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Dialectical Variation in Contra Dance

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dc.contributor.advisor Napoli, Donna Jo, 1948-
dc.contributor.author Kaufman, Jeff
dc.date.accessioned 2013-01-22T15:36:04Z
dc.date.available 2013-01-22T15:36:04Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10066/10184
dc.description.abstract Spoken language usually exhibits dialectical variation. Most of the variation is phonological, with specific sounds being pronounced differently in different regions. This is not, however, specific to speech; we find the same thing in contra dance. Contra is composed of short figures comparable to phonemes, and the patterns of variation in these figures suggest regional and social dialects. As with spoken dialects, the variation is not large enough to keep people from different regions from being able to dance with one another; regional differences tend to be largely alternate conventions about hand placement as opposed to full body movement. Contra dance has other parallels with natural language and this paper argues that linguistic methods are generally applicable. Thirty two weekly or monthly dances and four dance festivals, mostly restricted to the Eastern United States, were examined for this paper, providing data for isogloss maps of the variant forms. From these maps one dialect, a north eastern one, is apparent but the data suggests a dialect continuum for interpreting the variation over the rest of the studied area. en
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Linguistics en
dc.language.iso en_US en
dc.rights Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
dc.title Dialectical Variation in Contra Dance en
dc.type Thesis (B.A.)


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