The Raleigh Project

The Changing Landscape of Language in the Urban South

Over the last decade the linguistics program at NC State has studied how language in North Carolina’s capital city has changed as Raleigh has transformed from a “small town” to a thriving urban center. Linguistics faculty Robin Dodsworth and Jim Michnowicz--along with the help of numerous energetic students--have gathered hundreds of interviews from lifelong Raleigh-ites, both young and old, English- and Spanish-speaking. The ongoing project has so far resulted in numerous publications--in academic as well as popular presses--and new understanding about the relationship between language and urbanization.

How do we collect linguistic data?

What do we know so far?

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Recent Publications

2015. Forrest, Jon. “Community Rules and Speaker Behavior: Individual Adherence to Group Constraints on (ING)”.  Language Variation and Change, 27(03), 377-406. Link.

2014. Dodsworth, Robin. Network Embeddedness and the Retreat from Southern Vowels in Raleigh. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Selected Papers from NWAV 42. Link.

2013. Dodsworth, Robin and Mary Kohn. Dialect reallocation in Southern U.S. English. M. Putz, Monika Reif, and J. Robinson (eds.) Variation in Language and Language Use: Linguistic, Socio-Cultural, and Cognitive Perspectives. Frankfurt: Peter Lang. 16-35. Link.

2013. Dodsworth, Robin. Retreat from the Southern Vowel Shift in Raleigh, NC: Social Factors. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Selected Papers from NWAV 41. Link.

2012. Dodsworth, Robin and Mary Kohn. Urban rejection of the vernacular: The SVS undone. Language Variation and Change, 24: 221-245. Link.