Faculty Course Description
HON250: Seminar on Southern English
Dr. Ellen Johnson
Office: Evans 210
Office phone: 368-5638
What is Southern English?
In the first part of the course, you will read about Southern English in general, including the two major ethnic varieties (black and white) and the two major geographical varieties (Appalachian and Deep South). You will learn about specific pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and discourse features of Southern English and the research methods linguists use to study these. We will discuss the historical development of dialects and culture in the Southeast.
Attitudes toward Southern English
This part of the course begins with a group project that you will design and carry out to discover local attitudes about Southern English. We will begin reading about the use of dialect in literature and other media, with a focus toward understanding how Southerners and their speech are portrayed. Finally, you will study attitudes toward the role of dialects in education.
Textbooks (other readings on reserve):
English in the Southern United States, ed. by Stephen Nagle and Sarah Sanders. Cambridge, 2003.
Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English, by John Rickford and Russel Rickford. Wiley, 2000.
Research Sources: student-designed usage and attitude surveys, linguistic atlases, critical analysis of popular media and fiction, work by linguists, recordings in the Berry archives.