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Dialect Emergence in Waumandee English


David N. Ehrat

This book examines how a new dialect emerges. It is based on empirical research carried out in Waumandee, Wisconsin, a small community set in a linguistically uncharted territory in North America. Waumandee English is influenced by the native languages of settlers who arrived from different parts of Switzerland, Germany, Norway, Poland, Austria and Ireland. Traditional dialectology augmented by sociolinguistic and psychological parameters enables the reader to follow the path of current dialect emergence in Waumandee English.
Contents: Waumandee history – Immigrants – Choice and defense of traditional dialect approach – Description of sample population – Setting up a questionnaire – Language change mechanisms in Waumandee – Different parameters governing the analysis – Ethnicity – Gender – Psychological factors of intercultural language acquisition – Dialect emergence and how a dialect can be defined against a standard – Family tree model and Wave Theory – Language contact in Waumandee – Establishing a lingua franca – Diachronic results from synchronic data – The dialect situation surrounding Waumandee – Vowel sounds – Great Vowel Shift – Consonant sounds – Metathesis – Grimm’s Law – Hypercorrections – Sandhi forms – Overview over the progressing changes in Waumandee English.