Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Mon Nov 28 23:29:46 UTC 2005

Nearly everyone in the US considers him or herself to be "familiar"
with Southern (and African American) speech and (caught unawares) is
quite willing tom offer an "imitation" of it. IN our numerous studies
of perception of US varieties, the "South" is always the most salient
area, even among northern respondents. I wouldn't take no bets on the
author being a southerner (and, of course, inaccuracies in the
representation would not decide the matter in one direction or the


>  Are you sure it's an outsider perception?  The one thing we can
>say with some confidence is that the author considers himself or herself
>to be quite familiar with this "Southern slang."  I would guess that it
>was written by a Southerner.
>John Baker
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
>Of Dennis R. Preston
>Sent: Monday, November 28, 2005 5:19 PM
>Subject: Re: y'all-omigod-bonics
>What? Not amused by an opportunity to correlate folk spellings as a clue
>to outsider perceptions of southern phonology!
>Shame on you!

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
15-C Morrill Hall
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1036
Phone: (517) 353-4736
Fax: (517) 353-3755
preston at msu.edu

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