Linguistic planets of belief: Mapping language attitudes in the american south

Paulina Bounds, Jennifer Cramer, Susan Tamasi

Research output: Book/ReportBookpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Linguistic Planets of Belief presents a way for people to notice, examine, and question the role language plays in identifying, recognizing, and understanding those around them. This book introduces the metaphor of ‘planets of belief’ as a framework for understanding both the connections of language and identity, and the reasons we hold these perceptions so dear. It explains why we make up our minds about who people are and what they are like, even if they have only spoken a few words to us, as well as how language can dictate what we think of others as a whole. In doing so, it: •Takes a large survey of linguistic research in the field of perceptual dialectology and assesses hundreds of accounts of people and their speech from hundreds of respondents. •Uses maps at the state, regional, and national level in the US to expose how our linguistic perceptions of geographical regions cluster into planets of belief. •Challenges readers to critically assess these assumptions and empowers readers to shift the way they think about language and to understand why they stereotype others based on speech. Equipped with such a large data set, Linguistic Planets of Belief explains the patterns that labels from perceptual maps show us and will make you consciously aware of the interaction between language use, perceptions, and stereotypes. It is essential interdisciplinary reading for students of English language, linguistics, and sociolinguistics, and will also be of interest to anyone concerned with the ways that language, ideology, and discrimination intersect.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages162
ISBN (Electronic)9781351033817
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Paulina Bounds, Jennifer Cramer and Susan Tamasi.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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