American Voices: How Dialects Differ from Coast to Coast


This collection gives readers a new understanding of language diversity through an engaging look at regional, ethnic, and sociocultural dialects such as African America, Chicano, Cajun, and Jewish English.
Read More Show Less
... See more details below
Hardcover (REV)
$117.04 price
(Save 7%)$125.95 List Price
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (7) from $103.24   
  • New (4) from $103.24   
  • Used (3) from $117.03   
Sending request ...


This collection gives readers a new understanding of language diversity through an engaging look at regional, ethnic, and sociocultural dialects such as African America, Chicano, Cajun, and Jewish English.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This is a terrific book! Its geographical and sociocultural coverage is impressively broad, and its contributors include the leading experts on each variety. Authoritative content, accessible writing, jazzy titles and copious photographs combine to make this a volume that linguistic professionals, college students, and the general public will find equally inviting.” John R. Rickford, Stanford University

“Walt Wolfram must be a very persuasive man. He and Ben Ward have persuaded some of the world’s greatest experts on North American varieties of English to appear between the same covers to create a state-of-the-art, but also extremely accessible and highly enjoyable, book on these fascinating dialects, their pasts, and their futures.” Peter Trudgill, University of Fribourg

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405121088
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 10/24/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.42 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Walt Wolfram is William C. Friday Distinguished Professor at North Carolina State University.

Ben Ward is Consultant Editor of Language Magazine, the Journal of Communication and Education.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

1 Language evolution or dying traditions? : the state of American dialects 1
2 Sounds of the South 11
3 Defining Appalachian English 17
4 If these hills could talk (Smoky Mountains) 22
5 Doing the Charleston (South Carolina) 29
6 The Lone Star State of speech (Texas) 36
7 Speaking the Big Easy (New Orleans, LA) 42
8 Sounds of Ole Man River (Memphis, TN) 49
9 Yakking with the Yankees (New England) 57
10 Beantown babble (Boston, MA) 63
11 Mainely English 70
12 Steel town speak (Pittsburgh, PA) 77
13 New York tawk (New York City, NY) 82
14 Expressions of brotherly love (Philadelphia, PA) 88
15 Maple leaf rap (Canada) 93
16 An introduction to Midwest English 101
17 Straight talking from the heartland (Midwest) 106
18 Words of the Windy City (Chicago, IL) 112
19 Different ways of talking in the Buckeye State (Ohio) 118
20 Spirited speech (St. Louis, MO) 124
21 Saying ya to the yoopers (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) 130
22 Getting real in the golden state (California) 139
23 Desert dialect (Utah) 144
24 Dialects in the mist (Portland, OR) 149
25 Arizona's not so standard English 156
26 Topics from the tropics (Hawai'i) 165
27 Speaking strictly roots (West Indies) 172
28 Gullah Gullah Islands (Sea Island, SC, GA) 178
29 Islands of diversity (Bahamas) 183
30 Dialects in danger (Outer Banks, NC) 189
31 Fighting the tide (Smith Island, MD) 196
32 From cod to cool (Newfoundland, Canada) 203
33 The world's loneliest dialect (Tristan da Cunha) 210
34 Bridging the great divide (African American English) 217
35 When linguistic worlds collide (African American English) 225
36 Talkin' with mi Gente (Chicano English) 233
37 Stirring the linguistic gumbo (Cajun English) 238
38 From the brickhouse to the swamp (Lumbee Vernacular English) 244
39 More than just yada yada yada (Jewish English) 251
40 Fading future for ferhoodled English (Pennsylvania German) 258
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)