Dialect and Dichotomy: Literary Representations of African American Speech / Edition 1

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Overview

Applies linguistics methods for a richer understanding of literary texts and spoken language.

Dialect and Dichotomy outlines the history of dialect writing in English and its influence on linguistic variation. It also surveys American dialect writing and its relationship to literary, linguistic, political, and cultural trends, with emphasis on African American voices in literature.

Furthermore, this book introduces and critiques canonical works in literary dialect analysis and covers recent, innovative applications of linguistic analysis of literature. Next, it proposes theoretical principles and specific methods that can be implemented in order to analyze literary dialect for either linguistic or literary purposes, or both. Finally, the proposed methods are applied in four original analyses of African American speech as represented in major works of fiction of the American South—Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Charles W. Chesnutt's The Conjure Woman, William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Dialect and Dichotomy is designed to be accessible to audiences with a variety of linguistic and literary backgrounds. It is an ideal research resource and course text for students and scholars interested in areas including American, African American, and southern literature and culture; linguistic applications to literature; language in the African American community; ethnicity and representation; literary dialect analysis and/or computational linguistics; dialect writing as genre; and American English.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817354237
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 6/17/2007
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Cohen Minnick is Assistant Professor of English at Western Michigan University. She has contributed to the African American and Gullah data digitization project for the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States at the University of Georgia.

 

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Table of Contents


Tables     vii
Acknowledgments     xi
Introduction     xiii
A Brief History of American Literary Dialect     1
Linguists, Literary Critics, and Literary Dialect     28
Methodology     42
Articulating Jim: Language and Characterization in Huckleberry Finn     59
"A High, Holy Purpose": Dialect in Charles W. Chesnutt's Conjure Tales     77
Representations of Speech and Attitudes about Race in The Sound and the Fury     99
Community in Conflict: Saying and Doing in Their Eyes Were Watching God     122
Conclusions     148
Phonological Data for Jim in Huckleberry Finn     155
Speaker Data from The Sound and the Fury     159
Speaker Data from Their Eyes Were Watching God     169
Notes     173
Works Cited     175
Index     183
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