Linguistic Diversity in the South: Changing Codes, Practices, and Ideology

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Overview

This volume brings together work by linguists and linguistic anthropologists not only on southern varieties of English, but also on other languages spoken in the region. The contributors, who often draw from their own involvement in language maintenance or linguistic heritage movements, engage several of the fields’ most pressing issues as they relate to the southern speech communities: tension between linguistic scholarship and linguistic activism; discourse genres; language contact; language ideology; and the relationship between language shift, language maintenance, and cultural reproduction.

Acknowledging the role of immigration and settlement in shaping southern linguistic and cultural diversity, the volume covers a range of Native American, African American, and Euro-American speech communities. One essay explores the implementation of “dialect awareness programs” and the ethics of the relationship between researchers and North Carolina’s Lumbee and Ocracoke communities. Another essay focuses on a single Appalachian community to explore the interplay between linguistic variables commonly associated with Appalachian speech and others commonly associated with African American speech.

Other essay topics include Creek language preservation efforts by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the history of language contact and linguistic diversity in the Carolinas, and the changing relationship between English and Mvskoke in Oklahoma. Also covered are the stereotypes, varied realities, and language ideologies associated with Appalachian speech communities; the mobilization of dialect by Cajun English speakers for creating humor, expressing solidarity, and setting boundaries; and the creative use of academic and religious discursive models in the construction of Melungeon and Appalachian Scotch-Irish discourses and identities.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book addresses important new questions about speech, ways of speaking, and ideas about language in the southern United States through interesting analyses of a variety of languages, dialects, and linguistic practices—including the activities of linguists themselves. It reminds us that the linguistic South is a lot more diverse than people often think and explores some innovative interdisciplinary ways of engaging with the diversity."—Barbara Johnstone, Carnegie Mellon University
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Margaret Bender is an assistant professor of anthropology at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. She is the author of Signs of Cherokee Culture.

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Table of Contents

Introduction : power and belief in Southern language 1
Dialect awareness in community perspective 15
Multilingualism in the South : a Carolinas case study 37
Defining Appalachian English 50
Constructing ethnolinguistic groups : a sociolinguistic case study 66
Language and culture pullout program : Seminole initiatives to preserve language 80
Medicine-making language among the Muskogee : the effects of changing attitudes 90
Not with a Southern accent : Cajun English and ethnic identity 104
Identity, hybridity, and linguistic ideologies of racial language in the Upper South 120
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