Linguistics Posts

Language opens one to understanding the self and the world: The Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium

The Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium was a reminder of the ways today’s young people are preparing for the world. Undergraduates from all over the state came together to share their research and learn about the research of faculty at UMD and CSS.

How to Talk Minnesotan (Mocumentary)

how-to-talk-minnesotanVisiting or moving to Minnesota? Learn the native language and customs and feel right at home with simple lessons from the 1993 Twin Cities Public Television documentary “How to Talk Minnesotan.”

Accent in Duluth

I’m aware the “Minnesota accent” varies as you move north through the state, but apparently it also varies west-to-east in Duluth. But don’t take my word for it. I’m a transplant, twice.

Neighbors: Linguist keeps ear open for Duluth accents

Participants needed for Duluth linguistics survey

I’m a linguist at UMD working on a project on Duluth English. I need to find four people from the Lakeside-Lester area to use in the study. I’m looking for participants between the ages of 18-35 who have lived the majority of their lives in the Lakeside-Lester area.

If you have an extra hour and would be willing to make a couple of short audio recordings for me, please give me a shout at:

The recordings will take less than an hour, and I will pay $15 for your time. Thank you!

World’s Top Public Intellectual at Zinema

Sarah LaChance Adams, that is, with Noam Chomsky and Michel Gondry doing backup at the Zinema 2.

About 60 people, I would guess, maybe more, attended the Explorer’s Club showing of Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? on Tuesday night.


Map of American English Dialects

Minnesota Pronunciation Samples — Mayor Don Ness and “miner’s wife” Mildred Opacich represent Duluth. (By “represent” I mean that they are used as examples, not as the whole of the study by any means.)


Tongues Tied: UMD Linguistics Retirement

Michael D. Linn, UMD Linguistics professor and friend, celebrated his retirement this week. Linn is most famous, perhaps, for work in the Linguistic Atlas of our region. Mike is the reason that we know that the unique mix of ethnic communities in the Range produced more than 30 identifiable dialects. Maybe equally importantly, he explained (to me, at least) the ways that labor in the mines was fragmented and weakened when work groups were mixed together of people who did not speak the same language. No common language, no ability to organize unions. [Today, it seems, we are separated by a common language that keeps us from organizing. That’s my opinion, not Mike’s.]

Mike taught intro linguistics, topics in linguistics, and applied linguistics for teachers. I’m sure many teachers in Duluth learned their trade from Mike. He also taught writing. If you have any memories of Mike you’d like to share, comment below.

More info about Mike, including some indication of how he will spend retirement, can be found here