This article documents the developing awareness of and positive attitudes toward regional English used in Michigan's Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin and also exemplifies some key regional markers in each variety. Findings demonstrate how this awareness and affinity has taken shape through historical processes. These processes have affected the structure of variation in that features once considered ethnic markers are now recognized as regional features. This indexical shift has occurred through relations with outsiders and economic processes. These new indexes are reinforced through discursive and metadiscursive practices, in particular those represented in the media, and are very much underway, shifting and changing at present. With them, some structural features have come to mean “local” and those who use them are perceived to be the “best” speakers and thus the “most authentic” locals, despite the fact that many of the stereotypical features are found throughout the upper Midwest, even in other parts of the United States and southern Ontario.

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