This is the website of the American Dialect Society (ADS), a scholarly association founded in 1889. The object of ADS is to study English in North America, as well as other languages or dialects with which it has mutual influence. This association produces publications which cover topics such as: regional dialects; occupational vocabulary; place names; usage; non-English dialects; new words; and proverbial sayings. In addition it publishes an online quarterly journal called American Speech. Subscribers to this journal can receive the ADS publications as an annual supplement. However, the online access to this journal is only available for institutions. On the site the user can access among other things: current and back issues of the ADS' newsletter (NADS) which are in PDF format; abstracts of the current issue of the journal; information about ADS annual meetings; external annotated links related to reference works; discussion forums; dictionary-makers; and research organisations. Also available on the site is a selection of words and phrases voted Words of the year. It contains the words which attracted national attention during the given year (e.g., pre-emptive self-defence: noun, an attack before a possible attack). This site will be useful for anyone interested in language and linguistics.
This website is a straightforward Bibliography of Japanese Sociolinguistics in English, listing over 1000 books, journal papers, and dissertations. Although the site title specifies sociolinguistics, items relating to other branches of linguistics are listed too. Research published in other western languages is also included, but the great majority is in English. The categories are: dialectology; gender; discourse; communication; politeness; general sociolinguistics; general Japanese linguistics; historical linguistics; contrastive linguistics; second language acquisition; Japanese language textbooks; and Japanese as a foreign language (JFL). The disadvantage of the site is that it has not been updated since 1997, but the number of items listed still make it a useful starting point for researchers and students looking for non-Japanese-language research publications on Japanese linguistics.
British Library, Archival sound recordings: English accents and dialects is an online database of twentieth century regional accents. Users can listen to over 600 recordings of people talking from all over England, between 1950 and 1999. The files have been taken from two British Library oral history collections: the Survey of English Dialects and the Millennium Memory Bank. Each file is accompanied by catalogue information, an explanation of unusual words, and notable phonology and grammar. There are also introductions to the collections explaining the background of the extracts and their usefulness to English social history.
This website is a gateway to websites on nature, status and development of German dialects, including German in non-German speaking countries, published by the University of Portsmouth. The listed dialects within Germany are subdivided in High German, West Middle German, West Low German, East Middle German and East Low German, each containing several dialects. The dialects also include a wider range of languages such as Dutch; Frisian; Letzeburgish; Sorbian; Afrikaans; Yiddish. The links refer to online dictionaries; grammars; journals; author's homepages; language courses; literary pages. The academic level of the links may vary, but in general this site is indeed a good start for those wanting to know more about a certain dialect, since it refers to the key websites. A good introduction with a list of FAQs introduces the site.
This web resource includes a description of dialects and dialect levelling (reduction of local dialect features in favour of a more urban type of English, closer to Standard English) in Britain in the 20th century. It makes an analysis of the social and economic factors underlying dialect change, provides a discussion of Standard English and Estuary English, and gives annotated bibliography. The site is intended primarily for GCE Advanced level GCE (AS and A2) students in English, but will be of interest to language students on university degree courses, and others with an interest in the English language. It is based on a paper presented by Paul Kerswill at a conference at the University of Tartu, Estonia, in August 2000. The paper, originally called Mobility, meritocracy and dialect levelling: the fading (and phasing) out of Received Pronunciation, is downloadable from the site in PDF format.
The title of this online resource corresponds to a series of books 'Dialects of English' published by University of Edinburgh Press. The series documents 'varieties of English from all over the English-speaking world', each volume focusing on one particular dialect to explore its background, history, lexis, phonetics and phonology. The website hosts the recordings of spoken English which have been made in relation to this publication series. The recorded varieties available so far include Northern and Insular Scots, Singapore English, New Zealand English and Indian English. Although copyrighted, these recordings are available for downloading free of charge, if used for the purposes of teaching and research, thus providing ready to use material for students and researchers, as well as any members of the public interested in English dialects.
English Today (ET) is a quarterly journal covering all aspects of the English language: its history, literature and linguistics; international variations; uses and abuses; neologisms; the influence of the new communication technologies on English; academic models of the language; teaching of the international standard language. ET will be of interest to linguists, teachers of English, advanced language students, and professionals working with the English language (writers, broadcasters, journalists). A ten-year thematic index is published in ET vol.11, No 1, January 1995. The site offers a general overview of the printed journal, its editorial board, and instructions for contributors. Special discounts are available for members of certain professional organisations. Abstracts are available online, starting with volume 1, issue 01 (1985).
English World-Wide is a biannual scholarly journal for the study of varieties of English around the world. It focuses on the dialectology and sociolinguistics of native and second-language speaking communities. The journal also includes research on creoles, language planning, multilingualism, modern historical linguistics and general sociolinguistics. The site gives access to the contents and abstracts of the journal, and a link to IngentaJournals, where online access to the full-texts is available to members of subscribing institutions. Private subscription including access to the electronic version of the journal is also available. Contents are available from volume 1, issue 1, 1980, while contents and abstracts are available from volume 21, issue 1, 2000.
This website discusses the form of English widely spoken in and around London, so called Estuary English. It is a rich compilation of academic articles, monographs, abstracts, lecture handouts, bibliography and newspaper reports. The site is hosted by the Phonetics and Linguistics Department of University College London and relies on both academic and journalistic articles and materials. It also provides links to other similar sites. The information presented is authoritative, very reliable and exhaustive. The site is useful for all levels of teaching and research, and provides a wealth of information about modern developments of the English language within the UK. It is regularly updated and maintained, making it a very useful current resource.
This is the website of International Dialects of English Archive (IDEA). It is a free online archive of primary source dialect and accent recordings for the performing arts. The archive was created in 1997 by Paul Meier, author of Accents and Dialects for Stage and Screen, and a leading dialect coach for theatre and film. The archive is hosted by the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Kansas. The dialects and accents recordings can be browsed by region. All recordings are in English, of native speakers, and one can find both English language dialects and English spoken in the accents of other languages. The recordings are downloadable and playable for both PC and Macintosh computers.
This site, Institut für Österreichische Dialekt- und Namenlexika (Institute of lexicography of Austrian dialects and names) is another of the many divisions of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Established in 1911 when it formulated its first dictionary of local dialects, this institute has two main aims. First, its members study the evolution and location of elements of the Bairisch dialect in Austria, South Tyrol and Bavaria. Second, they study the historical and recent developments in place names, geographical names and names of people in the region.The site recounts the history of the institute, which is also the history of its projects and corresponding publications. Among these are Das Altdeutsche Namenbuch (the Old German Book of Names), which lists approximately 40,000 place names. A similar project Die Ortsnamendatenbank (the Place Names Data Bank) runs to the present time. Das Wörterbuch der bairischen Mundarten in Österreich and Die Datenbank der bairischen Mundarten in Österreich are the dictionary and data bank projects for the Bairisch dialect.
Information on the former includes online documents on the planning and conceptualisation of the dictionary. The site dealing with the Bairisch data bank offers a sample from the data bank, which is in the process of being digitised for online use. There is also a coloured map of Austria illustrating the linguistic regions where Südbairisch, Mittelbairisch, Süd-mittelbairisch flourish. Aimed at linguists and historians, the site includes purchasing information for the institute's publications. A bibliography lists the publications of affiliated scholars, with links to online versions of their published findings. There is a small list of links to various specialised online German dictionaries.
The IViE corpus: English Intonation in the British Isles website provides information about the Intonational Variation in English (IViE) project and access to the IViE corpus. The project examined cross-varietal and stylistic variation in English intonation, and was funded by the ESRC. It ran between 1997 and 2001 at the Phonetics Laboratory, University of Oxford and Department of Linguistics, University of Cambridge. The corpus created by the project includes 36 hours of speech recordings of nine urban varieties of English (London, Cambridge, Cardiff, Leeds, Bradford, Liverpool, Belfast, Dublin). Three of the varieties represent the speech of ethic minority groups. The recordings were collected among 16-year-olds in secondary schools and represent several different speaking styles. Part of the corpus has been prosodically transcribed. The corpus is freely available for academic research and teaching purposes and can be downloaded from the website or searched online. Information about the corpus and the research based on it can be found on the webpage. A number of the publications by the project can be accessed online. The corpus can also be ordered via the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)), on completion of a request access form.
The Jewish Language Research Website is a platform for research into the diversity of languages spoken by Jews the world over, offering introductory information on a good number of these languages and bringing together international researchers working in this field. It serves as a resource for those studying the linguistics of languages spoken by Jews either from an individual or comparative perspective. Descriptions, including mention of, for example, the historical development, orthography, literary genres, and linguistic features, for a selection of languages are available on the site. A select bibliography for further investigation into each language is provided. The languages featured include: Hebrew; Yiddish; Jewish-Aramaic; Jewish Malayalam; and Judeo-Arabic, French, Greek, Iranian, Italian, Persian, Portuguese, Provençal, and Spanish. Since this list is not comprehensive, links are provided to descriptions of other languages which have been documented online. A directory of researchers and their interests is also available: contributions are invited, in terms of appearing in the directory or submitting papers or bibliographic entries. A good list of other resources will help researchers to locate useful material, and the site also hosts a discussion forum whose archived postings may be read there. This is an appealing and informative site, which will be useful for and of interest to those beginning work or already established within the field.
Language Variation and Change is a journal dedicated exclusively to the study of linguistic variation. It focuses on variation in either oral or written data, from a synchronic or diachronic perspective. The journal is a valuable resource for sociologists, linguists, sociolinguists, psychologists, anthropologists, phonologists and dialectologists. The site gives an overview of the journal and guidelines for contributors. The site allows free access to one issue of the journal and abstracts to back issues from volume 11, issue 1 from 1999. The full articles can be bought online or accessed through subscription.
The Leeds Archive of Vernacular Culture (LAVC) comprises material from the University's former Institute of Dialect and Folk Studies (including the Survey of English Dialects), and contains many resources for oral historians and linguists. The website gives access to various different resources, including a selection of digitised images, but principally to a detailed multi-level catalogue of the archive, which was the main outcome of the three-year project. Advanced search options are available, including searching by subject keyword, place, or personal name. Results return bibliographic details with brief but informative notes on content, and in some instances links to associated materials. The LAVC is held in the the Special Collections department of Leeds University Library, and was established as the result of a three-year Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Resource Enhancement grant (2002-05).
Linguistic Atlas of Older Scots (LAOS) is a project at the Institute for Historical Dialectology at the University of Edinburgh and partly funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). It is a corpus of historical texts from different regions of Scotland covering the time from 1380 to 1700. Phase 1 is presented at the website covering 1380 to 1500. The corpus can be searched and browsed in a variety of ways. The distribution of different forms may be shown on maps of Scotland as a compliment to reading the texts and searching for items of interest. The website is rather hard to navigate and a read through of the manual is recommended, still this is a valuable resource for anyone researching Early Scots.
The website on Linguistic Atlas Projects describes various projects and surveys studying American pronunciation and dialects. In the last 80 years informants have been interviewed. listening for specific target items. Some interviews were tape recorded, others were transcribed. Details of 10 Projects, each covering several US states, are given, including contact details, nature of recordings and selected bibliographies. Research data are partly digitised and available online, other data will be made available when digitised. There is always a contact address for those interested in the project data.
The New Zealand English (NZE) website is a compilation of materials provided by a number of researchers on various aspects of English as spoken in New Zealand. The site has a simple, clear layout and provides articles on the origins, social variation and sounds of NZE. Extensive bibliography on NZE is also provided. The research projects listed include: NZE Dictionary Centre; Corpora of NZE; the NZE Journal; 'Origins of NZE Project'; English On-line Project (resources for teaching); and Evaluating English Accents Worldwide. A brief description of projects and contact details for further information are also provided.
The website associated with the Newcastle Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English (NECTE) describes a project aiming to improve access to and promote the re-use of dialect recordings made in the Newcastle conurbation between 1969 and 1994. The original corpus consisted of 86 loosely-structured interviews, most of which were subsequently phonetically and orthographically transcribed. Interviewees were drawn from a sample of the population of Gateshead in North-East England, spanning various social classes and age groups, and were encouraged to talk about their life histories and their attitudes to the local dialect. The more recent corpus (the ESRC-funded Phonological Variation and Change in Contemporary Spoken English), recorded in the early 1990s, set out to examine salient patterns of phonological variation and change in contemporary spoken British English, focusing on localised versus non-localised patterns of change. The NECTE project has amalgamated the two corpora and created the first TEI-conformant electronic vernacular corpus in a range of formats (sound files as well as phonetic and orthographic transcriptions that are also part-of-speech tagged). The site provides documentation about: the original resources and the NECTE team's enhancement of them; information about the people involved; publications resulting from the project; references; links; and appendices. The transcription and the audio files themselves are not accessible online. The site should be of use to anyone interested in Geordie dialect, linguistics, sociology, sociolinguistics, and the local public interested in changes in Tyneside expressions, folklore and reminiscences. The project was funded by the AHRC under its Resource Enhancement scheme. The resource can also be downloaded in XML format from the Oxford Text Archive (OTA) website (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)).
The website of the Spanish organisation for the promotion of linguistics offers both information about the different languages and dialects within the Iberian peninsula, and information about a vast number of languages and dialects throughout the world. The site offers colour-coded maps to indicate the regions in which a particular language is spoken, and for most of the languages featured, the user may read a brief history, details of its relation to other dialects, the number of speakers, facsimiles of original manuscripts, summaries of the grammar structure, examples of the written language and alphabet: in short, substantial introductory information for students of linguistics. There is a special section dedicated to historical and modern alphabets throughout the world. This allows the user to search for writing examples and alphabets according to genealogical; geographical; or alphabetical classifications. The organisation is also undertaking projects, and information about these can be found on the website. Some examples are: teaching sign language to hearing-impaired young people; translations into Aragonese; and sociolinguistics in Ecuatorial Guinea. A number of articles written by the organisation's collaborators are available on the site, on themes such as: linguistic theories of humour; sociolinguistics; and the evaluation of dictionaries. The site gives great importance to the translation of religious texts, such as the Bible and the Qumran manuscripts, and there is also a database of Bible translators throughout history. This impressive site is recommended for students of the history of the Spanish language and Spanish linguistics in particular, although anyone interested in world languages will find material of worth here.
The Romani Linguistics page is a website from the University of Manchester's Romani Project (based within the School of Languages, Linguistics and Cultures), providing information on the Romani language and on linguistic research on Romani. The site is vast, offering a detailed introduction to the history of Romani and a guide to dialect classification. The history of Romani linguistics is also traced, and the status of the Romani language today is outlined. An introductory structural guide to the language is provided, covering syntax, nominals, verbs and so on, and suggestions for further reading for each of the topics are given throughout. Of particular interest may be the site's interactive section, where users may listen to sound files of different European dialects of Romani. The site's dialect sampler map functions as a valuable reference tool: clicking on areas of the map reveals linguistic information about the dialect spoken in that particular region. Sample sentences are provided and glossed to assist study. Links to other relevant online resources and bibliographies are listed here, together with information about forthcoming conferences and seminars and studying Romani linguistics at the University of Manchester. This is an impressive and comprehensive resource for the study of Romani, containing material that will appeal to the student and researcher alike. The research and resources presented on the site have been funded in part by grants from the Arts and Humanities Research Board (now AHRC).
The online resource SCRIBE - Spoken Corpus of British English provides information on a pilot project that 'investigated the construction of a corpus of spoken British English'. The project ran in the academic year 1989/90 and was funded by the UK Department of Trade and Industry and the UK Science and Engineering Research Council. Research was facilitated by the partnership between the University College London, Cambridge University, Edinburgh University, the Speech Research Unit, and the National Physical Laboratory. This resource is part of the UCL website. Despite the project's short duration, resulting from the shortage of funding, a substantial prototype corpus was collected and partially annotated. The resource describes the current status of the project as well as provides its existing documentation in 'The SCRIBE Manual' that can be viewed online (HTML format). There are also samples of annotated audio recordings which can be downloaded. These have been grouped into two categories: Sample of many talker recordings and Sample of few talker recordings. Both categories provide recordings of male and female speakers, representing four dialect areas: South East, Glasgow, Leeds and Birmingham. This resource will be of interest, and use, to researchers of spoken English and corpus linguistics.
The website 'Sounds Familiar? Accents and Dialects of the UK' is one of the British Library online learning resources. It is dedicated to the study of British accents and vocabularies, from a contemporary and historical perspective. Users can investigate recent trends in pronunciation, such as 'upspeak' or 'T-glottaling', or discover how the English of British Asians is influenced by their bilingual status. The resource includes a selection of over seventy audio recordings and more than 600 short audio clips from the British Library Sound Archive. Some of the materials were recorded in the 1950s and others almost half a century later, between 1998 and1999. The resource consists of five main sections: Regional Voices; Changing Voices; Your Voices; Case Studies; and Activities. The first two of these sections focus, respectively, on the regional and historical variations of English. 'Case Studies' looks into three specific English varieties: Received Pronunciation, Geordie Dialect, and the language of ethnic minorities in the UK. Suggested 'Activities' encourage users to investigate the use of English in their own communities, and 'Your Voices' provides them with an opportunity to publish their results on the site. With its interactive character and comprehensive set of audio data and their interpretations, this site is commendable to general audience interested in the subject, as well as students and researchers of linguistics, particularly phonetics and sociolinguistics.
The Dialect Survey was initiated in 1999 to examine patterns and variations in English usage within the United States of America. The survey consists of 122 separate questions concerning pronunciation, acceptable usage, and choice of diction. The results for each question may be viewed plotted on a map of the USA, or as tables of percentiles on a state-by-state basis. The main page links to a handful of online articles about the project. The survey is completed but the result is still a valuable resource for researchers.