push comes to shove (UNCLASSIFIED)

Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 27 02:17:00 UTC 2010

The closest I can find in a few minutes of searching is this (
and Tuscaloosa, the map tells me, is more northern Alabama than Southern.

A Phonological and Lexical Study of the Speech of Tuscaloosa County,
Author:     Lawrence Mason Foley
Publisher:     University Microfilms, A Xerox Company, Dissertation Copies
Post Office Box 1764, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106 (Order No. 70-9346: MF
$4.00, Xerography $10.00) 1969-00-00
Edition/Format:     Article
Database:    ERIC The ERIC database is an initiative of the U.S. Department
of Education.
This study examines the lexical and phonological features in the speech of
27 native informants of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama which show distinctive
regional or social distribution. The questionnaire used in the study is
based on the short work sheets of the Linguistic Atlas of the United States
and Canada, and the methodology is similar to that of other Linguistic Atlas
studies. The investigation of the lexicon shows that it is composed
primarily of Midland and Southern terms. General Midland features are found
at all social levels, but distinctive South Midland terms are largely
restricted to White usage, the Negro informants showing a preference for
competing Southern terms. The distinctive Southern features are usually
those characteristic of the South as a whole or of the Inland South; Coastal
Southern features are rare. Finally, Northern terms occur primarily in
educated usage and are apparently the result of literary or commercial
influence. Therefore, it is concluded that the vocabulary of the county
characterizes it as a part of the Southern and South Midland transition
area. The conclusion based on the phonological data are general in accord
with those for the lexical evidence. Northern, North Midland, and Coastal
Southern features are rare, although Coastal Southern features show a slight
increase among the Negro informants. The predominant influence is clearly
from the Inland South and the South Midland, but it is difficult to assess
their contributions separately.

On Fri, Feb 26, 2010 at 7:46 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at gmail.com> wrote:

> Years ago, I came across a book with a title like
> Lexicon of the Dialect of the South(ern) Alabama Negro.
> I recall being surprised to discover that this work specified the phrase
> "when push come(s) to shove, he must move"
> as something peculiar to the speech of local 'Bama negroes.
> Yet, in all the years that I've been posting here, I have yet to find
> the slightest trace of any book with this or any such similar title
> *anywhere*, though I have a clear, mental picture of where this work
> is/was? located in Widener Library and, the (reprinted)work being
> still in print at the time, I even bought a copy of it, which copy now
> seems to have vanished into thin air.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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