Document Type



Master of Arts


Department of English

First Advisor's Name

Phillip M. Carter

First Advisor's Committee Title

Major professor

Second Advisor's Name

Melissa Baralt

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Ellen Thompson

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Date of Defense



Scholarship in folk dialectology has successfully demonstrated that folk beliefs about language vary wildly according to geographical region. The current study, an analysis of non-linguists’ beliefs toward language in Florida and Miami-Dade County, reports on the results of a study using Dennis Preston’s draw-a- map technique, processed with ArcGIS. Two maps, a map which depicted a minimally-labeled outline of the State of Florida, and a second map which depicted the outline of Miami-Dade County, were given to 46 participants. When collected, the maps were scanned and geo-referenced into ArcGIS, a Geographical Information Systems (GIS)-based tool used to process perceptual dialectology data using techniques outlined by Montgomery and Stoeckle (2013). Analysis of the map data shows that participants perceive the state of Florida as a multidimensional language continuum from the state line in the north to the southern tip of the peninsula, and perceive multiple, distinct language communities in Miami-Dade County. These findings suggest that South Florida residents connect language varieties strongly with distinct geographic and perceived sociocultural spaces.



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