Language Variety in the South Revisited / Edition 1

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Top linguists from diverse fields address language varieties in the South.


Language Variety in the South Revisited is a comprehensive collection of new research on southern United States English by foremost scholars of regional language variation. Like its predecessor, Language Variety in the South: Perspectives in Black and White (The University of Alabama Press, 1986), this book includes current research into African American vernacular English, but it greatly expands the scope of investigation and offers an extensive assessment of the field. The volume encompasses studies of contact involving African and European languages; analysis of discourse, pragmatic, lexical, phonological, and syntactic features; and evaluations of methods of collecting and examining data. The 38 essays not only offer a wealth of information about southern language varieties but also serve as models for regional linguistic investigation.


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Editorial Reviews

Organized into four parts, this volume of 38 essays includes current research into African-American Vernacular English while expanding the scope of investigation and offering an assessment of the field. Following an introduction, part one focuses on language contact, including African, European, and Asian influences, and considers the interdependence involved. Part two elaborates on Southern dialect features, while part three emphasizes methods of collecting and analyzing data. The essays are the result of the second conference on Language Variety in the South. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
From the Publisher
“This book is a state-of-the-art representation of scholarship on African-English language contact in the southern United States, on features of southern English, and on methods for studying and mapping linguistic variation within and across communities. Its unique contribution is that it attempts to bring together scholars from a variety of perspectives in a conversation with each other about the varieties of language used with one particular region.” –Patricia C. Nichols, San Jose State University
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780817308827
  • Publisher: University of Alabama Press
  • Publication date: 7/28/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 656
  • Product dimensions: 6.47 (w) x 9.58 (h) x 1.87 (d)

Meet the Author


Cynthia Bernstein is Associate Professor of English, Thomas Nunnally is Associate Professor of English, and Robin Sabino is Assistant Professor of English, all at Auburn University.

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Perspectives on Language Variety in the South 1
1 Language Variety in the South: A Retrospective and Assessment 3
2 Southern American English: A Prospective 21
Pt. 1 Language Contact with Emphasis on the African Diaspora 33
3 Earlier Black English Revisited 35
4 An Early Representation of African-American English 51
5 Challenges and Problems of Recorded Interviews 59
6 The Variable Persistence of Southern Vernacular Sounds in the Speech of Inner-City Black Detroiters 76
7 Southern Speech and Self-Expression in an African-American Woman's Story 87
8 Ambrose Gonzales's Gullah: What It May Tell Us about Variation 98
9 Gullah's Development: Myth and Sociohistorical Evidence 113
10 The African Contribution to Southern States English 123
11 Colonial Society and the Development of Louisiana Creole 140
12 Code-Switching and Loss of Inflection in Louisiana French 152
13 Ethnic Identity, Americanization, and Survival of the Mother Tongue: The First-vs. the Second-Generation Chinese of Professionals in Memphis 163
Pt. 2 Phonological, Morphosyntactic, Discourse, and Lexical Features 171
14 The Sociolinguistic Complexity of Quasi-Isolated Southern Coastal Communities 173
15 Pronunciation Variation in Eastern North Carolina 188
16 Variation in Tejano English: Evidence for Variable Lexical Phonology 197
17 Rule Ordering in the Phonology of Alabama-Georgia Consonants 210
18 Solidarity Cues in New Orleans English 219
19 Social Meaning in Southern Speech from an Interactional Sociolinguistic Perspective: An Integrative Discourse Analysis of Terms of Address 225
20 That Muddy Mississippi of Falsehood Called History 242
21 "Pictures from Life's Other Side": Southern Regionalism in Hank Williams's Luke the Drifter Recordings 250
22 The Evolution of Ain't in African-American Vernacular English 256
23 Auntie(-man) in the Caribbean and North America 261
24 The South in DARE 266
25 DARE: Some Etymological Puzzles 277
26 Expletives and Euphemisms in DARE: An Initial Look 282
27 LAGS and DARE: A Case of Mutualism 297
Pt. 3 Methods of Sampling, Measurement, and Analysis 309
28 The South: The Touchstone 311
29 How Far North Is South? A Critique of Carver's North-South Dialect Boundary 352
30 Regional Vocabulary in Missouri 361
31 Geographical Influence on Lexical Choice: Changes in the 20th Century 382
32 Generating Linguistic Feature Maps with Statistics 392
33 Quantitative Mapping Techniques for Displaying Language Variation and Change 417
34 The Role of Social Processes in Language Variation and Change 434
35 An Ethnolinguistic Approach to the Study of Rural Southern AAVE 447
36 Speaking Maps and Talking Worlds: Adolescent Language Usage in a New South Community 463
37 Resolving Dialect Status: Levels of Evidence in Assessing African-American Vernacular English Forms 490
38 Understanding Birmingham 508
References 574
Contributors 614
Index 616
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