Resources: Wisconsin Englishes Home

Wisconsin Population Density Map

Image via Wikipedia

Ask people about language variation, and they generally start with the most stigmatized varieties in the South.  They often don’t talk about variation within the South or within the North, but the truth is that there is a lot to talk about!  

Here’s a link to a blog that documents language variation just within the state of Wisconsin:

Wisconsin Englishes Home.

The project is directed by Drs. Tom Purnell, Eric Raimy, and Joe Salmons (UW-Madison), and is helped out by a number of scholars, including Drs. Erica Benson, Joan Hall, and Kathryn Remlinger.  The website explains ongoing research findings: everything from sounds (phonetics/phonology) to words to structure (grammar/syntax).  

It also highlights Dr. Benson’s research on Wisconsonites’ perceptions of their own variation using perceptual dialectology methods developed by Dennis Preston.

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About LingEducator

Dr. Jaclyn Ocumpaugh received a PhD for her dissertation on regional variation in the acoustics of Mexican American English (Michigan State University, East Lansing). Before that, she received an MA in English/Linguistics from North Carolina State University for her work on the acoustics of /r/--a sound which is highly variable in the English language. Her passion, however, has always been to understand the social implications of language variation. In addition to her work in acoustic sociophonetics, she has worked with rape trial analysis, developed cognitive methods for understanding discourse level variation between men and women, and created sophisticated tools for teaching future educators about the kinds of dialect variation they will find in the classroom. She has taught classes in English, Linguistics, and Education at Old Dominion University, William & Mary, the University of Mary Washington, and Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently a Post Doctoral Fellow of Learning Sciences and Technologies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she is helping to develop models of student engagement in the classroom. She also consults in the private sector.
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