Attitudes to the Southern Dialect Research Paper by Nicky

A study to explore if people tend to prefer the dialect of the region of the United States in which they were raised.
# 150975 | 1,099 words | 4 sources | APA | 2012 | US

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The paper describes the methodology and findings of this study that examines whether people from the South attribute the notions of "pleasantness" and "correctness" to the Southern dialect. The study's findings confirm the hypothesis that those respondents who identified themselves as being from the South would attribute the notions of "pleasantness" and "correctness" to the Southern dialect compared to respondents from other regions of the country. This paper contains tables.

Research Question
Description of the Methodology
Ethical Concerns and Potential Biases
Summary of the Findings

From the Paper:

"While English speakers in the U.S. may use many of the same words, the manner in which they are articulated and the syntax and phraseology used by Americans from different regions appears to make regional dialects sound strange to people from different regions. These different perception of regional variations has been the focus of a growing amount of research in recent years. For instance, according to Macneil (2005), "Linguist Dennis Preston of Michigan State University has spent years studying the prejudices Americans have concerning speech different from their own" (18). The studies by Preston typically involve asking random Americans to identify those regions of the country where they believed people spoke differently in an effort to determine where regional dialects adversely affected the perception of the uneducated and unpleasant qualities of these regional dialects. Time and again, Preston has determined that most Americans cite the South as being characterized by uneducated language use but that they still regard the dialect as being "charming" (Macneil 19). To explain this perception, Preston and other linguists suggest that many Americans are exposed to and learn to understand regional dialects through the media, a process that contributes to an increased appreciation for the diversity of the American social landscape."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Bex, Tony and Richard J. Watts. Standard English: The Widening Debate. London: Routledge 1999.
  • Hartley, Laura C. and Dennis R. Preston. "The names of U.S. English: Valley Girl, Cowboy, Yankee, Normal, Nasal and Ignorant." In Bex and Watts at 207.
  • Macneil, Robert. (2005, January). "Do You Speak American? 'Well, Butter My Butt and Call Me a Biscuit'; a Documentary on the English Language as Spoken in the U.S., Is Airing on PBS." Society for the Advancement of Education 133(2716): 18-19.
  • Preston, Dennis. "A language Attitude Approach to the Perception of Regional Variety." In Handbook of Perceptual Dialectology, Dennis Preston, ed. (359-73). Amsterdam: Benjamins, 1999.

Cite this Research Paper:

APA Format

Attitudes to the Southern Dialect (2012, May 15) Retrieved February 24, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Attitudes to the Southern Dialect" 15 May 2012. Web. 24 February. 2024. <>