Date: Wed, 12 Mar 1997 12:17:28 +0900


Subject: Re: mapping dialect spread -Reply

Thanks to Mark Manel and Donald Lance for the info. I'm interested in

the issue that M.M. brought up and intend to reply when I've gotten

final exams checked and grades turned in. (school year ends in February

here). For now, let me say that I have seen evidence from studies here

that speakers tend to use non-standard features upon reaching (young)

adulthood than they did when in school. This can be explained as a part

of their "socialization", especially the fact that they have to deal

with older speakers in their community more when they enter the work

force. If this is indeed true, and a widespread phenomema, it could

throw a monkey wrench into the kind of studies (very popular in Japan)

in which results of elderly speakers are compared with those of (say)

junior high school students, in an effort to get a handle on apparent

time change.

I think I found the article I was thinking about. Tim Frazer 1983,

mentioned in Wolfram _Dialects and American English_. Wolfram doesn't

mention the state though, so if I've got the Indiana part correct, that

means that I must have seen the original article somewhere sometime.

(Must be around here somewhere.)

When I get time, I'm thinking about putting up one of the age/region

graphs that I mentioned on our Center's website. I think some of you

might be interested. The methodology differs a bit from the other

articles I've seen. (Donald Lance, I actually own READINGS IN AMERICAN

DIALECTOLOGY, eds. Harold B. Allen & Gary N. Underwood, so I have looked

at the four articles you mentioned. . . For once in my life, I actually

had a book that I needed!)

One more question. Can anybody give me information about Gary

Underwood? I want to use a graph he produced in a paper about identity

in an old Methods proceedings. This is more than ten years old. Is he

still alive? Retired? Anybody have an address or email for him?

Danny Long

Mark Mandel wrote:

I have noticed in myself, as I aged and especially as I felt myself aspiring

to cross certain felt boundaries of age/seniority/respectability, a

tendency to emulate the speech of my elders/seniors and set aside some

habits of speech that I felt seemed markers of immaturity. Unfortunately I

can't remember specifics just now, but they may come back to me with

thought. But I wonder (both now and at the time): If this is a common

tendency, would it tend to obscure or blur such "apparent time" studies,

which are dependent on the assumption that, roughly, a person's speech

at the time of survey is the same as it was when she was acquiring

native fluency? How would one ascertain the dimensions of such

"retrogressive development"?

My original query

I have a question for ADS-L about language variation. (Surprise!)

In Japan there are a lot of studies showing how linguistic features

spread from a geographical center (like a big center), or how two

linguistic features butt up against each other as they spread into the

area between two cities. The diffusion aspect comes in because data is

gathered from speakers of 3 (or 4 or 5) different age groups at each


I know of no such studies of U.S. dialects, and am planning to write (in

an upcoming article) that are practically no such studies in the U.S.

Anyone know of any I can list as exceptions to this? The article (in

Japanese) is about differences between U.S. and Japan

dialects/dialectology, and I want to use this as an example of

differences in the focus of research.

I know of some work on English dialects that is in general concerned

with the geographic and

temporal aspects of language spread. Trudgill, for example, talks about

language spread in Dialects in Contact but no details about ages of

speakers or exact locations are given there.

I recall reading OF an article several years ago that I believe was

about language spread in the midwest, say, Indiana. Does that ring a

bell with anyone? Could this have been a Timothy Frazer article? It is

rather difficult for me where I am to browse journals, so I would

appreciate any help you could offer.

Also, if you don't mind, would you respond to the list with this rather

than just to me personally. I find that that tends to prime the pump

and encourage other people to respond.


Danny Long

(Dr.) Daniel Long, Associate Professor

Japanese Language Research Center

Osaka Shoin Women's College

4-2-26 Hishiyanishi

Higashi-Osaka-shi, Osaka Japan 577

tel and fax +81-6-729-1831

email dlong[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]