American Dialect Research: Celebrating the 100th anniversary by Dennis R. Preston

By Dennis R. Preston

Containing all new fabric and released for the yankee Dialect Society's centennial get together (1889-1989), this quantity bings jointly in a single position, as no formerly released paintings has, present methods to the overall difficulties of language distribution and version. the various chapters provide debts of the way questions are formulated and the way facts are gathered, saved, and intepreted within the quite a few learn traditions of dialectology and sociolinguistics, really as they've been performed by way of researchers linked to the yankee Dialect Society. extra in particular, this publication takes journeys to the scholar's laboratory. How is that this paintings performed? What pitfalls in fieldwork, processing, and interpretation were encountered and the way have they been triumph over? What options were used to get on the evidence and underlying causes of language kind? What does fresh paintings recommend in regards to the so much profitable components and strategies for destiny research?

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This is undoubtedly owing to a considerable extent to the /r/ situation described above. There are, however, some other fea­ tures which show an east-west contrast. The low-back vowels show great variety, some of which is undoubtedly due to fieldworker varia­ tion (see pp. 126-7 of the Handbook). But there are some east-west contrasts. The west regularly has [Q] in frog, hod, on, where the east has a rounded vowel recorded as [ o] or [o ]. The western localities have [u] in roof, where the eastern ones have [U].

We thus arrive at four categories: 1. Synchronic linguistic variation: where it is found and how it affects the functional aspects of language use. 2. Linguistic history: what regional diversity can tell us about the inner history of the language. 3. Non-linguistic variation: what kinds of social variation are found in the region and how they are linked to linguistic phenomena. Since this is the domain of sociolinguistics, I shall leave it to others to deal with. INTERPRETATION OF DIALECT 17 4.

The term protocol suggests three aspects of the form previously identified by American linguistic geographers as the field record. LINGUISTIC GEOGRAPHY 41 These notes are (1) the first written draft of an event or transaction, the tape-recorded interview, (2) a preliminary memorandum prepared to assist auditors of the tapes, and (3) the formal account of the informa­ tion included in the tapes. The first of these aspects indicates that the entire corpus is limited to that which is on tape and that the entire process of transcription is limited to that which the transcriber can perceive on the tape ~ nothing is transcribed in the field.

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