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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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Discussion Details




Title: Isoglosses and the Midland
Submitter: Tom Kun
Description: I have two questions, pertaining to an article I just read which was
apparently written by Charles-James Bailey
(http://www.orlapubs.com/AL/L31.html).

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
linguistics.''
Date Posted: 05-Mar-2005
Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics
LL Issue: 16.655
Posted: 05-Mar-2005

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