ERIC Number: ED109883
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1973-Apr-26
Reference Count: N/A
Needs in Southwest English Dialectology or, Want a LASS? Thanks, but No Thanks.
Underwood, Gary N.
What has been labelled mainstream dialectology has been criticized soundly on theoretical grounds, yet mainstream dialectologists have responded with the assertion that their critics have not been intimately familiar with dialect methodology and are therefore not qualified to criticize. Claiming that while theoretical issues are far from being settled, their data are nontheless valid, they insist that all of the U.S. be mapped by traditional linguistic atlases. This paper argues against the creation of a Linguistic Atlas of the Southwest States (LASS) and more broadly calls for a halt to any further work on the old Linguistic Atlas of the United States and Canada project begun in 1931. The point is not just that mainstream dialectology has flaws; the point is that the traditional work is so bad it is not worth continuing. Concentrating upon the data of mainstream dialectology (its supposed strength), the paper argues that the weaknesses are so great that the methodology is not salvageable. This refutation, however, does not mean that dialect research should not be conducted. On the contrary, research in language variation is vital, but wide-scale studies must abandon the methodology of mainstream dialectology and replace it with a new one embodying, among other improvements, some sociolinguistic sophistication. (Author)
Descriptors: Atlases, Dialect Studies, Geographic Distribution, Language Classification, Language Patterns, Language Research, Language Usage, Language Variation, Linguistic Theory, Native Speakers, Nonstandard Dialects, North American English, Phonology, Pronunciation, Questionnaires, Regional Dialects, Research Methodology, Social Dialects, Sociolinguistics, Standard Spoken Usage, Statistical Studies, Vocabulary
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A