachia, exiles and expatriates, Latino and Jewish populations, migration patterns, and the profound Disneyfication of central Florida. Entries with a more concentrated focus examine major cities, such as Atlanta, New Orleans, and Memphis; the influence of black and white southern migrants on northern cities; and individual subregions, such as the Piedmont, Piney Woods, Tidewater, and Delta. Putting together the disparate pieces that make up the place called "the South," this volume sets the scene for the discussions in all the other volumes of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture.
Description : We are pleased to be able to honor Arthur J. Bronstein with this volume of essays. We are all the more pleased because the volume has consider able intrinsic merit, but neither the reader nor Arthur should have any doubts about our primary purpose in assembling this book. That the col lection is intrinsically valuable is, in itself, a tribute to the man whom it honors: The contributing authors are all colleagues, students, and friends of Arthur. Readers who are acquainted with Arthur will not be surprised by the broad range of academic expertise which has been brought to bear on the subject of language in this book. They will recognize that Arthur's own range of expertise and interest is only barely matched by the contents of the essays and the backgrounds of their authors. On the other hand, those who know little about Arthur may have thought of him primarily in narrow association with phonetics and lin guistics, most likely as the author of The Pronunciation of American English, surely the most influential of American phonetics texts during the last quarter of a century. Although such an association is in many respects appropriate, it is altogether too limited, but this will not deter us from using it as the basis for a relevant and, we hope, revealing metaphor about Arthur J.
Description : When did English become American? What distinctive qualities made it American? What role have America's democratizing impulses, and its vibrantly heterogeneous speakers, played in shaping our language and separating it from the mother tongue? A wide-ranging account of American English, Richard Bailey's Speaking American investigates the history and continuing evolution of our language from the sixteenth century to the present. The book is organized in half-century segments around influential centers: Chesapeake Bay (1600-1650), Boston (1650-1700), Charleston (1700-1750), Philadelphia (1750-1800), New Orleans (1800-1850), New York (1850-1900), Chicago (1900-1950), Los Angeles (1950-2000), and Cyberspace (2000-present). Each of these places has added new words, new inflections, new ways of speaking to the elusive, boisterous, ever-changing linguistic experiment that is American English. Freed from British constraints of unity and propriety, swept up in rapid social change, restless movement, and a thirst for innovation, Americans have always been eager to invent new words, from earthy frontier expressions like "catawampously" (vigorously) and "bung-nipper" (pickpocket), to West African words introduced by slaves such as "goober" (peanut) and "gumbo" (okra), to urban slang such as "tagging" (spraying graffiti) and "crew" (gang). Throughout, Bailey focuses on how people speak and how speakers change the language. The book is filled with transcripts of arresting voices, precisely situated in time and space: two justices of the peace sitting in a pumpkin patch trying an Indian for theft; a crowd of Africans lounging on the waterfront in Philadelphia discussing the newly independent nation in their home languages; a Chicago gangster complaining that his pocket had been picked; Valley Girls chattering; Crips and Bloods negotiating their gang identities in LA; and more. Speaking American explores--and celebrates--the endless variety and remarkable inventiveness that have always been at the heart of American English.