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How Many American Dialects Could There Possibly Be? (We’ll Tell You.) October 26, 2011

*Co-written with Elliot Crumpley.

The Collaborative for Multilingual Writing and Research (CMWR) held a workshop on October 3 focusing on American dialects. To this you might ask yourself… “Really? American dialects?”  The answer is, of course.

The average native speaker of American English is aware of dialects in a general way – we know that someone from Louisiana sounds a lot different than someone from South Dakota.  These differences are sometimes a source of amusement but not really a hindrance for native speakers.  Native speakers develop a general sense of how people sound and what to expect in the language of different regions.  For a non-native speaker of American English however, the varied and sometimes conflicting linguistic identities that exist in the United States can be a source of confusion. (more…)