Linguistic Atlas of New England
The Linguistic Atlas of New England (LANE), edited by Hans Kurath in collaboration with Miles L. Hanley, Bernard Bloch, Guy S. Lowman, Marcus L. Hansen and Julia Bloch, is a linguistic map describing the dialects of New England. LANE consists of 734 maps over three volumes, and is the first major study of the dialects in the northeastern United States. Seven New England states were studied: Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York. In New York, only Long Island was covered. Some data from Southern New Brunswick, Canada, was also included. Pronunciations elicited from informants in each town were printed directly onto maps of the area. One map was included for each of the 734 items that were studied.
|Published||AMS Press Inc. 1939|
LANE was the first component of the Linguistic Atlas of the United States (LAUS). LAUS was first proposed in 1928 by a committee of the Modern Language Association, and collaborative meetings with the Linguistic Society of America (LSA) began in 1929 to discuss the feasibility of the proposed linguistic atlas of the United States and Canada. In 1930, the LSA Council requested a trial run in a limited area, so that a method could be established and budget estimates could be taken for further work in other regions. In 1931, the LSA Council granted approval for the study of New England speech.
Over the following years, preparations for LANE were made. The staff of the project was appointed, including Hans Kurath as director and Miles L. Haney as associate director. Additional staff members were hired with the help of fellowships from Brown University and the University of Vermont. Yale University provided headquarters for the project. Staff were trained over six weeks in the summer of 1931 before beginning fieldwork. Linguists who had experience mapping the dialects of Switzerland and Italy, Jakob Jud and Paul Schauermeier, assisted in the training process.
The first component of the research took into account the historical background of New England's settlement and population. This provided a basis for which communities would be selected for study in LANE. After this initial historical investigation by Marcus L. Hansen (University of Illinois), data collection commenced. This phase spanned 25 months, and finished in September 1933.
416 informants were interviewed across 213 New England communities. Though there were 431 towns and cities investigated altogether, neighboring towns were sometimes grouped together. Historical backgrounds for each town and details about each informant are given in the accompanying Handbook. Two informants of different social strata were selected from each county whenever possible. Kurath specified that one of the informants must be elderly, old-fashioned, and uneducated and the other must be middle-class and have some education. Field workers characterized informants, based on education levels and age, into Type I (little formal education), Type II (moderate formal education), or Type III (high education level), and Type A (old-fashioned) or Type B (younger, more modern).
Field workers used modified IPA phonetic transcription. Some additional notations were used to indicate more information, such as c. indicating the target form was spoken in natural conversation, r. indicating repetition at the field worker's request, s. indicating that the informant agreed the form was natural after hearing it suggested by the field worker, and f. indicating that the response was forced due to the field worker's insistence.
The Handbook of the Linguistic Geography of New England (1939), by Hans Kurath and Miles L. Hanley was published in conjunction with LANE. This handbook discusses the dialect areas of New England, Kurath's methodology, the history of New England's settlement, the phonetic notation and worksheets used in data collection, and the communities and informants that were involved.
The questionnaire consisted of 734 items that each informant answered. These 734 items were split across LANE's three volumes, in the following distribution:
|Containers and Utensils||129-161|
|Calls to Animals||218-227|
Volume 1 had lexical categories focusing on basic words and agricultural society.
|Trees and Shrubs||243-252|
|Vegetables, Fruits, Berries||253-280|
|Food and Clothing||281-313|
|Greetings, Prepositions, and Salutations||424-431|
|Names, Titles, Occupations||432-455|
Volume 2 included topics of food, familial relationships, and descriptions of people.
|Illness and Death||492-526|
|Sport and Play||573-587|
|Affirmations and Interjections||588-602|
|Verb Forms: Preterites and Participles||635-672|
|Verb Forms: Be, Have, Do||673-690|
|Verb Forms: Concord||691-693|
|Verb Forms: Modals||694-704|
Volume 3 included topics of societal institutions as well as several verb forms and other parts of speech.
A main dialect boundary was found between Eastern New England and Western New England. Unique variations in vocabulary and pronunciation also were found in the Boston area, the Plymouth area, the Narragansett Bay area, New Hampshire Bay and the Merrimack Valley, Maine, the New London area, Worcester County and the upper Connecticut valley, the Lower Connecticut valley, the Long Island Sound, and the Hudson Valley.
- Algeo, John (2010). The Origins and Development of the English Language (6 ed.). Boston: Wadsworth. p. 196. ISBN 978-1-4282-3145-0.
- "LAP Online - Linguistic Atlas of New England". www.lap.uga.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-07.
- Kurath, Hans (1973). Handbook of the linguistic geography of New England (Second ed.). New York: AMS Press. pp. xi–xii. ISBN 0404100473. LCCN 70-37508.
- Nina, Brown (2001-01-01). "Hans Kurath, Linguistic Atlas of the United States". EScholarship.
- Perkins, George (1991). "Linguistic Atlas of the U.S.". Benet's Reader's Encyclopedia of American Literature. 1. HarperCollins. p. 615.
- "Linguistic Atlas of New England – Special Collections and University Archives". scua.library.umass.edu. Retrieved 2017-04-07.