Cover

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pp. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

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Foreword

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pp. vii-x

When I was asked to write a foreword for this book, my first thought was “Yah hey, I’ll do this once, now.” That initial, internal response no doubt came from the years I spent growing up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, coupled with my intense pride as a lifelong Wisconsin resident. In all seriousness, I was thrilled to be part of this fantastic work, which...

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Preface: Why Language Matters for Wisconsin

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pp. xi-2

If you’re reading this book, you probably have some connection to the state of Wisconsin. In fact, you may live here or have lived here. If so, think about your own family and others who lived here just a couple of generations back. Vast numbers of Wisconsinites in, say, 1900, lived their lives in other languages—Ho-Chunk or Ojibwe, Polish or...

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Introduction: Thinking about Language and Wisconsin English

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pp. 3-14

The chapters that follow treat a range of important issues about English, as well as about various other languages, in the state, including regional vocabulary and African American speech patterns. This chapter uses some regional English examples to introduce you to some basic issues and some of the ways that linguists think...

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1. The Native Languages of Wisconsin

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pp. 15-25

In this chapter we introduce the native languages of Wisconsin. All of those still spoken in the state are seriously endangered, yet there are strong programs in place to preserve and revitalize each one. Figure 1.1 shows the native population of Wisconsin as of 2010. Figure 1.2 shows the federally recognized tribes of Wisconsin, and as it...

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2. Older Immigrant Languages

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pp. 26-36

In the early to mid-1800s, waves of European immigrants reshaped and added new complexity to the already rich linguistic landscape that diverse populations of Native American inhabitants had created, bringing many other languages and varieties of languages with them, including German, Norwegian, and Dutch. In isolated rural areas...

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3. Immigrant Languages and Education: Wisconsin’s German Schools

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pp. 37-57

In the second half of the nineteenth century, the Wisconsin landscape was dotted with public, private, and parochial schools where children and grandchildren of immigrants were taught in German, Norwegian, Polish, or other older immigrant languages that are described in chapter 2. Today, the language of instruction in Wisconsin...

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4. The Non-Wisconsin Sound of Southwest Wisconsin

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pp. 58-67

The English of southwest Wisconsin is unique and has been almost since English speakers first came to this part of the state. If we compare the local speech of, say, Mineral Point to that heard in Green Bay, Milwaukee, or Rhinelander, we notice different pronunciations and phrases such as...

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5. Words Used in Wisconsin

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pp. 68-81

When my daughter was a freshman in college, studying in the state of Washington, she called me one night and told me she had said to friends that they should go buy some bakery. She explained, “Everybody laughed at me. What’s wrong with that?” Nothing is wrong with that, except location. While many people...

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6. Standard English: What Is It? And What Is It Good For?

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pp. 82-96

Standard English is fascinating in part because it is mythical. People have a hard time describing exactly what Standard English is, although everyone can identify when it is being used and especially when it is not. And we all agree that it exists. In this chapter I’ll walk through who speaks Standard English, what Standard English...

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7. Ethnicity and Language

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pp. 97-110

Ethnicity is a major theme of this book: the fact that speakers use the language of the speech community they grew up in, speech communities that emerged from Native American, Yankee, or immigrant communities, is what makes Wisconsin Englishes a perpetual topic of lively casual and academic discussions around the state...

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8. Hmong in Wisconsin

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pp. 111-122

This chapter first gives a brief overview of Hmong immigration and resulting demographics, then discusses the results of a research project on the influence of English on Hmong usage of Wisconsin Hmong Americans. The final section focuses on institutional responses to the ongoing language shift situation that constitutes...

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9. Spanish in Wisconsin: Advantages of Maintenance and Prospects for Sustained Vitality

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pp. 123-141

In this chapter I focus on the perhaps surprising linguistic diversity of Wisconsin’s Hispanic population. After a brief demographic overview of Spanish speakers in the state, I highlight some of the many advantages of the highly proficient bilingualism enjoyed by some—but certainly not all—of Wisconsin’s Hispanics and argue that...

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10. Mapping Wisconsin’s Linguistic Landscapes

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pp. 142-149

On a Sunday afternoon I walked west along the north shore of Lake Monona toward the state Capitol. It’s a route I’ve walked often the past few years, and over time I’ve developed a better understanding of the local cultural landscape. Small plaques marking places of official significance have helped me to imagine how Madison...

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Conclusion and Outlook

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pp. 150-152

We have dealt throughout this short volume with a wide range of historical and contemporary languages and dialects from a variety of Wisconsin communities and from a variety of perspectives. Linguists use the present to help understand the past, and the past and present to help understand the future. These are almost...

References

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pp. 153-162

Contributors

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pp. 163-166

Index

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pp. 167-172