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230175 Syntactic Variation in North American English (S) (SoSe 2021)

Inhalt, Kommentar

This seminar will concentrate on looking at variation in North American English. Our work will not concentrate on the more usual manner of investigating differences in North American English which is to look at lexical variation (as in the traditional studies of the Linguistic Atlas of North America) or at phonetic and phonological variation (as in these traditional studies and in the work centered around Labov, Ash, and Boberg in their Atlas of North American English (2006). Instead, we will explore grammatical variation in the English spoken in North America. This will include a look at present-day varieties according to region, ethnicity, and education / social class, sometimes with a look at historical developments.
An initial set of sessions is directed at the origins and development of the forms of English in the U.S.A. This will begin with a general comparison of grammatical aspects of American and British English and will be devoted to studies of social differences in the use of English, centering especially on differences between Standard American English and non-standard features of General English in America.
In a final set of sessions we will proceed to the major regional varieties in North America, both the United States and Canada, but will also look at what are sometimes viewed as ethnolects, concentrating on African-American English, but briefly touching on Chicano and Spanish-influenced English as well as American Indian English.
This exploration of variety in American English is based on a very extensive approach to the topic. Nevertheless, key sets of grammar and usage features will be selected which, it is hoped, will make both the motivation and the mechanisms of language change more understandable while also providing useful thumbnail sketches of the varieties selected.


The following offer useful insights:
Carver, C. 1987. American Regional Dialects. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Clarke, S. (ed.) (1993) Focus on Canada. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Dillard, J.L. (1975) All-American English. N.Y.: Random House.
Dillard, J.L. (ed.) (1980) Perspectives on Black English. The Hague: Mouton.
Finegan, E. and J.R. Rickford (eds.) (2004) Languages in the USA. Themes for the Twenty-first Century. Cambridge: CUP.
Fought, C. (2003) Chicano English in Context. London; Palgrave / Macmillan.
Fries, C.C. (1940) American English Grammar. New York: Appleton Century Crofts.
Gramley, S.E. / V. Gramley / K.-M. Pätzold (2021) Survey of Modern English. 3rd ed. London: Routledge.
Green, L. (2002) African American English. A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge: CUP.
Grieve, J. (2019) Regional Variation in Written American English. Cambridge: CUP.
Hickey, Raymond (ed.) (2012) Standards of English. Codified Varieties around the World. Cambridge: CUP.
Holm, J. (2004) Languages in Contact. The Partial Restructuring of Vernaculars. Cambridge: CUP.
Labov, W., Ash, S. & Boberg, C. 2006. Atlas of North American English. New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
Lanehart, S. (ed.) (2001) Sociocultural and Historical Contexts of African American English. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Mufwene, S.S., J.R. Rickford, G. Bailey, J. Baugh (eds.) (1998) African-American English. Structure, History and Use. London: Routledge.
Murray, T.E. and B.L. Simon (2006) Language Variation and Change in the American Midland. A New Look at “Heartland” English. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Rickford, J.R. (1999) African American Vernacular English: Features, Evolution, Educational Implications. Oxford: Blackwell.
Schneider, E.W. (ed.) (1996) Focus on the USA. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
Schneider, E.W. (ed.) (2008) Varieties of English. The Americas and the Caribbean. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.


Termine (Kalendersicht )

Rhythmus Tag Uhrzeit Format / Ort Zeitraum  
wöchentlich Di 8:30-10 ONLINE   12.04.2021-23.07.2021


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Modul Veranstaltung Leistungen  
23-ANG-AngPM3.1_a Profilmodul 3.1: American Studies PM 3.1.1 Language in North America Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation
23-ANG-AngPM3_a Profilmodul 3: American Studies 3.1 Language in North America Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation
23-ANG-AngPM5 Profilmodul 5: English Language and Linguistics 5.3 Language in North America Studienleistung
veranstaltungsübergreifend benotete Prüfungsleistung Studieninformation

Die verbindlichen Modulbeschreibungen enthalten weitere Informationen, auch zu den "Leistungen" und ihren Anforderungen. Sind mehrere "Leistungsformen" möglich, entscheiden die jeweiligen Lehrenden darüber.

Konkretisierung der Anforderungen

In order to get full credit, the following is expected of you:
1. that you attend the sessions regularly,
2. that you do the assigned reading,
3. that you undertake a small project on a grammatical topic and report on it (details to be negotiated).
It is possible to write a module paper within the framework of this seminar.

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