Wisconsin Englishes

Here are a few aspects of Wisconsin English varieties that we are investigating:

Sample Perception Surveys

Below are some sample materials developed by Erica Benson (UW-Eau Claire) for testing where people perceive dialect boundaries in Wisconsin. How would you answer the questions? Do you think people from other locations would have similar perceptions?

Task 1: Dialect Map

On this map, outline areas where you think people speak differently from you. Label these areas in some way and, if possible, give some examples of the speech characteristics.

lank map

Task 2: Correctness

Use the following scale to rate each numbered area/city in terms of how correct you think the language spoken in those areas and cities sounds, using the map below.

Least correct----------A-----B-----C-----D-----E----------Most correct

Map 2
  1. Northern Minnesota
  2. Southwest Minnesota
  3. Southeast Minnesota
  4. Upper Northwest Wisconsin
  5. Upper Northeast Wisconsin
  6. Central Northwest Wisconsin
  7. Central Northeast Wisconsin
  8. Central Southwest Wisconsin
  9. Central Southeast Wisconsin
  10. Lower Southwest Wisconsin
  11. Lower Southwest Wisconsin
  12. Upper Peninsula of Michigan
  13. Northern Lower Michigan
  14. Southwest Lower Michigan
  15. Southeast Lower Michigan
  16. Northwest Iowa
  17. Northeast Iowa
  18. Southwest Iowa
  19. Southeast Iowa
  20. Northwest Illinois
  21. Northeast Illinois
  22. Southwest Illinois
  23. Southeast Illinois
  24. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  25. Eau Claire , WI
  26. Green Bay , WI
  27. Madison , WI
  28. Milwaukee , WI
  29. Detroit , MI
  30. Chicago , IL

Task 3: Pleasantness

Use the following scale to rate each numbered area/city in the map from Task 2 in terms of how pleasant you think the language spoken in those areas and cities sounds.

Least pleasant----------A-----B-----C-----D-----E----------Most pleasant

  1. Northern Minnesota
  2. Southwest Minnesota
  3. Southeast Minnesota
  4. Upper Northwest Wisconsin
  5. Upper Northeast Wisconsin
  6. Central Northwest Wisconsin
  7. Central Northeast Wisconsin
  8. Central Southwest Wisconsin
  9. Central Southeast Wisconsin
  10. Lower Southwest Wisconsin
  11. Lower Southwest Wisconsin
  12. Upper Peninsula of Michigan
  13. Northern Lower Michigan
  14. Southwest Lower Michigan
  15. Southeast Lower Michigan
  16. Northwest Iowa
  17. Northeast Iowa
  18. Southwest Iowa
  19. Southeast Iowa
  20. Northwest Illinois
  21. Northeast Illinois
  22. Southwest Illinois
  23. Southeast Illinois
  24. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  25. Eau Claire , WI
  26. Green Bay , WI
  27. Madison , WI
  28. Milwaukee , WI
  29. Detroit , MI
  30. Chicago , IL

Task 4: Similarity

Use the following scale to rate each numbered area/city in the map from Task 2 in terms of how different you think the language spoken in those areas and cities sounds in comparison to how people speak where you're from.

Scale:

A = exactly like [your town, e.g. Eau Claire]

B = a little different

C = somewhat different

D = different

  1. Northern Minnesota
  2. Southwest Minnesota
  3. Southeast Minnesota
  4. Upper Northwest Wisconsin
  5. Upper Northeast Wisconsin
  6. Central Northwest Wisconsin
  7. Central Northeast Wisconsin
  8. Central Southwest Wisconsin
  9. Central Southeast Wisconsin
  10. Lower Southwest Wisconsin
  11. Lower Southwest Wisconsin
  12. Upper Peninsula of Michigan
  13. Northern Lower Michigan
  14. Southwest Lower Michigan
  15. Southeast Lower Michigan
  16. Northwest Iowa
  17. Northeast Iowa
  18. Southwest Iowa
  19. Southeast Iowa
  20. Northwest Illinois
  21. Northeast Illinois
  22. Southwest Illinois
  23. Southeast Illinois
  24. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
  25. Eau Claire , WI
  26. Green Bay , WI
  27. Madison , WI
  28. Milwaukee , WI
  29. Detroit , MI
  30. Chicago , IL