LINGUIST List 21.3329

Wed Aug 18 2010

Qs: Resource Search: History of American English

Editor for this issue: Danielle St. Jean <>

        1.    Ashley Williams, Resource Search: History of American English

Message 1: Resource Search: History of American English
Date: 17-Aug-2010
From: Ashley Williams <>
Subject: Resource Search: History of American English
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I'm looking for brief readings (article/chapter length) on the history ofAmerican English for my undergrads in my American Studies course,Language in the US. When we've covered this before, we typically readthe two chapters from Finegan & Rickford's edited volume, "Languagein the USA" (one by Richard Bailey, "American English: Its origins &history", the other by Edward Finegan, "American English & itsdistinctiveness"), which work well as introductory material. SometimesI've supplemented this with excerpts from Bill Bryson's book "Made inAmerica", but this doesn't exactly inspire discussion. I've had luck withFinegan's mention of the controversy surrounding the "translations" ofHarry Potter into American English - is there anything else out therethat also covers this?

I guess I'm looking for further supplementary material that isn't toolengthy and that undergrads might find interesting. Perhaps journalarticles or book chapters on some particularly American usage(historical or otherwise)? Something comparing an aspect of Americanusage vs. British or other usage? An interesting, discussion-worthydiatribe against American English? Anything else useful?

Any suggestions? Thanks so much for your help.

Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics                             Ling & Literature                             Sociolinguistics

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