Does Southern speech suck?

Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Wed Apr 3 00:45:11 UTC 2002


I have an enormous collection  of such pop culture stuff (and some
bits of it are reported on in several article, most copiously I think
my "Where the worst English is spoken," in Edgar Schneider's Focus on
the USA but also in perhaps even more detail in Niedzielski and
Preston, Folk Linguistics).

It's a shame i can't dig through the files; I've been collecting this
stuff for years, but it is not yet organized. If i find a little time
in the next few days I'll send you some of the best (a blurb on
Charle Kurath's retirement is one of my favorites).

I assume your colleague does not want perceptual and social
psychology of language studies since they abound and you are as aware
of them as I am.


>One of my colleagues sent me the following inquiry. Can anyone help? I am
>momentarily (?) stumped.
>>  One of my students wants to look at negative attitudes
>>  towards Southern speech for her next writing project but,
>>  although we can
>>  find plenty of linguistic analyses of it, we cannot find any emotional
>>  editorials either declaiming or supporting Southern speech. Any hints
>>  you could give us?

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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