This collection of essays demonstrates the importance of the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States (LAGS) as a defining linguistic study of this century, though one of the most underused. Emory University's Lee Pedersen directed and brought to completion the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, a cumulative study of the language patterns for eight states of the interior South, from Georgia west to Texas. The essays comprising From the Gulf States and Beyond include a comprehensive introduction to and assessment of that mammoth project along with ten essays of linguistic exploration. Four essays are specific studies showing the usefulness of LAGS materials. These include two essays that redefine linguistic boundaries in Alabama using LAGS data, an exploration of double models (such as might could), and an examination of gender-based language differences among LAGS informants. Other essays broaden the discussion to such allied areas as the interrelationship of LAGS and the Dictionary of American Regional English, other studies in dialectology, and further research involving lexical and onomastic data. From the Gulf States and Beyond demonstrates how LAGS material can be used to address issues important to sociolinguists, dialectologists, folklorists, and others about the speech and culture of the 20th-century South. In addition to the authors' own insights, these essays show how the LAGS project has created an enormous treasury for future research. The in-depth introduction to LAGS and the essays analyzing linguistic-atlas data make this volume an essential text for scholars analyzing LAGS and other linguistic atlas data as well as for linguistics courses in modern areal dialectology.
Michael Montgomery is Professor of English and Linguistics at the University of South Carolina and coeditor with James B. McMillan of Annotated Bibliography of Southern American English. Thomas Nunnally is Associate Professor of English at Auburn University and coeditor of Language Variety in the South Revisited, also published by this press.