Title

Pacific Northwest English: Historical Overview and Current Directions

Keywords

North America, English, Linguistic Atlas Project, Pacific Northwest, American dialectology

Abstract

Relative to many varieties of English spoken in North America, there is little research on Pacific Northwest English (PNWE). Early work largely documents the lexicon of various groups within the region, or the region as a whole. In the mid-twentieth century when the Linguistic Atlas Projects dominated American dialectology, the Linguistic Atlas of the Pacific Northwest contributed to documenting the language in the area, with an emphasis on pronunciation for the first time. Only in the past two decades has a large body of research been done, specifically focusing on the Pacific Northwest (PNW). A variety of features have been studied, particularly those relating to vowels. Though Washington and surrounding states share features with the West in general such as the cot-caught merger and /u/-fronting, prevelar raising has received the most attention by linguists. This paper summarizes past and recent scholarship on the area to show that the high variation in PNWE from a century ago has not diminished in the speech of the region today.

Original Publication Citation

Joseph Stanley. 2016. “Pacific Northwest English: Historical Overview and Current Directions.” UGA Working Papers in Linguistics (4).

Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2016

Publisher

University of Georgia

Language

English

College

Humanities

Department

Linguistics

University Standing at Time of Publication

Assistant Professor

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