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Lexical Change and Variation in the Southeastern United States, 1930-1990
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...
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 region was the most important factor in differentiating dialects in the 1930s but that it is the least important element in the 1990s, with age, education, race, and age all showing 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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