Where two dialect areas collide, one finds border regions, which serve as dynamic sites for identity construction. Louisville, Kentucky, in its position on the south side of the Ohio River, the geographical and political border between Kentucky and Indiana, is located at one such collision. While previous work in Louisville has demonstrated the border nature of the city, both in terms of linguistic production and perception, this article examines how individual speakers use different styles in their production of regional identity at the border. Specifically, this study addresses how speakers in Louisville define the area to which Louisville belongs. Using the theoretical notions of enregisterment, iconization, and recursivity, the author shows how these individuals, in recognition of the border, dynamically construct identities that are at the same time Southern and non-Southern, which provides further evidence of the fluid and hybrid nature of identities at the border.
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Jennifer Cramer; Styles, Stereotypes, and the South: Constructing Identities at the Linguistic Border. American Speech 1 May 2013; 88 (2): 144–167. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-2346753
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