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Dialect literature and English in the USA

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Abstract

This chapter analyzes the role of literary dialect in attempts to establish a distinctly American language and especially to authorize and enforce a preferred standard. The roles of gender, race, and linguistic diversity are key considerations to the analysis in light of popular nineteenth-century assumptions that conflated ideas about a preferred national language variety with developing ideologies about national identity. This chapter outlines the ways that these assumptions found voice in the national discourse, including via the deployment of literary dialect, which both documented and participated in that discourse.

References

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