Us midwest & farwest: social and linguistic issues
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Us midwest & farwest: social and linguistic issues

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This presentation attempts to describe Midwestern and Western social status quo and how this had an impact on the language of the region.

This presentation attempts to describe Midwestern and Western social status quo and how this had an impact on the language of the region.

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Us midwest & farwest: social and linguistic issues Us midwest & farwest: social and linguistic issues Presentation Transcript

  • Midwest and Far West
  • Outline
    • Introduction
    • Midwest
      • Georgraphy
      • Historical Background
      • Culture and People
      • Linguistic Situation
    • West
      • Georgraphy
      • Historical Background
      • Culture and People
    • Midwest
    • The Middle West is one of the four geographic regions of the United States of America, the others being the Northeast , the South and the West.
    • The region consists of twelve states in the north-central United States: Illinois , Indiana , Iowa , Kansas , Michigan , Minnesota , Missouri , Nebraska , North Dakota , South Dakota , Ohio and Wisconsin .
    Geography
    • The Middle Western States are divided into the Great Lakes states and the Plains states.
    • The Great Lakes states are Minnesota , Wisconsin , Michigan , Indiana , Ohio , and Illinois .
    • Four out of the five lakes are in this region. They are Lake Erie , Lake Huron , Lake Michigan , and Lake Superior
    Source: http://www.census.gov/geo/
    • The Great Plains states are Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and North Dakota.
    Source: http://www.census.gov/geo/
  • Historical Background
    • European settlement of the area began in the 17th century following French exploration of the region. And most colonies were developed to export products such as fish, sugar, and furs.
    • French control over the area ended in 1763 with the conclusion of the French and Indian War. And British colonists began to expand into the Ohio Country during the 1750s.
    • After the American Revolutionary War, the rate of settlers coming from the eastern states increased rapidly. In the 1790s, settlers from the original states moved there in response to federal government land grants.
    • The region's fertile soil made it possible for farmers to produce abundant harvests of cereal crops.
  • Culture
    • Rural farmland covers a large area of the American Midwest.
    • Chicago and Detroit are the icons of urban American Midwest.
    • Despite industrialization and urbanization, the rural heritage of the land in the Midwest remains widely held.
    • Like most of the United States, the Midwest is mostly Christian.
    • Roman Catholicism is the largest religious denomination in the Midwest.
    Source: (NARA) http://www.religionatlas.org/ (Oct. 2004)
  • Population
    • By the time of the American Civil War, European immigrants bypassed the East Coast of the United States to settle directly in the interior:
    • German immigrants to Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, and eastern Missouri.
    • Irish immigrants to port cities on the Great Lakes, especially Chicago.
    • Danes, Swedes, and Norwegians to Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas.
    • and Finns to Upper Michigan and northern/central Minnesota.
    • Poles, Hungarians, and Jews settled in Midwestern cities.
  • Source: U.S. Census Bureau , 1990 Census and Census 2000 special tabulations.
  • The Midwestern Linguistic Situation
    • The racial diversity , and the historical and cultural heritage of the region have contributed to shaping its unique linguistic identity.
    • There is a clear influence of the German and Scandnavian settlers on the Minnesotan dialect (yah for yes/ja in German, pronounced the same way)
    • The dialect spoken in the region, the midland dialect, is different from the dialects spoken in the Northeast, the South, and, to a less degree, the West.
    • The accent characteristic of most of the Midwest is considered by many to be "standard" American English. This accent is preferred by many national radio and television broadcasters.
    • Many prominent broadcast personalities  such as Walter Cronkite, Harry Reasoner, Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Rush Limbaugh, and others came from this region.
    • Dennis Preston, a sociolinguist, made a research about how people feel about certain dialects in the USA.
    • He found that Midland dialect is most commonly considered "standard" or "correct“, while the dialects of New York City and the South are considered “bad” or “incorrect”.
  • THE FAR WEST
  • GEOGRAPY
    • The western U.S. is the largest region, covering more than half the land area of the United States.
    • The Mountain States: Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada.
    • The Pacific States: Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Hawaii.
  • It is also the most geographically diverse incorporating geographic regions such as Mount Rainier Great Plains Hoover Dam Sonoran_Desert Rokies Mississippi River
  • HISTORICAL BACKROUND
    • After the 18th century and the push beyond the Appalachian Mountains, the term “West” is generally applied to anywhere west of the Mississippi River.
    • several political, military, and technological factors, led the United States to expand from coast to coast.
    • The Louisiana Purchase (1803).
    • Fur Trade.
    • Gold rushes and the mining industry.
  • PEOPLE & CULTURE
    • As declared by the United States Census Bureau 2006, the Western region of the United States includes 13 states with estimated population of 69,355,643.
        • 68.5% White
        • 12.1% of Some other race,
        • 7.9% Asian,
        • 4.9% Black or African American,
        • 4.3% Two or more races,
        • 1.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, and
        • 0.5% Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander.
        • 24.3% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race)
    • United States Census Bureau 2006
    • The American people are mostly multi-ethnic descendants of various culturally distinct immigrant nationalities.
    • Six races are recognized: White, American Indian and Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander, and people of Two or more races.
    • Facing the Pacific Ocean and the Mexican border, the Far West has been shaped by a variety of ethnic groups.
    • Linguistically, the merging of ethnic differences and the mixture of the population have had a significant influence on the language spoken the Far West.
  • Conclusion
    • The regions of Midwest and Far West are culturally, geographically, ethnicly diverse.
    • This exerted a clear influence on their linguistic situations.
    • How does this diversity contribute to the richness of the American English?
  • References
    • http://www.ancestry.com
    • http://www.bls.gov/ro5/
    • http://www.census.gov/geo/
    • North American Religion Atlas: http://www.religionatlas.org/
    • US language attitudes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4kW3K3OclnE
    • Article about the issue of languages in USA: http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/2002/12.12/08-vaux.html
    • www.americanhistory.com