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Speaking American: A History of English in the United States

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Language, Literacy, and Technology

By Richard Kern

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Academic Paper


Title: Constructing the (m)other: A-prefixing, stance, and the lessons of motherhood
Author: Allison Burkette
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Mississippi
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: The present study examines two unprompted versions of the same story, related by a mother and daughter in separate sociolinguistic interviews. Following a quantitative intraspeaker comparison of their use of grammatical features associated with Appalachian English within the entirety of their interviews, this study undertakes a close reading of the narratives (along with additional passages from the daughter) to demonstrate the manner in which the two women construct their identities as “mother” and as “other” through conversational narrative and the use of local dialect features. Specifically, this article addresses the use of regional grammatical variables to enact speaker stances toward mothering, focusing on two women's independent recollections of a single incident and how these narratives dialogically construct the (m)other. (Language variation, Appalachian English, stancetaking, motherhood)

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 42, Issue 3, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



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