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The study of linguistic variation in American English (and other languages spoken in the United States) is changing dramatically today. This course will introduce patterns of variation and change in American English, covering sound patterns (vowels and consonants), word forms and sentence structures in their social, historical and regional contexts. We will situate these patterns in current linguistic theory, not only sociolinguistics and language change but also more broadly. In the spirit of informational maximalism, we'll draw on a broad set of data sources (real-time data from older recordings, electronic corpora, listener judgments, attitudinal data, etc.) and tools for understanding that data.
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