2023 Undergraduate Research Showcase


Pattern Analysis of Perceived Dialect Regions

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Gail Shuck


This paper presents the results of a qualitative study conducted in the Boise State University LING 105 class during the spring of 2023, which investigated patterns in people's perceptions of language variation across the United States. The study involved collecting multiple maps of the US annotated by people who had lived in the US for more than a year, noting the perceived dialect regions and their descriptors. From the collection of maps, 50 were randomly selected and analyzed for similarities and differences, and the boundaries of the regions were manually traced and assigned a color based on the states they covered. The results revealed seven main "clouds" or areas of high line density, including the "South," Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan (WMM), the "East Coast," Hawaii, Alaska, Texas, and California. The paper discusses the distinct dialects and explores possible reasons behind the patterns of each cloud, including historical and cultural factors. Overall, the study provides insights into the complex and diverse nature of language variation across the United States.

This document is currently not available here.