1. The phonemic system of PG. The particulars of the phonemic system of PG has occasionally been the subject of some debate; however, most sources seem to agree with the one laid out by Buffington and Barba (1965), which is laid out in Appendix 1. For the purposes of the current discussion, the most important disagreement with this system is the one raised by Beam (1982) and Stine (1990),2 who claim that Buffington and Barba's long [æ] is actually pronounced either as [ei] or [e:] (which one is not entirely clear).3 Bowie (forthcoming) has noted that in the Pennsylvanian dialects of PG (that is, the dialects that LAPG covers) there has been a change in the vowel system (which is either in progress or was frozen at some point before it reached completion) such that pre-rhotic short front vowels have been lowered from the positions shown in diagram (1); this is not exactly the phenomenon that this paper deals with (see section 2), but it is a closely related one. Bowie did not deal with the variation within the system, however, and the contents of LAPG give one a chance to look at the variation as it is distributed geographically to see whether geography had had any impact on the changes occurring in PG by the time that the interviews for LAPG were made.
3. The atlas used in this study. The atlas used for this study is, as already noted, A linguistic atlas of Pennsylvania German (Reed and Seifert 1954). LAPG covers part of southeastern Pennsylvania, with a total of 104 informants in the following counties (the number in parentheses after each county is the number of informants from there): Berks (27), Lehigh (21), Lancaster (15, all from the northern half), Schuylkill (7), Snyder (6), Dauphin (5), Northumberland (5), Lebanon (4), Bucks (3), Montgomery (3), Carbon (2), Juniata (2), Monroe(1), Northampton (1), Union (1), and York (1). There are seventy-nine maps of this area showing variants of individual lexical items by informant, and an additional five showing isoglosses in this region, of which only one is not derived from other maps in the volume, along with a base map of the region (showing the location of all but two of the informants, who were located off the map) and two colonial-era historical maps showing the county borders in the region and a very rough sketch of the roads in the area, both as of 1776, as well as a map of Pennsylvania showing all of the counties of the state with the PG speech areas shaded in; from this last map it is apparent that the atlas looks only at non-plain speech communities, as Washington and Chester counties are both completely unshaded, and both had significant numbers of PG-speaking plain communities at the time. Finally, the atlas contains ten maps of southwestern Germany showing parallels to some of the maps of southeastern Pennsylvania, as well as one base map of southwestern Germany and one map of the Rhine-Palatinate in the eighteenth century. It should be noted that LAPG was apparently released as a preliminary report on the authors' research into variation in the area it covers, and perhaps as a result unfortunately contains no sociolinguistically useful information about the informants such as age, occupation, educational level, &c. If there were other atlases that could be used to add to the information available in LAPG it would be welcomed, but both my own search as well as searches by Richard C. Beam and Jennifer L. Griffith (personal contact) attempting to find one have to date been fruitless.5
4. Materials used for mapping. The particular maps chosen for mapping in this study have already been mentioned in this report; they are barig/baerig (LAPG map 8), farschde/faerschde (LAPG 10), kere/kaere (LAPG 12), bodem/bode/flor (LAPG 37), and weschbailer/weschboiler/weschkessel (LAPG 39). The individual points on these maps were entered into an Excel spreadsheet (a copy of which is appended to this paper in Appendix 2) with seven columns; the first column is the nearest town along with a rough approximation of where the point lies in relation to that town (if necessary), the second column is the ZIP code of that town, and the final five columns contain one-letter codes indicating what was spoken by each of those informants.6 The values from this spreadsheet were them transferred into MapInfo 4.0 in order to produce the maps attached to this report.
5.0. Maps showing regional variation. Seven maps were produced with MapInfo 4.0 and the ADC WorldMap North America CD-ROM, and they are contained in Appendix 3 (and, in the HTML version, with their descriptions below).7 Each of these maps will be discussed separately below, with discussion of the interaction of the information contained on the maps being reserved until later in this report.
6. Co-occurrence and non-co-occurrence of PG variants. A look at the map with all of the isoglosses reveals some interesting co-occurrences. Most strikingly, there is a bundle of isoglosses 2-a2, 3-a, 5-b2, and perhaps 4-b at the northern border of Lancaster County, and 2-a2 and 5-b2 continue together as they cut across the Susquehanna Valley. Other points where isoglosses bundle together can be seen in the northeastern section of the map, where isoglosses 1-a and 5-a bundle together for a short distance, and in the north central region of the map, where isoglosses 1-a and 2-a1 bundle together as they cross the foothills of the Alleghenies; Also important to note, although perhaps of less interest, is the fact that the variation surrounded by isogloss 2-b3 covers much of the same region as the variation found between isoglosses 3-a and 3-b. On the other hand, some items that might be expected to co-occur do not; except for the short stretches noted earlier, the isoglosses from Maps 1-3 do not match, and the isoglosses showing borrowing versus non-borrowing of particular words (that is, isoglosses 4-a, 5-b1, and 5-b2) do not match at all.
7.1. The effects of geography: Barriers and apparent barriers. There are two major geographical features in the area under study that would seem likely to have an effect of blocking the spread of innovations among speakers of PG--the Susquehanna River and the beginning of the Allegheny Mountains. However, the only bundling of isoglosses that has anything to do with these features is the merging for a short stretch of isoglosses 1-a and 2-a1, and this is a rather unsatisfactory result, as they cross the mountains together rather than are blocked by the mountains together. However, one of the historical maps in LAPG explains this problem--LAPG's Map 4 gives a very rough sketch of the roads in the region as of 1776,8 and one of the roads crosses the mountains at approximately that point (stopping short of the Susquehanna River). Then, once one thinks to look at the roads, other isoglosses are explained--beyond the example already mentioned, isoglosses 4-a and 5-a follows roads for their entire length. Interestingly, these last two are cases of lexical diffusion, and even more interestingly, isoglosses 4-a and 5-a are those that mark the farthest spread of the most English-like form. In those two cases it appears that the roads actually marked the borders for speech regions, such that for some reason heavy borrowing from English was blocked by particular roads. In the case of isoglosses 1-a and 2-a1 crossing the Allegheny foothills together at a road, it may be that the road in question did not function as a barrier, but actually served as one conduit (out of multiple ones, most likely) for innovations to be spread, but that the innovations (as well as the older forms) were carried by those passing through the towns in the Allegheny foothills into the Susquehanna Valley beyond. It should be noted that the road these two isoglosses follow ended with the descent into the Susquehanna Valley (and it was the only eighteenth-century road to cross any part of the Alleghenies within the area being studied), so it is unfortunately not possible at this time to determine what effect migration patterns had in the Susquehanna Valley.
7.2. The effects of geography: Conduits. West of the Susquehanna River and southeast of the Allegheny foothills, it does not appear that there are any natural features in the PG-speaking region to block the expansion of innovations, and looking at the eighteenth-century roadway system, it seems that certain roads worked as conduits for the expansion of phonological change in southeastern Pennsylvania. The most striking of these is isogloss 5-b1, which runs perpendicular to a cluster of roads emanating from Bethlehem (in Northampton County) and Hosensack (in Lehigh County). This is so striking because one of the roads it runs perpendicular to--and therefore one of the roads it appears to have used as a path for spreading--is the same road that isogloss 5-a found such a barrier. Similarly, isogloss 4-b cuts directly across several roads, suggesting that its spread was aided by lines of communication marked by roads, and in this case again the roads cut across were roads that were a barrier to the spread of lexical forms borrowed from English.
8. The special status of Lancaster County. To this point mention has been avoided of the most striking bundling of isoglosses, which occurs at about the northern border of Lancaster County. Upon seeing such a thing, one might expect that there is some sort of geographical feature that marks that line, but there are no natural features to cause such isoglosses, nor is there any close association with a particular road or roads, either as a barrier or a conduit for the spread of change. One explanation for this, however, may exist in the population of PG speakers in Lancaster County--although Lancaster County (particularly northern Lancaster County) has consistently been the home to the greatest concentration of plain PG speakers in Pennsylvania, it does not seem to be mentioned very often as a center for large numbers of non-plain PG speakers, which means that the difference in Lancaster County may be that the non-plain PG speakers (who, as was mentioned earlier in this paper, are the population LAPG focuses on) would be more likely to have more contact with plain speakers of PG than the non-plain PG speakers in other counties. The only problem with this sort of idea is that it makes it seem likely that the non-plain PG speakers in Lancaster County would be more likely to speak like their plain counterparts, when this is not the case--in general, reports from the field have found that plain PG speakers are more likely to use English borrowings than the non-plain (see Huffines 1988 and Fuller 1996 for discussion and further references), and so if the extensive contact between plain and non-plain PG speakers in Lancaster County is the cause of the differentiation of Lancaster County speech from that of the rest of the region then it would have to be the non-plain speakers marking themselves linguistically as non-plain. In the end it seems likely that this contact is at least part of the cause for the differentiation of Lancaster County speech from the rest of the region, but further research needs to be undertaken in this area.9
9. Summary. In the end, there are not many firm conclusions that can be drawn from this preliminary excursion into LAPG, but there are a few hypotheses that can be drawn to explain the variation in PG that LAPG captures. These hypotheses are listed in (2), in some cases along with a couple of additional thoughts on the matter.
|Accented short vowels:|
|a||a||glatt 'smooth,' ball 'soon'|
|æ||ae||aernscht 'earnest,' Maetsch 'match'|
|e||e||gewwe 'to give,' Wedder 'weather'|
|ɪ||i||dick 'thick,' Kind 'child'|
|ʌ||o||Dochder 'daughter,' oft 'often'|
|ʊ||u||Buch 'book,' Budder 'butter'|
|Accented long vowels:|
|ɔː||aa/aah/o||Naas 'nose,' Raahm 'cream'|
|æː||ae||Aerd 'earth,' gaern 'gladly'|
|eː||e/ee/eeh/eh||lese 'to read,' See 'sea'|
|iː||ie/ieh||grie 'green,' frieh 'early'|
|oː||o/oo/oh||rot 'red,' Boot 'boat'|
|uː||u/uu/uh||Hut 'hat,' Schuh 'shoe'|
|ə||e||hawwe 'to have,' brode 'to fry'|
|i||i||scheeni 'pretty,' gleeni 'little'|
|a||er||Bruder 'brother,' vergesse 'to forget'|
|au||au||Gaul 'horse,' Haus 'house'|
|ai||ei||heit 'today,' mei 'my'|
|ɔi||oi||Hoi 'hay,' Moi 'May'|
|b||b||beisse 'to bite,' Lumbe 'rag'|
|j/x||ch||Bicher 'books,' Dach 'roof'|
|d||d||drei 'three,' Bruder 'brother'|
|f||f||Fenschder 'window,' uff 'up/on'|
|g/j||g||gewwe 'to give,' Regge 'rain'|
|h||h||hawwe 'to have,' Hund 'dg'|
|k||c/ck/gh||wacker 'awake,' gheere 'heard'|
|l||l||Loch 'hole,' alt 'old'|
|m||m||Messer 'knife,' Raahm 'cream'|
|n||n||nee 'no,' Mann 'man'|
|ŋ||ng||Ring 'ring,' englisch 'English'|
|p||p/bh||Peif 'pipe,' bhalde 'to keep'|
|r||r||rufe 'to call,' Biere 'pears'|
|s||s/ss||Seel 'soul,' besser 'better'|
|ʃ||sch||scheisse 'to shoot,' wesche 'to wash'|
|tʃ||tsch||Tschab 'job,' rutsche 'to slide'|
|t||t||Tax 'tax,' Tee 'tea'|
|f||v||vier 'four,' viel 'much'|
|v||w/ww||was 'what,' gewwe 'to give'|
|ks||x||Hex 'witch,' nix 'nothing'|
|j||y||yung 'young,' Yaahr 'year'|
|ts||z/tz||zwee 'two,' Zeit 'time'|
|Community||ZIP Code||barig/ baerig||farschde/ faerschde||kere/ kaere||bodem/ bode/ flor||weschbailer/ weschboiler/ weschkessel|
|Mt Pleasant Mills(SE)||17853||a||a||a||f||a|
|Mt Pleasant Mills(SW)||17853||a||a||a||e||a|
1 The plain groups are the "old order," or highly conservative, Amish and Mennonite groups, as well as many of the Hutterites and Moravians.
2 Stine's (1990) mention of this is basically simply a reaffirmation of Beam's (1982) claim.
3 This claim regarding the pronunciation of the digraph ae could possibly be looked at more closely in future inquiries into variation in PG vowels.
4 Please note that here and elsewhere in this paper I follow the Buffington and Barba (1965) orthographic system (see Appendix 1) by writing as ae what LAPG gives as ä. Either way the sound is the same (æ); the orthography of LAPG appears to simply be a reflection of the fact that it was published in Germany, where the umlauted vowel symbols are generally preferred to the digraph vowel+e.
5 Of course, further information may be hiding in particular university archives somewhere. For such searches, the first places to look would likely be the Universität Marburg (where LAPG was published), the University of Washington (where Reed was when it was published), the University of Wisconsin (where Seifert was at the time), and Johann-Wolfgang-Goethe-Universität (where Reed wrote the introduction to LAPG).
6 Some points were given a ZIP code of 13000 in this table; this is because they have no listing in the Postal Service's listings. Most of these towns do exist, though, but finding the ZIP code for them in order to add them to the maps remains a project for the future.
7 Appendix 3 of the paper version of this report contains fourteen maps, while in the HTML version there are only seven maps. This is because both color and black-and-white maps are attached to the paper copy of the report, while the HTML copy includes only color maps. The black-and-white maps were included in the paper edition because they can be more easily photocopied.
8 It is such a rough sketch of the roads, in fact, that I have avoided including a copy of it for this report, feeling that the whole question of when what roads were where would best be served by finding other sources with a clearer picture of what the situation actually was (as well as finding out what the roads were like in the mid-nineteenth century).
9 It would be most interesting to find out whether the supposition that all speakers interviewed for LAPG were non-plain PG speakers is, in fact, correct. If it is not, and some of the (usually Lancaster County) speakers who preferred German-descent forms were plain PG speakers, that would shed some historical light on when plain PG speakers began converging toward English as a means of maintaining their PG (Huffines 1988).
10 In my opinion, at least.
1-1 The "sound" is gleaned from Buffington and Barba's (1965) description; the orthography and examples are those given by them. Their orthography is given because LAPG uses a closely related one.