DescriptionAn Introduction to American English explores American English in the context of American history and institutions, while also making comparisons with British English.
List of Tables.
Part I: Writing it and Saying it:.
2. Writing American or British.
3. The Pronunciation of American English.
Part II: American History for Language Students:.
2. Geography: Background.
3. Before English.
4. The Colonial Period.
5. From Independence to Civil War.
The Civil War 1861–5.
6. After the Civil War.
Reconstruction in the South 1865–77.
The Situation of African Americans.
Further Territorial Expansion.
Industrial and Financial Expansion; Immigration.
Social Problems and Labor Relations.
The Women's Movement.
Religious Movements and Fundamentalism.
Domestic Politics in the Twentieth Century.
Part III: Running America: Government and Education:.
2. Government According to the US Constitution.
3. Political Parties.
5. State and Local Government.
Part IV: Life and Language in the United States:.
3. Eating in America, Shopping and Paying.
4. Living Quarters.
5. What to Wear.
6. Getting Around.
7. Names in North America.
8. Life and Language.
Part V: American English Vocabulary: A Systematic View:.
2. What is an Americanism?.
3. How Can we Find Out About Differences between American and British English?.
4. A Typology of Differences.
A Form-Based Classification.
A Classification Based on Semantic Categories.
6. Enlarging and Changing the Vocabulary.
Creations and Words of Unknown Origin.
Some Useful Dictionaries.
Part VI: Caught Out or Caught Off Base? Metaphors in American English:.
2. Money and Business Metaphors.
3. Food Metaphors.
4. Sports Metaphors.
5. Transportation Metaphors: Trains, Cars, and Highways.
6. Gun Metaphors.
7. Political Metaphors.
8. Spatial Metaphors: Where It's At.
Part VII: The Grammar of American English:.
2. Nouns and Articles.
3. Verbs and Auxiliaries.
Verb Forms (Morphology).
Aspect and Tense.
The Mandative Subjunctive.
Questions with How Come?.
Relative Pronouns and Other Relative Markers.
6. Adverbs and Adverbials.
Adverb or Adjective?.
Indefinite Adverbs: Someplace, Anyplace, Noplace.
Special Uses of Adverbs: Sure, Enough, Ever.
9. Concluding Remarks.
Part VIII: Using English in the United States.
2. Spoken Interaction.
What Can you Talk About?.
Openings and Closings.
Making the Right Noises: Vocalizations and Marginal Words.
Discourse Markers and Hedges.
Verbs of Saying, "Quotatives".
3. Politeness in Interaction: Talking to Others.
Excuses and Apologies.
Forms of Address.
Self-Assertiveness in Conversation.
Expressions of Emotions, Swearing and Cursing.
4. Politeness and Political Correctness: Talking About Others.
Gender and Language.
Part IX: Varieties of American English:.
1. Introduction: Regional and Social Variation in Language.
2. Dialectology and Sociolinguistics.
3. Regional Dialects.
Features of Other American Dialects.
4. Social Varieties (Sociolects).
Sociolinguistic Variation in New York City.
Widespread Non-Standard Features.
5. Ethnic Varieties.
Black English/African American Vernacular English.
Other Ethnic Varieties.
6. Varieties and Standards.
Part X: Language Politics in the United States: English and Other Languages:.
2. Population Structure and Linguistic Diversity.
3. Native American Languages.
4. Immigrant Languages.
5. Language Politics in the United States.
Language and Education: A Historical Survey.
For "Official English".
Against "English Only".
English Language Laws.
Bilingual Education: The Case of California.
6. American English in the United States and in the World.
Index of Alphabetisms and Acronyms.
Index of Zip Codes for States.
--Jean Aitchison, Worcester College, University of Oxford
"I have many excellent European students whose English grammar is first-class but who have no idea what a sophomore is. This book is a wonderful introduction to the interface between American English and American society which attends not only to linguistic detail but also to the way in which the culture of Americans is reflected in their language."
--Peter Trudgill, Fribourg University
"This textbook is thus highly recommended to students of English with basic reading knowledge and teachers of English (prospective teachers, too) as a second or foreign language virtually anywhere in the world. Native speakers of American English will also find this book interesting." (Journal of Sociolinguistics)
"Overall, this book not only provides a clear overview of the distinguishing characteristics of American English but also the historical and cultural background to explain those characteristics." (Studies in Second Language Acquisition)
- Investigates the cultural and social factors that make American vocabulary unique
- Offers a systematic treatment of word-formation in American English with up-to-date examples
- Provides extensive coverage of pragmatics and grammatical features