*Applies linguistics methods for a richer understanding of literary texts
and spoken language.*
Dialect and Dichotomy outlines the history of dialect writing in English
and its influence on linguistic variation. It also surveys American dialect
writing and its relationship to literary, linguistic, political, and
cultural trends, with emphasis on African American voices in literature.
Furthermore, this book introduces and critiques canonical works in literary
dialect analysis and covers recent, innovative applications of linguistic
analysis of literature. Next, it proposes theoretical principles and
specific methods that can be implemented in order to analyze literary
dialect for either linguistic or literary purposes, or both. Finally, the
proposed methods are applied in four original analyses of African American
speech as represented in major works of fiction of the American South--Mark
Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Charles W. Chesnutt's The Conjure
Woman, William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury, and Zora Neale Hurston's
Their Eyes Were Watching God.
Dialect and Dichotomy is designed to be accessible to audiences with a
variety of linguistic and literary backgrounds. It is an ideal research
resource and course text for students and scholars interested in areas
including American, African American, and southern literature and culture;
linguistic applications to literature; language in the African American
community; ethnicity and representation; literary dialect analysis and/or
computational linguistics; dialect writing as genre; and American English.
"The unique contribution of this book is the combination of methods the
author uses to approach the study of literary dialect. While incorporating
computational analysis of language made possible by recently available
text-analysis programs, she also uses more traditional techniques of
literary criticism and dialect study to evaluate dialect in literary texts."
-Cynthia Bernstein, editor of The Text and Beyond: Essays in literary
Linguistics and coeditor of Language Variety in the South Revisited
Lisa Cohen Minnick is Assistant Professor of English at Western Michigan
University. She has contributed to the African American and Gullah data
digitization project for the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South
Atlantic States at the University of Georgia.