Opportunities for Giving to CU Linguistics

The Colorado Dialect Project

The dialects spoken in Colorado are in many ways richer than even most  locals realize. For instance, Colorado English is consistently identified as among the 'best' forms of English in the US by people from other regions. At the same time, the way that Coloradoans talk has long been recognized by sociolinguists as distinct from the English spoken in other parts of the West and Midwest. Further, there is no single type of Colorado English, as the Rocky Mountain region is home to numerous dialects, some of which have remained relatively isolated since settlement during the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in the mid-1800s. Colorado’s important role in the early American West also set the stage for interaction among speakers of a number of different languages. In addition to different varieties of English, Colorado is home to indigenous languages like Arapaho and the special dialects of Spanish spoken in southwestern communities founded before the arrival of English-speaking settlers. Despite Colorado’s fascinating linguistic history, very little linguistic research has focused specifically on our state. Scholars in the Linguistics department have therefore created a research initiative called the Colorado Dialect Project (CDP)  in order to learn more about what makes Colorado dialects unique. Donations to the CDP will provide support for data collection throughout the state and the establishment of a multimedia library that will provide resources for teaching about language in Colorado.

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