LINGUIST List 16.655

Sat Mar 05 2005

Disc: New: Isoglosses and the Midland

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        1.    Tom Kun, Isoglosses and the Midland

Message 1: Isoglosses and the Midland

Date: 02-Mar-2005
From: Tom Kun <>
Subject: Isoglosses and the Midland

I have two questions, pertaining to an article I just read which was
apparently written by Charles-James Bailey

My first question would be, why is the concept of isoglosses still used if
it's so inaccurate?

And second, is there any kind of consensus of the concept of a Midland in
the US? Kurath defined a ''North Midland'' (north of the Ohio River) and a
''South Midland'' (Appalachians). Carver labeled those regions ''Lower
North'' and ''Upper South.'' The forthcoming Atlas of North American
English (Labov, Boberg, Ash) limits the Midland to the North Midland and
makes the South Midland part of the South (I think that's the best
definition, considering the Northern and Southern vowel shifts). Bailey
calls the Midland ''mythology'' and ''one of the worst flights of fancy in

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
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