Tag Archives: language variation and change

Resources: Reconstructing American Tongues

In 1988, the Center for New Media produced American Tongues.  Since then, this Peabody-Award-winning documentary, which highlights the range of language variation in the United States, has been a staple in American linguistic classes.  Even now, when the average 18 … Continue reading

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Resources: MSAVE

Raffaella Zanuttini and a team of undergraduate students at Yale are developing a project called the Micro-Syntactic Atlas of Variation in English (MSAVE).  So far they have used published literature to document more than a half a dozen syntactic structures … Continue reading

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Resources: Linguistic Atlas Projects

Linguistic Atlas Projects is a blog that compiles many of the linguistic atlases that are regularly cited in scholarly research, including the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS), the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS).

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Resources: Southern Appalachian English

Southern Appalachian English is a blog maintained by linguist Michael Montgomery (University of South Carolina).  On it, you will find Dr. Montgomery’s own papers and an annotated bibliography of other research on Appalachian English.  There are also transcripts and sound files … Continue reading

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Language News: Judeo-American English featured in The Jewish Daily Forward

Linguists know that most any social category which is meaningful to a community is likely to produce linguistic differences, but very few linguistic studies document differences based on religious lines.  One notable exception is the work of Dr. Sarah Benor, … Continue reading

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Language News: Sam Chwat, Dialect Coach To The Stars (And To Us) | WBUR & NPR

Sam Chwat, a dialect coach to actors like Robert De Niro, Isabella Rossellini, Danny Glover, and Julia Roberts, was interviewed by Terry Gross in 1994.  He passed away this week, and they are replaying his interview on NPR’s Fresh Air … Continue reading

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Resources: Dr. Lisa Green explains how dialects are rule governed

Dr. Lisa Green received her PhD from UM Amherst in formal syntax (the study of grammar from a theoretical standpoint that assumes that all langauges share the same universal structures).  She then worked at Stanford with professors like Dr. John Rickford, who specializes in sociolinguistics, … Continue reading

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Resources: Wisconsin Englishes Home

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 … Continue reading

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Kim Potowski researches the Spanish of MexiRicans in Chicago

For a long time, the number of variationist research projects being done on the language of Hispanics in this country was embarrassingly small.  Some might argue that it still is, but it does appear to be getting better.   Here’s … Continue reading

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Resources: Aschmann’s American English Dialects

Here’s a map of North American English dialects from Rick Aschmann.  It seems to rely heavily on Labov, Ash and Boberg’s Atlas, and there are a few of questionable judgments (e.g. labeling any region “General American”).  It has some useful … Continue reading

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