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LANGUAGE VARIATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH: AN INTRODUCTION

LANGUAGE VARIATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH: AN INTRODUCTION American Speech, Vol. 78, No. 2, Summer 2003 Copyright © 2003 by the American Dialect Society Notwithstanding the debate over its regional boundaries and the de nition of its cultural ethos, it is safe to conclude that no region in the United States has a stronger sense of its identity. The increasing commodication of things Southern—from kudzu to speech—is ample testament of this persistent and intensifying awareness. The historical context and the cultural setting of the American South provide a unique database for the investigation of a wide variety of linguistic and sociolinguistic issues. In this special edition, we sample a few of these, but it should be understood that they are mere tokens of the much broader spectrum of language concerns. More comprehensive coverage would certainly include the historical and current state of Native American and European languages in the South as well as an array of other languagecontact situations that have affected the region. Although most people have a general notion of Southern speech, de ning the precise boundaries geographically and linguistically can prove to be elusive. To begin with, there is great diversity in the English language of the South, with arguably more intraregional diversity http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic Usage Duke University Press

LANGUAGE VARIATION IN THE AMERICAN SOUTH: AN INTRODUCTION

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by American Dialect Society
ISSN
0003-1283
eISSN
1527-2133
DOI
10.1215/00031283-78-2-123
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

American Speech, Vol. 78, No. 2, Summer 2003 Copyright © 2003 by the American Dialect Society Notwithstanding the debate over its regional boundaries and the de nition of its cultural ethos, it is safe to conclude that no region in the United States has a stronger sense of its identity. The increasing commodication of things Southern—from kudzu to speech—is ample testament of this persistent and intensifying awareness. The historical context and the cultural setting of the American South provide a unique database for the investigation of a wide variety of linguistic and sociolinguistic issues. In this special edition, we sample a few of these, but it should be understood that they are mere tokens of the much broader spectrum of language concerns. More comprehensive coverage would certainly include the historical and current state of Native American and European languages in the South as well as an array of other languagecontact situations that have affected the region. Although most people have a general notion of Southern speech, de ning the precise boundaries geographically and linguistically can prove to be elusive. To begin with, there is great diversity in the English language of the South, with arguably more intraregional diversity

Journal

American Speech: A Quarterly of Linguistic UsageDuke University Press

Published: Jun 1, 2003

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