Date: Sat, 27 Jan 1996 16:18:55 -0500

From: "Bethany K. Dumas" dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UTKUX.UTCC.UTK.EDU

Subject: Varieties of American English

I find myself in an unusual situation. I am teaching 472, Varieties of

American English, this semester. Though the course has a formal

prerequisite, in practice few students come in with much background.

I had planned to use Walt Wolfram's book on AE dialects as the basic text

with some supplemental material from my own work. IN Jan I learned that

the bookstore had lost the textbook order. When they called Walt's

publisher, they were told that the book went out of print in Dec. We could

not round up enough used copies to use.

Sooooo: I am taking packets to Graphic Creations and trying to stay ahead

of my students as I do so. The material I am using is from a ms. of what

may be a book someday. Modeled on Peter Trudgill's book on British

English varieties, it contains chapters on major varieties. For each, it

describes the history and provenance of the variety, then gives major

phonological features and (sometimes) major morphological and syntactic

features. Then there is a transcript (in normal orthography) of one or more

speakers of the variety (there is an accompanying tape). Detailed footnotes

document other characteristics of the variety. I conducted my own

interviews for the original sections of the ms. and I worked hard

to get clusters of interesting features in brief passages. I do not

yet have all the interviews I need to complete the ms.

Sooooo2: I am putting together reading materials from other scholars for

my students. Over the next week I shall be completing my compilation. I

will be in the library most of the time. However, if you know of a recent

or obscure (or unpublished) work that I should know about, I would be

grateful if you would mention it to me.

Here's what the course looks like:

Description: Phonological, morphological, & syntactic characteristics of

major social and regional varieties of American English: origins,

functions, & implications for cultural pluralism. Prereq: 371 or 372 or

Linguistics 200 or consent of instructor. Undergraduate and graduate credit.

Text: Dumas, B. K. 1996. Varieties of real-world English. Ms. available from

Graphic Creations, Knoxville (2, possibly 3 packets).


Elements/dimensions of linguistic variation; Network English (draft complete)

The Myth & Reality of "Standard English"; The Reasons for

Language Variation

Language Variation Research: History and Current Status

African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) (draft complete)

"The Logic of Nonstandard Dialects"

Southern Mountain English (SME) (draft complete)

Inland Northern English

Southern White English (Coastal, Inland)

Eastern New England

Five Special Cases: Pennsylvania Dutch, Louisiana Creole, Tangier Island,

Charleston, Va. Piedmont (partial draft)

Speakers of New World Spanish (partial draft)

American English Onstage: Dialect Simulation (draft complete)

Appendix A: "Listening Guide for American Tongues"

Appendix B: Dialect Interference in Composition (draft complete)

Bethany K. Dumas, J.D., Ph.D. | Applied Linguistics, Language & Law

Dep't of English, UT, Knoxville | EMAIL: dumasb[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

415 McClung Tower | (423) 974-6965 | FAX (423) 974-6926

Knoxville, TN 37996-0430 | See Webpage at