Is English in Utah truly unique? If so, what makes it different? Which stereotypes about how Utahns speak are completely off base and which are accurate? To answer these questions, linguist David Eddington surveyed more than 1,700 Utahns in an effort to better understand and systematize the peculiarities of English spoken in the Beehive State. This resulting book is a sophisticated data analysis that presents results in an accessible and often humorous fashion.
Utah is linguistically interesting for a variety of reasons. The massive numbers of immigrants who flocked there in the first years of European settlement, its relative isolation until completion of the transcontinental railroad, and its large Latter-day Saint population signaled greater linguistic commonality than is often the case in other western states. The book argues that religious affiliation, or lack thereof, might particularly play a role in the features that make up Utah English.
An accessible study of dialect in Utah, this book explores how social and geographic factors influence the pronunciations and regional expressions that characterize Utah English. Reflecting years of dealing with misconceptions about dialect both in and out of the classroom, Eddington covers vocabulary, individual words, syntax, vowels, and consonants, blending a serious and sometimes humorous approach to his research.
David Ellingson Eddington is professor of linguistics at Brigham Young University, where he specializes in experimental linguistics and the Spanish language. A Utah native, he received a PhD from the University of Texas–Austin and is the author of Statistics for Linguists: A Step-by-Step Guide for Novices and Spanish Phonology and Morphology.
Table of Contents:
Chapter 1. Utah English Survey
Chapter 2. Scone, Sluff, and Potato Bug: What Makes Utah Vocabulary Unique?
Chapter 3. For Cute and Used to Do: Utah Grammatical Novelties
Chapter 4. Pop or Soda? Individual Words and Pronunciations in Utah
Chapter 5. Felling Tests in Spanish Fark and Other Shifty Utah Vowel
Chapter 6. There’s Nothing Constant about Consonants
Chapter 7. Summary and Conclusions
Praise and Reviews:
“David Eddington has written the book that I’ve long wished I could write. It is a casual but careful treatment of ‘Utah English,’ distilling what we know about the region’s linguistic features, and doing so in an accessible fashion.”
—David Bowie, University of Alaska Anchorage
“An interested reader, whether a linguist or a nonlinguist, is sure to appreciate a whole host of interesting findings here.”
—Kamil Kaźmierski, Adam Mickiewicz University