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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



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What is English? And Why Should We Care?

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To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


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Book Information

   

Title: Language Variation and Change in the American Midland
Subtitle: A New Look at 'Heartland' English
Edited By: Thomas E. Murray
Beth Lee Simon
URL: http://www.benjamins.com/cgi-bin/t_bookview.cgi?bookid=VEAW%20G36
Series Title: Varieties of English Around the World G36
Description:

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
Heartland, geo-culturally as the Midwest, and linguistically as the Midland
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.

Table of contents

Introducing the Midland: What is it, where is it, how do we know?
Beth Lee Simon ix–xii

1. What is dialect? - Revisiting the Midland
Thomas E. Murray and Beth Lee Simon 1–30

The Evolving Midland

1. The North American Midland as a dialect area
Sharon Ash 33–56

2. Tracking the low back merger in Missouri
Matthew Gordon 57–68

3. Evidence from Ohio on the evolution of /ae/
Erik R. Thomas 69–89

Defining The Midland

4. On the use of geographic names to inform regional language studies
Edward Callary 93–104

5. On the eastern edge of the Heartland: Two industrial city dialects
Thomas Donahue 105–127

6. The final days of Appalachian Heritage Language
Kirk Hazen 129–150

8. It'll kill ye or cure ye, one: The history and function of alternative
one - antecedents of the Midland
Michael Montgomery 151–161

Power and Perception

7. Standardizing the Heartland
Richard W. Bailey 165–178

10. How to get to be one kind of Midwesterner: Accommodation to the
Northern Cities Chain Shift
Betsy E. Evans, Jamila Jones, Norikazu Ito and Dennis R. Preston 179–197

11. Midland(s) dialect geography: Social and demographic variables
Timothy C. Frazer 199–207

12. Drawing out the /ai/: Dialect boundaries and /ai/ variation
Cynthia Bernstein 209–232

Other Languages, Other Places

13. Learning Spanish in the North Georgia Mountains
Ellen Johnson and David Boyle 235–243

14. The Midland above the Midland: Dialect variation by region, sex, and
social group in the linguistic atlas of the Upper Midwest
Mike Linn and Ronald Regal 245–262

15. Portable Community: The linguistic and psychological reality of
Midwestern Pennsylvania German
Steven Hartman Keiser 263–274

16. The English of the Swiss Amish of Northeastern Indiana
Chad Thompson 275–292

References 293–311

Subject Index 313–319

Publication Year: 2006
Publisher: John Benjamins
Review: Read the review
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s): English
Issue: All announcements sent out by The LINGUIST List are emailed to our subscribers and archived with the Library of Congress.
Click here to see the original emailed issue.

Versions:
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9027248966
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: xii, 320
Prices: Europe EURO 130.00
U.S. $ 176