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Anthony Di Fiore, Chair SAC 4.102, Mailcode C3200 78712 • 512-471-4206

Fall 2008

ANT 393 • Studies in Linguistic Analysis  English in Texas

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
30874 W
6:00 PM-9:00 PM
mez 1.104

Course Description

With original fieldwork as an integral part of the requirements, this course is designed as a hands-on survey of English in Texas. It will attend to regional variation as well as variation in language contact situations among bidialectal and bilingual communities. The most recent large-scale survey of variation in Texas English was conducted over four decades ago, and focused on lexical variation within Texas (Atwood 1962). While updating these findings on the lexicon is one legitimate goal of the course, we will also be interested in ongoing change on the level of phonology and syntax, and how they make the dialects of Texas more like one another or more distinct. Ethnically specific varieties of English are in many cases undergoing change even more rapidly than mainstream varieties. Both African-American Vernacular English and English in bilingual communities, where it is in contact with, for example, Spanish, Ger-man, Swedish, or Czech, allow studies of highly dynamic dialect development. This course will function as an introduction to sociolinguistic fieldwork. It is de-signed to be accessible for students of linguistics as well as other disciplines. Its interest in the language and culture of Texas can complement work in Southern American and Hispanic language and culture as well as in sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. Wolfram & Schilling-Estes will serve as introductory sociolinguistic text, and other se-lected readings in sociocultural linguistics will be supplied as needed.


Atwood, Elmer B. 1962. The Regional Vocabulary of Texas. Austin: U of Texas P. Wolfram, Walt and Natalie Schilling-Estes. American English: Dialects and Variation. 2nd edition. Malden, MA: Blackwell.


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