Back when I was in graduate school, I took a course on American English. We studied the history and characteristics of the various American dialects, including that of Tangier Island. This little island in the middle of Chesapeake Bay was settled by English folks from the Cornwall district back in the 1600s. They and their descendants were so isolated–today it’s an hour-and-a-half boat ride from the mainland–that their language and culture have hardly changed over the centuries.
As a 17th century scholar, I have always wanted to visit Tangier Island. So we did. [Read more…]