Date: Thu, 14 Dec 1995 16:39:28 -0500


Subject: Unauth Index to "American Tongues" - Improvements Invited

Unauthorized Index to Contents of "American Tongues"

Compiled by Bethany Dumas, UTK English Department, 1994

1. Southern (Black English?)

2. Mary had a little lamb

Its fleece was white as snow

And everywhere that Mary went

The lamb was sure to go

6 speakers: white male, white female, (Penn Dutch?), white

male, black male child, white female, white female

3. Ranch talk--Texas

4. Northern cities--

5. Black female teenagers

6. Speakers about other dialects

7. Student actors (Shakespeare, etc.)

8. Institutional speech (sales talk, computers, etc.--jargon)

9. Church singing

10. Tangier Island ("Tangiermen") ("I figure I sound just like

Walter Cronkite.")

11. Comments on settlement history of USA (fewer regional

distinctions east of the Mississippi)

12. Roger W. Shuy (Georgetown University)

13. Style differences

Kentucky radio call-in program ("I'm just a plain old

hillbilly.") (Cratis Williams) (He may could wear it in a 8


Ohio ("Midwest--straight American, bland") (We don't talk

funny, but if you want funny, go about 70 miles south."

Texas (Most Westerners in their speaking ... are more

open, more forthright.")

14. Foreign language influence (Louisiana French Creole)

15. New York City deli

16. Vocabulary differences--cabinet (RI), gumband, pau hana,

jambalaya, antigogglin, snickelfritz, schlep

[Today we could add words like dis--what else?]

17. Children's games

18. Walt Wolfram (now of NC State) on how children acquire

language patterns, vocabulary

19. Southern female black (professional)

20. NO STANDARD ENGLISH ACCENT--but there is a

"NETWORK" STANDARD (voice of Directory Assistance--

generic speech, "the voice from nowhere")

21. Female "Yalie" on West Virginia speech ("this really kind of

'you all' stuff") ("I was not gonna have little Southern

babies who talked like that.")


"Southerners talk like 'niggers'."

"Rampant brain death west of the Hudson"

In Manhattan the air is skyscrapers is so thin that people

have a nasal accent.

Northerners are not hospitable (grating, nasal, unkind).

/a:s/ for /ays/ ("See, ice, ass-holes.")

Texan on Northern stereotypes about Southerners (always

depicted as dumb hick in movies) (Examples)

23. Regional and ethnic humor (Georgians talk in questions--no

wonder they lost the Civil War)

24. Linguistically insecure female speaker

25. Consequences of speaking a nonstandard dialect (Brooklyn

speaker with speech coach) (Wolfram) (not what corporate

world is looking for)

26. Variation in Boston speech

27. To tell which dialect is better, look at WHO is better: Urban

better than rural, mc better than wc, white better than black,

cultured vs. white trash (uneducated--"I ain't got no") vs.


28. If you speak a dialect, you have to be better [sound


29. Female speakers on style-shifting ("Look at them two

beautiful girls--if they'd keep their mouths shut, they'd be


30. Boston Brahmins

31. Other speakers on stereotypes--reasons for exaggeration

(Boston Italian North End--no r's, etc.)--advantages ("The

women, they eat it up" and "Guys are intimidated")

32. Black English--necessary for relating? ("I don't want my

boys sounding like white males.") ("She a school girl

instead of a mama girl.")

33. Pride in regional variation

34. Fred G. Cassidy--don't spoil communication

35. Attitudes

36. Credits