This article investigates historical, economic, and ideological processes that have led to the emergence and development of dialect awareness in Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. Relying on the language-ideological approach to language attitudes about linguistic variation, the study examines ethnographic and archival data to determine how the local dialect, Copper Country English, has become enregistered and thus how it has come to index certain cultural values, especially those related to local identity. Copper Country English has not only become recognized as a dialect, but certain features have also become normed through discursive and metadiscursive practices that collectively function to create and maintain the idea of a local dialect and to define a local identity. These notions overlap and shift to affect perceptions of what makes a dialect a dialect and to link language, people, and place.

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