About Us

We are a group of faculty, staff, students and community members around Wisconsin and beyond who are exploring various aspects of English dialects spoken in Wisconsin, as well as other languages spoken in Wisconsin, currently and in the past.

In addition to researching, publishing and teaching about issues related to the languages of Wisconsin, WEP members engage with communities throughout the Midwest in the form of public talks and discussions, and interviews with print, radio, and television media. In our public discussions, participants help us explore how Wisconsinites talk, how our regional English has come to be so distinctive, and how the linguistic situation of Wisconsin is changing today. And we're happy to answer questions.

History

The Wisconsin Englishes Project (WEP) is a project of the Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures (CSUMC) and the Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies (MKI). The WEP began in 2006, with the goal of understanding:

Support

As a project of CSUMC and MKI, the WEP was generously supported by the Wisconsin Humanities Council in 2006 and 2007. The Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment supported the "Language Matters for Wisconsin" project, which ran from 2009-2011. Several projects related to the WEP have also received support from the University of Wisconsin – Madison Graduate School and Wisconsin Humanities Council, such as the project "Heritage Speakers in WI: Exploring German-American Settlements, Communities, and Languages through Public Presentations and Discussions" in 2012. CSUMC and MKI have partnered with WEP members and community members to support outreach events and provide materials, with continuous staff and financial support. Funding was also provided by the Kemper Knapp Bequest fund for undergraduates who worked with the Wisconsin Englishes Project and participated in our research-to-service model.

Wisconsin Englishes directors

Tom Purnell, Department of English, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Eric Raimy, Department of English, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Joe Salmons, Department of German, University of Wisconsin – Madison


Wisconsin Englishes Project members

Erica Benson
, Department of English, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire: Perception of dialect differences and boundaries, grammatical differences
Joan Hall, Chief Editor, Dictionary of American Regional English, University of Wisconsin – Madison: Words, dialects of American English, large-scale dialectological surveys
Mark Livengood, Wisconsin Humanities Council
Jennifer Mercer, German influences on Wisconsin English
Julia Plier, freelance lexicographer: Words
Tom Purnell, Department of English, University of Wisconsin – Madison: Production and perception of accent related to social class, ethnicity and geography
Eric Raimy, Department of English, University of Wisconsin – Madison: Sounds, language change, language acquisition
Kathryn Remlinger, Department of English, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI: Language and identity, language and ethnicity, the Upper Peninsula
Joe Salmons, Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and Department of German, University of Wisconsin – Madison: Sounds, language change, language and immigration
Luanne von Schneidemesser, Senior Editor emerita, Dictionary of American Regional English, University of Wisconsin – Madison: Words, language change, German borrowings in American English, large-scale dialectological surveys
Alyson Sewell, Department of German, University of Wisconsin – Madison: Production and perception of Wisconsin German and Wisconsin English, Wisconsin Englishes Project website design


Authors of Wisconsin Talk: Linguistic Diversity in the Badger State
Susan Meredith Burt, Department of English, Illinois State University
Mark Livengood, Wisconsin Humanities Council
Felecia Lucht, Department of Classical and Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Wayne State University
Monica Macaulay, Department of Linguistics, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Antje Petty, Max Kade Institute for German-American Studies, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Tom Purnell, Department of English, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Eric Raimy, Department of English, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Joe Salmons, Department of German, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Luanne von Schneidemesser, Senior Editor emerita, Dictionary of American Regional English, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Peyton Smith, Assistant Vice Chancellor Emeritus, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Kristin Speth, Department of German, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Catherine Stafford, Department of Spanish and Portugese, University of Wisconsin – Madison
Karen Washinawatok, former Director, Menominee Language and Culture Commission

Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures staff

James Leary, Director
Ruth Olson, Associate Director


Contact

If you have questions or comments about our work, please email Joseph Salmons: jsalmons@wisc.edu