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Wisconsin Public Radio: Heritage Languages in Wisconsin

A heritage language is one that’s spoken in the home, but not developed outside of it. Our guest says that comes with social and economic costs. We look at the state of heritage languages in Wisconsin and what legislators and communities can do to expand dual language programs across the state.

 


Ya hey: Accents, Vocabulary, Culture Make Wisconsin a Linguist’s Dream

Wisconsin is fertile ground for me as a linguist because its rich diversity of languages, dialects and accents makes it a natural laboratory – one of the best in North America…

 

 

(Click on the Link above to Read More)


MIL-TALK-EE: Inside the Milwaukee Dialect

Listen once, hey. Here in the Cream City, we have a dialect all our own, aina?

(Click on the Link above to Read More)

 

 


Wisconsin’s Native Tribes Are Taking Action
to Keep Their Languages from Dying Out

The speakers of Wisconsin’s native languages have dwindled to a few elders, but tribes are rallying to ensure this critical element of their culture is preserved.

(Click on the Link above to Read More)

Past Events

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Reviews of Wisconsin Talk

  • Language, vol. 90, pp. 545-548, reviewed by Wayne O’Neil, June 2014. This review, by one of the leading figures in bringing linguistics into education, does a beautiful job of putting the book into the context of the Wisconsin Idea.
  • Menominee Nation News, reviewed by Christopher Anderson, April 7, 2014.
  • Isthmus, reviewed by Julia Burke, September 19, 2013, “Wisconsin Talk is a smart, amusing look at our state’s linguistic quirks.”

Print and Web Media

Television Appearances

  • ABC Univision News, Study shows Latinos Learn English Faster than German Immigrants.
  • WEAU TV13, Eau Claire, Wisconsin. On-air interview on Wisconsin dialects with Judy Clark. News 13 Today, December 20, 2006 [No link available].
  • WISCTV3, Madison, Wisconsin, April 12, 2006: Television interview with Thomas Purnell.

Presentations and Talks

  • Tuesday, October 7, 2014, 12:15-1:00 pm. “History Sandwiched In”, Wisconsin Historical Museum, 30 N. Carroll Street, on Madison’s Capitol Square.
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014, 7:00 pm. Spring Green Community Library, Spring Green, Wisconsin.
  • Thursday, April 10, 2014, Wisconsin Alumni Association, Austin Chapter. Founders’ Day. The Languages of Wisconsin.
  • Saturday, February 8, 2014,Wisconsin Talk book signing, UW Press booth, Garden Expo, Alliant Energy Center, Madison.
  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014, Spring Green Community Library, Spring Green, Wisconsin.
  • Thursday, April 10, 2014, Wisconsin Alumni Association, Austin Chapter. Founders’ Day. The Languages of Wisconsin.
  • October 24, 2013, A discussion about the book “Wisconsin Talk: Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State” with two of the three co-editors, Joseph Salmons and Eric Raimy, at the McMillan Memorial Library.
  • October 18, 2013, A discussion about the book “Wisconsin Talk: Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State” with the three co-editors, Joseph Salmons, Eric Raimy and Thomas Purnell, as part of Madison Public Library’s Wisconsin Book Festival.
  • Presentations as part of the Language Matters for Wisconsin project, supported by The Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment from 2009-2011. Information, handouts, and videos of certain public events can be found on the Language Matters for Wisconsin project website (under the Outreach/Publicity tab).
    • February 24, 2008: Manitowoc Public Library
    • April 13, 2008: Mead Public Library, Sheboygan
    • April 20, 2008: Old Royal Inn, Mineral Point
    • April 21, 2008: Gateway Technical College, Kenosha
    • April 26, 2008: La Crosse Public Library
    • May 19, 2008: Rhinelander District Library
    • May 29, 2008: Appleton Public Library
    • June 7, 2007: Beaver Dam Community Library
    • June 21, 2007: Watertown Public Library
    • October 17, 2007: UW–Marathon County Theater, Wausau
    • October 23, 2007: UW-Superior Rothwell Student Center
    • October 23, 2007: UW-Superior Multicultural Center
    • October 25, 2007: Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center, Ashland
    • November 13, 2007: Portage County Public Library
    • April 1, 2006: UW-Madison Union South
    • March 27, 2006: Plaza Hotel & Suites Conference Center, Eau Claire
    • March 22, 2006: Milwaukee Public Library

Radio Interviews

  • Western Spectrum, Wisconsin Public Radio, June 26, 2014: Al Ross talks to Eric Raimy and Joe Salmons about language in Wisconsin.
  • WORT 89.9 FM, Madison, October 16, 2013: “A Public Affair: Discussion of the book WISCONSIN TALK.”
  • Wisconsin Public Radio, Central Time, July 22, 2013: Rob Ferrett and Gene Purcell talk with Tom Purnell about how where you are from in the US determines how you say things (about 30:00 into the show).
  • KPCC, 89.3 FM, Southern California Public Radio, July 17, 2011: “After 23 years in the U.S., should an immigrant be expected to speak English?” With guest Joseph Salmons.
  • Language Matters: Joseph Salmons interviewed on Norwegian national radio (Kulturnytt, NRK) about the influences of immigrant languages on English, September 7, 2010.
  • National Public Radio, Jennifer Luden, April 7, 2009: “In Rural Wisconsin, German Reigned for Decades.”
  • WRJN Newstalk 1400 AM, Racine, WI. April 22, 2008: Radio interview by Pete Ferrand with Joe Salmons.
  • WBEV 1430 AM, June 6, 2007, Community Comment: “‘Skahnsin English.”
  • WORT 89.9 FM, Madison, May 30, 2007, “A Public Affair.”
  • Interview with Steve Roisum, WPR La Crosse, October 10, 2006: “Wisconsin Dialects Are Changing.”
  • WIBA 1310, Madison, Wisconsin, March 30, 2006: “Dueling dialects in the Badger State.” Radio interview with Joe Salmons and Thomas Purnell.
  • WTCB-FM, Columbia, South Carolina, March 28, 2006: Radio interview with Joe Salmons and Tony Clyburn.
  • Whad’Ya Know? Radio show, March 25, 2006: Part one.
  • Wisconsin Public Radio, interview with Ben Merens, March 22, 2006.

External Websites

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Dialect and Linguistics Websites

DARE. The Dictionary of American Regional English. Documenting the varieties of English—those words, pronunciations, and phrases—that vary from one region to another.

Workshop on Immigrant Languages in the Americas. This small annual workshop deals with heritage languages, with a lot on the Upper Midwest and Wisconsin.

Bert Vaux’s dialect survey . An extensive on-line survey of American dialects. The first Dialect Survey has been completed, and the resulting maps and statistics are available.

Phonological Atlas of North America. This website, connected to the massive book by Labov et al., contains lots of information about vowel differences across American dialects.

American Dialect Society. The professional organization for people interested in American dialects and publishers of the journal American Speech.

Studying Varieties of English. Created by Raymond Hickey, Chair of English Linguistics, Essen University, Germany, this site is intended for students of linguistics—or any other interested persons—concerned with varieties of the English language

William Labov. The leading figure in the study of American English vowels and founder of ‘variationist’ sociolinguistics.

American Languages: Our Nation’s Many Languages Online. A project aimed at digitizing, interpreting, and making accessible important fieldwork audio collections capturing a variety of American languages and dialects. Incorporates materials from the Dictionary of American Regional English and the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies. See also the developing digital collection of recordings at UW–Madison.

A way with words. A public radio program about language examined through history, culture, and family.

Related Organizations

Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures (CSUMC) . Committed to the languages and cultural traditions of this region’s diverse peoples, CSUMC fosters research and the preservation of archival collections, while producing educational and outreach programs for a broad public audience.

Language Sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. The hub for linguistics and language-related work on campus.

The Linguistic Society of America. The place to go for professional connections in linguistics.

National Heritage Language Resource Center NHLRC is developing effective pedagogical approaches to teaching heritage language learners, both by creating a research base and by pursuing curriculum design, materials development, and teacher education.

Blogs

Miss Pronouncer. A pronunciation guide for everything Wisconsin.

Language Log. The most widely read linguistics blog.