Linguistics 110 Linguistic Analysis: Sentences & Dialects
Lecture Number Nineteen
Regional English Dialects
Northern USA


  1. Introduction: The origin of dialects

    1. Linguistic Origins (Various parts of England, Germany, Italy, Scandinavia)
    2. Linguistic Drift (Rise and fall of social classes, acceptance of professional dialects)
    3. Ethnic minorities (Black English, Italian, Slavic, other influences)

  2. General US Historical Variation

    1. Phonological Variation
      1. Trouble everywhere with [r]
      2. -ing [] [n]: waitin runnin hopin (but not *si sin)
      3. [at], [r], [n], []
      4. Cliticization:
        1. should have, must have, ought to have ( = should've, must've, ought've)
        2. I must have [Amsv]
        3. going to, want to, ought to
        4. going to gonna onna [Am on gu]/[Am on gu]
        5. I will, he will, they will
        6. I am, he is, she is, we are, you are
      5. [] [t], [] [d]
    2. Morphological Variation
      1. whom
      2. ain't (I'm invited, _______ I? : *I aren't invited)
      3. Pronoun nominal suffix: big'n(s), little'n(s)
      4. 2nd person plural
        1. you'ns (young'ns)
        2. youse
        3. yall
      5. Conjoined pronouns: Mary and I
        1. He wanted to talk with ___?____
        2. Just between you and ___?____
    3. Syntactic Variation
      1. the man (who(m), that) I know
      2. Conditional
        1. If I were you If I was you
        2. If I were to go If I went
        3. "If I would have gone..." ( = If I'd've gone...)
      3. Comparative:
        1. quicker : more quickly
        2. quick/dirty/pretty/different
        3. healthier : more healthy
        4. sicker : more sick
        5. good : well
    4. Lexical Variation
      • antigoglin : antigoblin : cattywampus : catty-cornered
      • pail : bucket
      • milkshake : cabinet : malted : frappe
      • mango : pepper
      • berm : shoulder
      • soda : pop : drink
      • drywall : sheetrock

  3. Regional Variation

    1. North
      1. New England
        1. Phonological Variation
          1. [r] drops out causing changes in preceding vowel
          2. [ar] [] Park your car in Harvard Yard
          3. [or] & [r] [] fork, New York; work, corker, stork
          4. [r#] (with over compensation) [kjubr], [ivr]
        2. Morphological Variation: as Standard English
        3. Syntactic Variation: as Standard English
        4. Lexical Variation
          • cabinet
          • pail
          • antigogglin
          • corker

      2. New York City (Brooklyn)
        1. Phonological Variation
          1. Problems with [r], too
          2. [r] [oi] before C, otherwise [] (with overcompensation: terlet, erl, berl)
          3. boid, toiti-toid, moider, rare, care, barefoot, rear, worst, girl
          4. [] [] : cab, have, man, bat
          5. [] [] walk, talk, bought
          6. [r] unless followed by a vowel
          7. [] [t], [] [d]
        2. Morphological Variation
          1. 2nd Pl: youse, youse guys
        3. Syntactic Variation
          1. I want you should go to the store
        4. Lexical Variation

      3. Pennsylvania Dutch
        1. Phonological Variation
          1. Final consonants devoiced
          2. No []: chust, Chonny, chudge
        2. Morphological Variation
          1. you plural: yunz
        3. Syntactic Variation
          1. if it gifs much rain
          2. No adjacency:
            • throw mama over the fence a tomato
            • smear me all over with jam a piece of bread
          3. Eat your mouth empty before you say
        4. Lexical Variation
          • mango
          • berm
          • the cake is all
          • outen the light
          • the butter won't reach
          • dippy
          • gums
          • off (His off is all)

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