NCLLP - Smith Island

Smith Island, MD

About the Site

Smith Island is a small insular community located in the Chesapeake Bay area of Maryland. Similar to Ocracoke Island in size and geography, the Smith Island community is not influenced by the same degree of outside contact, given its lack of a popular tourism industry. Curiously, however, Smith Island speakers still produce dialect features similar to those produced by speakers of the Ocracoke Brogue.


Rukes Corner, Smith Island


Schilling-Estes, Natalie. 2005. Language Change in Apparent and Real Time: The Community and the Individual. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 10, 2, 219-232.

Wolfram, Walt; Schilling-Estes, Natalie. 2003. Language Change in 'Conservative' Dialects: The Case of Past Tense be in Southern Enclave Communities. American Speech, 78, 2, summer, 208-227.

Schilling-Estes, Natalie. 2002. On the Nature of Isolated and Post-Isolated Dialects: Innovation, Variation, and Differentiation. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 6, 1, Feb, 64-85.

Parrott, Jeffrey K. 2002. Dialect Death and Morphosyntactic Change: Smith Island Weak Expletive It. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 8, 3, 175-189.

Schilling-Estes, Natalie and Walt Wolfram. 1999. Alternative Models of Dialect Death: Dissipation vs. Concentration, Language, 75, 3, Sept, 486-521.

Schilling-Estes, Natalie. 1997. Accommodation versus Concentration: Dialect Death in Two Post-Insular Island Communities. American Speech, 72, 1, spring, 12-32.