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 journal 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 A history of American Dialectology Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY. http://ling.osu.edu/~ddurian/AWAC/LWAA/Mundell_1973.pdf

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About daviddurian
I am a sociolinguist with a BA in English & Linguistics (from Northern Illinois University), and MA in Rhetoric and Professional Writing (also from Northern Illinois University), and an MA and PH D in Linguistics (from The Ohio State University). I have also been a teacher of undergraduate sociolinguistics classes at OSU, and graduate linguistics courses at NIU and the University of Illinois--Chicago. Currently, I am an Adjunct Professor of English, teaching undergraduate courses in composition, at College of DuPage. In my current work, I investigate vowel variation and language change trends in a variety of dialects of US English. At present, I am working on projects investigating vowel variation in 19th, 20th, and 21st Century English in Columbus, OH; Chicago, IL; and New England. To learn more about my dissertation, which focused on vowel variation in 19th and 20th Century Columbus and was completed in 2012, visit my Columbus Dialect blog at http://columbusdialect.wordpress.com

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