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Lexical Change and Variation in the Southeastern United States, 1930-90 Paperback – 30 November 1995


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Product details

  • Paperback : 376 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 081730794X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-0817307943
  • Language: : English

Product description

Review

This is a valuable study, characterized by a creative and ingenious project design. . . . From a traditional point of view, a great body of data is solidly documented and honestly interpreted. . . . From a sociolinguistic point of view, a few hunches on lexical change are seriously tested and, in part, convincingly documented, and a few really novel results are presented as well.—Edgar Schneider, English World Wide Presents a comparison of data collected by the author in 1990 with data collected in the 1930s as part of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States project (LAMSAS), and is concerned with lexical change within the fields of dialectology and sociolinguistics, as well as historical and anthropological linguistics to a lesser extent. . . . This carefully conducted study is an important contribution to the study of lexical variation and change. I strongly recommend this book as essential reading.—Eduardo Faingold, Canadian Journal of Linguistics

From the Back Cover

This book discusses words used in the Southeast and how they have changed during the 20th century. It also describes how the lexicon varies according to the speaker's age, race, education, sex, and place of residence (urban versus rural; coastal versus piedmont versus mountain). Data collected in the 1930s as part of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States project were compared with data collected in 1990 from similar speakers in the same communities. The results show that although region was the most important factor in differentiating dialects in the 1930s, it is the least important element in the 1990s, as age, education, and race all show about the same influence on the use of vocabulary. An appendix contains a tally of the responses given by 78 speakers to 150 questions about vocabulary items, along with speakers' commentary. Results from the 1930s may be compared to those from 1990, making this a treasure trove for anyone interested in regional terms or in how our speech is changing as the South moves from an agricultural economy through industrialization and into the information age.

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