restricted access Linguistic Variation in a Small Speech Community: The Personal Dialects of Moraviantown Delaware

The Munsee language as spoken on the Moraviantown Reserve in the late 1960s had extensive phonological, lexical, and morphological variation among the small number of surviving speakers. Some of this variation can be attributed to the diverse origins of the population, and some apparently results from recent change, but lexical variation in particular was accepted by speakers as an integral feature of Moraviantown speech. Each speaker had a personal dialect, whose distinguishing features were often explicitly recognized by others.