Elizabeth Dayton’s dissertation now available in the LWAA Archive

In May, 2018, Elizabeth Dayton passed away. In honor of her memory, I have posted a copy of her much revered dissertation (from 1996): GRAMMATICAL CATEGORIES OF THE VERB IN AFRICAN AMERICAN VERNACULAR ENGLISH as a PDF in the Less Widely Available Archive (LWAA). It can also be obtained in the same format from ProQuest.

Here is a direct link to the LWAA posting for it:



Less Widely Available Archive Back Online

Over the last couple years, many of the materials linked to on this site have “fallen away,” due to changes in where items are being hosted. I am now in the process of trying to resolve this issue, using a Dropbox account to try and restore access. As of this posting, I have now managed to restore items in the Less Widely Available Archive (LWAA) this way. You can see these results in that section, including the restoration of Nasal Fest (1975) at this page–https://nwac.wordpress.com/LWAA.

More restoration work will be done soon!

The Historiography of Linguistics, Post 4: A History of American Dialectology (Gordon Mundell, 1973)

This doctoral thesis was written by Gordon Harold Mundell at the University of Rochester in 1973. It was written under the supervision of Dean Obrecht. It provides a detailed look at the history of the field of American Dialectology from the founding of the American Dialect Society in 1881 up until the early 1970s (circa 1972 or so). Included in the discussion is analysis of materials published by the ADS in both Dialect Notes and American Speech, as well as the Publication of the American Dialect Society (PADS) series. Also included is some discussion of the series of structural dialectology papers published by linguists such as Martinet and Weinreich, among others, in the journalĀ Word in the 1950s. In addition, discussion of the “shift” of the field to “generative methods” and the early work of Labov is included in the last chapter of the dissertation.

Given the rarity of this work, it will be posted under the Less Widely Available Archive (LWAA) PDF series area on the site for long term access.

Mundell, Gordan H. 1973. A history of American Dialectology Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. https://www.dropbox.com/s/7tndkhurrew8uqu/Mundell_1973.pdf?dl=0

The Historiography of Linguisitics, Post 3: The History of NWAV(E), 1972-2006

This document features discussion of the NWAV(E) conference, from its beginnings in 1972 until 2006, the 35th anniversary of the conference. Included in the document are interviews with important figures in sociolinguistics, such as Walt Wolfram, Gillian Sankoff, Dennis Preston, John Rickford, Ralph Fasold, Jack Chambers, Peter Trudgill, Roger Shuy, and William Labov. The piece originally appeared in the NWAV 35 Conference booklet, and has been circulated in a corrected and slightly updated form via Wikipedia since….

Durian, David. 2006. NWAV at 35: A Look at the History, Directions, and Development of NWAV(E), 1972- 2006: Conversations with Jack K. Chambers; Ralph Fasold, William Labov; Dennis Preston; John Rickford; Gillian Sankoff; Roger Shuy; Peter Trudgill; and Walt Wolfram. NWAV 35 Conference Booklet. Columbus, OH: Zipf Publishing. https://www.dropbox.com/s/1p78a1htuzob2gb/DD_NWAV_35_Retro.pdf?dl=0

The Historiography of Linguistics, Post 2: The History of Sociolinguistics, Another Perspective

This chapter, taken from John E. Joseph’s (2002) book From Whitney to Chomsky, presents a different view on the historical development of the field of sociolinguistics in America than sources such as Roger Shuy (see Post 1 in this area). In doing so, Joseph attempts to demonstrate how class-focused analyses of language variation predate the work of Labov and even McDavid among US scholars. In particular, he argues the work of George Putnam, Edna O’Hern, and Paul Furfey is overlooked, and these works need to be reevaluated in discussions of the history of sociolinguistic thought and study in the US.

Joseph, John E. 2002. The origins of American Sociolinguistics. From Whitney to Chomsky. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 107-132.https://www.dropbox.com/s/0w0mwdpa6k08i2u/Joseph_2002_Chapter5.pdf?dl=0

The Historiography of Linguistics, Post 1: Shuy 1990 on American Sociolinguistics

Recently, I have begun work on a paper that will investigate the genre of the linguistics article, and how it has changed over time. As a part of my research work on this topic, I have begun to read some of the literature on the historiography of linguistics that has been published over the years. This work contributes to an understanding of the analysis of “change” in linguistics in a different way than other articles and book chapters I’ve posted here before, but I also think it makes an important contribution that perhaps site readers will find interesting and useful.

To begin this series, I present the following article by Roger Shuy:

Shuy, Roger. 1990. A brief history of American Sociolinguistics, 1949-1989. Historographia Linguistica XVII, 1/2: 183-209. https://www.dropbox.com/s/91j0zsn6inp3xh6/shuy%201990.pdf?dl=0

This article deals with the shift that occurred in American Sociolinguistics from the days before Labov came on the scene to around the time the article was actually published (late 1980s). It presents a very interesting perspective on the material from Shuy, who was a linguist who was actually “on the scene” with sociolinguistic interests and focus before Labov arrived and caused the revolution his work did.

Hindle’s (1975) Syntactic variation in Philadelphia: Positive anymore Now added to the LWAA!

Now added to the Less Widely Available Archive (LWAA) we have…

Hindle, Donald. 1975. Syntactic variation in Philadelphia: Positive “anymore”. Pennsylvania Working Papers of Language Change and Variation, I.5. https://www.dropbox.com/s/2zuyc82rdkblkfi/Hindle_1975.pdf?dl=0

On the inclusion and use of onomastic studies to inform regional language studies

This 2006 piece, written by Edward Callary, discusses and then demonstrates how and why including onomoastic studies in studies of regional dialect variation can be quite useful. Here, specifically, Callary demonstrates the usefulness of onomastic material to address the existence of a “Midland” in US English. Having done regional dialectology studies himself (Callary 1975), he raises some interesting points about intersections between dialectology studies as they have traditionally been conducted in the US and onomastics along the way.

Callary, Edward. 2006. On the use of geographic names to inform regional dialect studies: A new look at ‘heartland’ English. In Thomas E. Murray and Beth Lee Simon. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. pp. 93-104. https://www.dropbox.com/s/9fjv2yh3gzmdi3t/Callary_2006.pdf?dl=0


Callary, Robert E[dward]. 1975. Phonological change and the development of an urban dialect in Illinois. Language in Society, 4:155-169.

Two Bits on Early Dialect Recordings

During the 1920s and 1930s, two dialect recording collections were made by researchers in the United States. Both were recorded using gramophone technology. The first, by Cabell Greet and Harry Ayers, was made in the late 1920s and collected as the Columbia Records Dialects collection. The second, by Miles Hanley, was collected by Hanley in conjunction with the Linguistic Atlas of New England. Typically referred to as the “Hanley Collection” in later discussion, this collection features several hundred recordings.

The two short pieces, published in 1936 and both appearing in the Proceedings of the Second International Congress of Phonetic Sciences, discuss both of these collections when they were still both relatively new and relatively novel. Kenyon’s, on the Columbia recordings, provides some discussion of the vowel variation patterns he was able to note among speakers in them. Hanley’s, on the materials in the LANE collection, presents a technical discussion of what recording “sessions” for field work in the 1930s were like from the perspective of types of equipment and recording materials available and types of equipment and recording materials actually used.

Hanley, Miles. 1936. Phonographic recording. In Daniel Jones and D. B. Fry, Eds., Proceedings of the Second International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 75-82. https://www.dropbox.com/s/cz6uux5ljt4cbdn/Hanley_1936.pdf?dl=0

Kenyon, J. S. 1936. Phonographic records of American Dialects. In Daniel Jones and D. B. Fry, Eds., Proceedings of the Second International Congress of the Phonetic Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 278-281. https://www.dropbox.com/s/oa2vn0y5ejubq2t/Kenyon_1936.pdf?dl=0

Assumed but Not Typically Stated…

In analyses of vowel systems conducted in sociolingusitics since the 1970s (Labov, et al, 1972, following in the footsteps of Martinet, 1952; 1955), we usually have adopted the overall pattern approach to analyzing vowel systems. This approach, which has essentially become an underlying assumption of how vowel system analysis “should” work, in particular in analyses of dialectal variation within English, however, is rather contrastive with earlier approaches, particularly those of the school of analysis who worked in the tradition of dialect analysis popular in the US during the era that dialectologists such as Kurth and McDavid were working.

These papers, by Robert Stockwell, provide a useful perspective on why, ultimately, analysts following after Labov settled on this approach, even if they didn’t themselves realize they were doing so (besides, perhaps, wanting to emulate Labov’s work given how well it has captured dialectal vowel variance).

Stockwell, Robert. 1964. On the utility of an overall pattern in historical English phonology. In Horace G. Lunt (Ed.), Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Linguists. London: Mouton & Co. pp. 663-671. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Stockwell_1964.pdf

Stockwell, Robert. 1959. Structural dialectology: A proposal. American Speech, 34.4:258-268. http://www.ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/Stockwell_1959.pdf

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