Language Variation and Change in the American Midland

A New Look at ‘Heartland’ English

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  • Editors: Thomas E. Murray1, and Beth Lee Simon2
  • Format: PDF
  • Publication Year: 2006
  • e-Book ISBN 9789027293541

This volume explores the linguistic complexities and critical issues of the Midland dialect area of the USA, and contains a unique data-based set of investigations of the Midlands dialect. The authors demonstrate that the large central part of the United States known colloquially as the <i>Heartland</i>, geo-culturally as the <i>Midwest</i>, and linguistically as the <i>Midland</i> is a very real dialect area, one with regional cohesiveness, social complexity, and psycho-emotional impact. The individual essays problematize historical origins, track linguistic markers of social identity over time and across social spaces, frame dialect issues within the linguistic marketplace, account for extra-linguistic influences on changing patterns of linguistic behaviors, and describe maintenance strategies of non-English languages. This book is an important move forward in the understanding of American English. Sociolinguists, dialectologists, applied linguists, and all those involved in the statistical and qualitative study of language variation will find this volume relevant, timely, and insightful.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics and Dialectology; English linguistics; Germanic linguistics; Historical linguistics

  • Affiliations: 1: Kansas State University; 2: Indiana University - Purdue University

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