Re-examining Dialect Recession in Ocracoke Island

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dc.contributor.advisor Walt Wolfram, Committee Chair en_US D'Andrea, Kristina Marie en_US 2010-04-02T17:53:06Z 2010-04-02T17:53:06Z 2007-04-26 en_US
dc.identifier.other etd-04232007-202225 en_US
dc.description.abstract Though dialect recession in small, historically insular communities has now been the focus of a number of variation studies, there are few studies that scrutinize this process in real time. Ocracoke Island, located in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, presents an ideal situation for this study as tourists and new residents continue to flood the island that is still called home by 300 to 400 ancestral islanders among its 700 to 800 permanent residents. Sociolinguistic interviews were conducted on the island by the North Carolina Language and Life Project (NCLLP) in the early 1990s, almost 15 years ago, and since that time the NCLLP's presence on the island has remained constant. In recent years (2005-present), a follow-up study to that conducted in 1993-1995 has been launched in order to assess how quickly the language of Ocracoke really is receding, and what, if any, effects the NCLLP's presence has had on the dialect. This thesis examines both qualitative and quantitative data collected from almost 70 interviews. In an analysis of discourse between Ocracoke middle schoolers, certain ideologies about Ocracoke in-group identity are discovered as well as struggles in maintaining the image of "color-blindness" in conversations about the recent Hispanic presence on the island. Additionally, two morphosyntactic and one phonological feature typical of the Brogue dialect are analyzed. Past tense remorphologization of the negative forms of be, as in I weren't or she weren't, and the use of the static locative to in place of prepositional lexical items such as at, as in he's to the dock, are both common morphosyntactic features found along the Outer Banks and especially in Ocracoke (Schilling-Estes & Wolfram 1994; Wolfram, Hazen, & Schilling-Estes 1999; Vadnais 2006). Also, the relative backing of the nucleus of the glide ⁄ai⁄ in relation to ⁄⁄ production, creating such productions as hoi toid, is a salient and commonly referenced variation of this particular region (Wolfram & Schilling-Estes 1995; Craig 1994). While all three of these features are decreasing in relative usage, the distribution among different age and social groups leads to the usage differentiations analyzed in this thesis. Local groups, including the "Poker Game Network" (Wolfram & Schilling-Estes 1995, 1997; Wolfram, Hazen, & Schilling-Estes 1999) and the "Pelican Network" (identified in this thesis) help to clarify the definition of a "traditional" Ocracoke male. However, participating in such networks may not singularly correlate with the preservation of traditional island norms. Certain families and individuals seem to be the inspiration for the vision most islanders consider a true O'cocker, as they're called. en_US
dc.rights I hereby certify that, if appropriate, I have obtained and attached hereto a written permission statement from the owner(s) of each third party copyrighted matter to be included in my thesis, dis sertation, or project report, allowing distribution as specified below. I certify that the version I submitted is the same as that approved by my advisory committee. I hereby grant to NC State University or its agents the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible, under the conditions specified below, my thesis, dissertation, or project report in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. I retain all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis, dissertation or project report. I also retain the right to use in future works (such as articles or books) all or part of this thesis, dissertation, or project report. en_US
dc.subject ocracoke en_US
dc.subject regularized weren't en_US
dc.subject locative to en_US
dc.subject discourse analysis en_US
dc.subject dialect death en_US
dc.subject sociolinguistics en_US
dc.subject hoi toid en_US
dc.title Re-examining Dialect Recession in Ocracoke Island en_US MA en_US thesis en_US English en_US

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