Handbook of the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States
University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 1993 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 454 pages
Who uses "skeeter hawk," "snake doctor," and "dragonfly" to refer to the same insect? Who says "gum band" instead of "rubber band"? The answers can be found in the Linguistic Atlas of the Middle and South Atlantic States (LAMSAS), the largest single survey of regional and social differences in spoken American English. It covers the region from New York state to northern Florida and from the coastline to the borders of Ohio and Kentucky. Through interviews with nearly twelve hundred people conducted during the 1930s and 1940s, the LAMSAS mapped regional variations in vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation at a time when population movements were more limited than they are today, thus providing a unique look at the correspondence of language and settlement patterns.
This handbook is an essential guide to the LAMSAS project, laying out its history and describing its scope and methodology. In addition, the handbook reveals biographical information about the informants and social histories of the communities in which they lived, including primary settlement areas of the original colonies. Dialectologists will rely on it for understanding the LAMSAS, and historians will find it valuable for its original historical research.
Since much of the LAMSAS questionnaire concerns rural terms, the data collected from the interviews can pinpoint such language differences as those between areas of plantation and small-farm agriculture. For example, LAMSAS reveals that two waves of settlement through the Appalachians created two distinct speech types. Settlers coming into Georgia and other parts of the Upper South through the Shenandoah Valley and on to the western side of the mountain range had a Pennsylvania-influenced dialect, and were typically small farmers. Those who settled the Deep South in the rich lowlands and plateaus tended to be plantation farmers from Virginia and the Carolinas who retained the vocabulary and speech patterns of coastal areas.
With these revealing findings, the LAMSAS represents a benchmark study of the English language, and this handbook is an indispensable guide to its riches.
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History and Nature of the Project 1
Tables of Informants and Communities
Work Sheets and Collection of Information
Phonetics and Field Worker Practices
Field Records List Manuscripts and Initial Editing
Dialects of the LAMSAS Region by Raven I McDavid Jr
District of Columbia
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19th cent 1st settlement 1st settlers AfAm agricultural articulation Atlanta Atlas Balt Baltimore Baptist Charleston Church City coal College Colonial Columbia comp consonants cooperative cotton County Formed Creek Cultivated Delaware diphthongs Dist Dutch early settlers England English descent Episcopalian farmer farming field workers Georgia German descent Gloucester County Hill Historical Society History Holland Dutch housewife Huguenot in-gliding Indian industries informants intelligent Ireland Irish Jersey John Kurath LAMSAS lumber Lutheran McDavid Methodist MGFs F MGM's F mills nasality North old-fashioned Pennsylvania PGFs F PGFs PGF PGM's Phila Philadelphia phonetic plantation postvocalic Presbyterian prob Quakers Quick Repr retroflexion Richmond River rural Scotch-Irish Scotch-Irish descent settled South Carolina speech Strong stresses Tempo moderate tion tobacco town Ulster Scots University Press up-gliding Valley village vols vowels West Virginia William York