Synopses & Reviews
"An excellent book that describes languages in the South, even those not commonly known to exist or to have existed; for example, descriptions of indigenous languages that do not belong to identified Native American Language families. . . . A complex picture of many different southerners speaking a variety of languages and dialects."
--The Journal of Mississippi History "Thorough and far-reaching, yet ultimately accessible. . . . Contains an incredible amount of cultural, historical, and social information pulled together into a comprehensive overview of language use in the American South."
-- North Carolina Historical Review "Tackles the complex and diverse field of Southern language and dialects. . . . A very readable and enjoyable survey."
-- Larry McGehee,Southern Seen "Effectively debunks simplistic and erroneously homogenizing notions. . . . The editors did not shy away from potentially problematic issues. . . . A handy and useful reference on this important issue of language in the South."
Louisiana History The introductory essay alone is worth the price.
--John Shelton Reed, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill "A good starting point to researching the languages and dialects found in the South."
-- American Reference Books Annual An intriguing account of why southerners speak the way they do.
--Anne Rowe, Florida State University
The fifth volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture explores language and dialect in the South, including English, Native American languages, and other non-English languages spoken over time by the region's immigrant communities. The patchwork of English dialects is also fully presented, from African American English, Gullah, and Cajun English to the English spoken in Appalachia, the Ozarks, the Outer Banks, the Chesapeake Bay Islands, Charleston, and elsewhere. Topical entries discuss ongoing changes in the pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar of English in the increasingly mobile South, as well as naming patterns, storytelling, preaching styles, and politeness, all of which deal with ways language is woven into southern culture.
About the Author
Michael Montgomery is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of English at the University of South Carolina. His many books include Language Variety in the South: Perspectives in Black and White. Ellen Johnson is associate professor of linguistics at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and author of Lexical Change and Variation in the Southeastern United States.