MidAtlantica

Native American Language Books

Dialectology

In 1994 I started my research on American dialectology, with a specific interest in the Philadelphia dialect. I published 3 books in the mid-1990s but they could stand some revision, as I’ve learned a lot since then. But I still absolutely stand by my initial position that dialect is not just a subject for academic linguists but also belongs properly to its native speakers as a literary form. I think I was one of the first to call for (and try to create) a standard orthography for Philadelphian, and I have continue to revise it since then. Some linguists, sad to say, never quite “got” what I was doing, characterizing it falsely as eye-dialect. I hope to say more about it when I revise my books or supplant them with a whole new treatment, to include copious historical citations.

Original Research

Although I’ve had more than my share of misses research-wise, in a few areas I’ve tried to offer plausible solutions to minor scholarly mysteries, such as:

What happened to Cartier’s St. Lawrence Iroquoians?

What language(s) did the Massawomeck speak?

What was the Erie language like?

Is there a southern dialect hiding in South Jersey?