With the opening of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the 1940s, those out-of-staters curious about the Pennsylvania Dutch received ready access to Lancaster County and America's oldest Amish community for the first time. Since then, tourism has skyrocketed, drawing five million visitors annually, and has become an industry with profiteers in both secular and religious sectarian groups. The draw for most tourists is to experience the Other, so those promoting Pennsylvania Dutch tourism have sought to depict the Amish and other Pennsylvania Dutch groups as markedly different in social, interactional, and linguistic realms. Contributing to these perceptions, several Pennsylvania Dutch-themed popular performances on Broadway in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s were written in a peculiar dialect of American English; some of these performances continue to be popular today, especially in Pennsylvania's Dutch Country. This article examines the linguistic means of portraying the Pennsylvania Dutch at the cusp of their introduction to mainstream American society, a pivotal point in their most recent history in the United States.
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Joshua R. Brown; Dutchified English on Broadway. American Speech 1 August 2015; 90 (3): 321–346. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-3324498
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