Welcome to the enthralling world of linguistics. If you've ever been curious how words like "awesomesauce" ever came to be, let alone made it into the Oxford English Dictionary, or if you've ever wondered why you say "firefly" and someone else calls the same insect a "lightning bug," English in America: A Linguistic History is for you.
There's an incredibly rich and colorful history behind American English. A profoundly diverse assortment of cultures and heritages has influenced our vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar, and the language continues to grow and shift. Dialect variations are widespread and actually increasing, and the new words, accents, and sentence structures both reflect and shape changes in our culture and society. Investigating these dialects is the domain of sociolinguistics, the study of the intricate interrelation between language variation and cultural, interpersonal, and personal identity. At the forefront of the study of American English dialects is Natalie Schilling, Associate Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University, who guides you on this intriguing and enlightening journey.