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or obscure (or unpublished) work that I should know about, I would be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 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]utk.edu
415 McClung Tower | (423) 974-6965 | FAX (423) 974-6926
Knoxville, TN 37996-0430 | See Webpage at http://hamlet.la.utk.edu