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386LANGUAGE, VOLUME 74, NUMBER 2 (1998) In spite of these shortcomings, the review of literature in this book can be useful to those not familiar with the various approaches to discourse. The application, while not always satisfying, offers some useful insights and invites others to investigate language use in dramatic contexts in new and fruitful ways. REFERENCES Levinson, S. 1983. Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Sacks, H.: E. A. Schegloff; and G. Jefferson 1974. A simplest systematics for the organization of turntaking for conversation. Language 50.696-735. 19 Courtney Dnve Farmingville, NY 11738 Dictionary of American Regional English: Volumes I-III. Chief Ed., Frederic G. Cassidy, Assoc. Ed., Joan Houston Hall. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Vol. I (A-C), 1985. Pp. elvi, 903. VoLII(D-H), 1991.Pp. 1175. Vol. Ill (I-O), 1996. Pp. 927. Reviewed by Ellen Johnson, Western Kentucky University Frederic Cassidy and Joan Hall are to the twentieth century what James Murray was to the nineteenth century, at least for those of us who are concerned with studying language at the microcosmic level, in its full diversity and complexity. Their multivolume work, still in progress, has already become as indispensable to the study of regionally- and socially-restricted features as the Oxford English Dictionary (upon which it is modelled) is for information on words of more general distribution. Of course, being 'restricted' in a country the size of the United States can mean a word, pronunciation, morphological or syntactic formation that is familiar to millions of people. Far from being a collection of mere oddities, the Dictionary ofAmerican Regional English (DARE) is a monument to the dynamic nature of language, its flexibility, and its infinite capacity for metaphor and innovation. The dictionary draws upon multiple sources of data, among them eighteenth-century diaries, small-town newspapers, Dialect Notes and its offspring American Speech, fiction, botanical guidebooks, linguistic atlases, tapes of aluminum disk recordings, television shows, advertisements , the Internet, and observations from linguists far and wide, folklorists, and the general public. At the core of the project are interviews systematically collected from 2,777 speakers across the United States between 1965 and 1970. This fieldwork provides a synchronic view of language variation that intersects and informs the diachronic approach ofthe editors, who provide ample evidence for etymology, diffusion, and development. Volume 1 has been reprinted; it contains information vital to linguists who wish to use the dictionary, such as the principles for inclusion of terms and principles of spelling which the editors have adopted. The text of the field questionnaire is there along with a list of interviewees and their salient characteristics (i.e. social variables and location). All citations in the entries themselves are identified so they can be traced back to this key and to a list of abbreviations. The DARE map is demystified in the front matter: Because of its distortion relative to a conventional US map, some explanation is required. The difference reflects the population density of each state and is thus analogous to showing percentages as opposed to raw numbers in a table. The computer mapping program used by the editors allows them to label expressions that cluster in any of 37 overlapping regions, variously defined by linguists (e.g. South Midland), by physical features (Rocky Mountains), or by cultural tradition (Upstate New York). The separately published index to the first two volumes (Metcalf 1993) lists entries by these regional labels as REVIEWS387 well as by social labels, usage labels (indicating pragmatic restrictions), and etymological notes regarding morphology and borrowings, from Algonquian to Yoruba. The technical information in Volume 1 is supplemented by two essays on American English, one by C noting common syntactic features of folk speech and explaining linguistic processes such as epenthesis and euphemism, and the other by James Hartman giving an overview of American English pronunciation. Neither is theoretically satisfying, with the latter, for example, simply stating, 'For the purpose of discussing phonological variation, linguistic scholarship has produced no completely satisfactory system of analysis' (xlvi). Hartmann avoids any serious consideration of the issue of phonetic versus phonemic differences, raised in Labov 1994 and elsewhere, that goes to the heart of questions about the...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 386-389
Launched on MUSE
2015-04-01
Open Access
No
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