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Five visions of America

  • Dennis R. Preston (a1)
Abstract

The study of dialect distribution has generally focused on the performance of speakers rather than on their perception of speech variation. The exceptions in so-called attitude studies do not further our understanding of where ordinary speakers believe dialect boundaries exist. Hand-drawn maps from five areas (Hawaii, southeastern Michigan, southern Indiana, western New York, and New York City) are converted into generalized maps of local perceptions of dialect areas of the United States. The maps are compared with one another, with traditional maps of U.S.dialect areas, and with maps of cultural and regional zones of the United States. The maps are shown to be of value in calculating attitudinal factors and may be of considerable importance in determining the existence and scope of such notions as “speech community.” (Dialect geography, language standards, American speech, language attitudes)

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Language in Society
  • ISSN: 0047-4045
  • EISSN: 1469-8013
  • URL: /core/journals/language-in-society
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