Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

American Speech


English Language & Literature


The Greater St. Louis “dialect island” poses interesting problems for dialect documentation, partly because Greater St. Louis is a transitional area where many overlapping linguistic influences have left their mark, and also because is an area with new immigrant communities, racial divides, and an aging population.Using a sample from survey and interview data from 815 participants over a seven-year period, we examine lexical diversity in Greater St. Louis, comprising counties both in Missouri and Illinois. We discover that both age and place are robust indicators of lexical selection in Southern Illinois and St. Louis. Our findings provide a concurring rationale with phonologically-based studies that supports the existence of a unique dialect island in Greater St. Louis.