Traditionally, the American Dialect Society has focused on English in North America. This work has resulted in many outstanding achievements. However, as the United States becomes increasingly multilingual, the author suggests that its members broaden the scope of their research to include contact among immigrant languages and between dialects of immigrant languages so that they may fully understand language developments in the United States. Communities where a language other than English (LOTE) is spoken are not only sites of contact between English and the LOTE, but also sites of contact between dialects of the minority languages. This article offers a brief overview of America's increasing linguistic diversity and, as an example of the type of research that can be undertaken, outlines recent work on contact between dialects of Spanish spoken in the United States. Finally, the author offers suggestions for research that will enrich the understanding of language and dialect contact while taking account the country's increasing linguistic diversity.
Robert Bayley; Presidential Address: Dialectology in a Multilingual America. American Speech 1 February 2017; 92 (1): 6–22. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-4153175
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