Dialect Resources: Talking NC
Educational Media From the North Carolina Language and Life Project
North Carolina is one of the most linguistically diverse states in the United States, reflecting a wide variety of regional and sociocultural English dialects as well as an assortment of ancestral and immigrant languages. The North Carolina Language and Life Project (NCLLP) was established at North Carolina State University in 1993 to focus on research, education, and outreach programs related to language in the American South.
NCLLP has developed a series of documentaries and related publications on language varieties found in North Carolina and the American South, including Outer Banks English, Appalachian English, Lumbee English, and Hispanic English. Walt Wolfram, former Chair of CAL’s Board of Trustees, has directed the development and distribution of these valuable resources.
Click on each title below to learn more, or order one or more titles online from the CAL Store
- The Carolina Brogue
- Hoi Toide on the Outer Banks
- Ocracoke Speaks
- Mountain Talk
- The Queen Family
- The Road Less Traveled
- This Side of the River
- Spanish Voices: Spanish and English in the Southeastern United States
- An Unclouded Day
- Voices of North Carolina
Rooted in 20 years of fieldwork, research, and community ties, The Carolina Brogue is a candid portrait of contemporary life on the Carolina coast with a look at a unique regional dialect. Special documentary features include “The Ocracoke Brogue,” “Celebrating Muzel Bryant,” “Remembering Roy Parsons,” and “Conversations With Dave Esham.”
2008. DVD. 27 minutes plus 40 minutes of bonus material.
Walt Wolfram and Natalie Schilling-Estes
North Carolina Language and Life Project
Hoi Toide on the Outer Banks presents research on the vibrant dialect of Ocracoke Island and observations on the island's culture, with the goal of preserving and celebrating a vital part of the community's rich heritage. This book is a companion resource to the documentary films Voices of North Carolina and The Carolina Brogue
1997. 162 pages with photos.
This audio collection with companion booklet preserves one of Ocracoke’s greatest cultural resources—its language—from island lore and remembrances to the distinctive sounds of the “hoi toide” brogue.
1997. Audio CD (36 tracks) and companion booklet.
The people of southern Appalachia tell their own story, revealing the quick wit, good humor, and resilience that has sustained them through centuries. Music, stories, and candid conversations convey the shared sense of place that defines the mountain people. Featuring conversations with Popcorn Sutton, Mary Jane Queen, Orville Hicks, Jim Tom Hedrick, and many others, the video also includes back porch music performances by Henry Queen, Mary Jane Queen, Gilford Williams, Rufe Sutton, Leon Wells, and others. Narrated by award-winning storyteller and folklorist Gary Carden, the DVD includes a special feature, “Scenes From Southern Appalachia.”
2004. DVD. 82 minutes plus bonus features.
This documentary film about the Queen family captures Appalachian culture and authentic American folk music traditions at their source and in all their unvarnished charm. Mountain tradition and the closeness of family and neighbors are here expressed in exuberant folk music, played together with family and neighbors outdoors on the porch. The songs come in many forms and from many sources. At age 92, family matriarch Mary Jane Queen has a vivid recollection of tales and ballads, learned in childhood days, that date back several centuries, and her singing style retains the authentic cadence and delivery of the original Irish sean-nós song form. Special features include “The Ballad of Mary Jane Queen,” “The Queen Family – Mountain Music,” and “Outtakes.”
2006. DVD. 28 minutes plus bonus features.
These informal renditions of traditional songs and instrumentals convey the bonds of kinship and family in southern Appalachia. Featuring Mary Jane Queen, Henry Queen, Mark Queen, Jeanette Queen Shrock, Kathy Hayes Queen, J. R. Queen, Delbert Queen, and many others.
2008 re-release. Audio CD.
This DVD offers a compilation of three films that together illustrate a universal theme of language and identity.
2010. DVD. 81 minutes.
- Indian by Birth: The Lumbee Dialect
Stripped of their heritage language generations ago, the Lumbee Indians of southeastern North Carolina carved out a unique dialect of English to maintain their distinctive cultural identity. DVD. 27 minutes.
- Hyde Talk: The Language and Land of Hyde Country, NC
Hyde County in eastern North Carolina has long been a destination for hunters, fisherman, and wildlife enthusiasts. “Hyde Talk” reveals that the county is also home to distinctive regional speech, culture, and identity. DVD. 25 minutes.
- This Side of the River: Self-Determination and Survival in the Oldest Black Town in America
Settled by freed slaves in 1865, Princeville, NC, is among the oldest towns in the United States founded entirely by African Americans. Princeville’s survival through racial prejudice, economic hardships, and devastating floods is an illuminating and previously untold chapter of American history. DVD. 27 minutes. Broadcast version.
Settled by freed slaves in 1865, Princeville, NC, is among the oldest towns in the United States founded entirely by African Americans. Princeville’s survival through racial prejudice, economic hardships, and devastating floods is an illuminating and previously untold chapter of American history.
2006. Full version. DVD. 52 minutes.
Through candid interviews with Spanish speakers from across the globe, with bilingual second-generation U.S. citizens, and with non-Spanish speakers, Spanish Voices tells the story of the rapidly changing linguistic and cultural landscape of the Southeastern United States. Speakers share their personal experiences learning a new language, coming into contact with other cultures, and adapting to change.
Includes 30 minutes of extra footage for discussion of topics that range from diversity in Spanish dialects and Spanglish to the quinceañera and music.
2010 DVD 27 minutes
The stories, conversations, songs, and music in this audio compilation offer a rare glimpse into the authentic language and life of southern Appalachia. Re-released with bonus tracks in 2008, this CD features Popcorn Sutton, Mary Jane Queen, Orville Hicks, Jim Tom Hedrick, and many others.
2008 re-release. Audio CD.
Voices of North Carolina, narrated by Bill Friday, is a unique journey through the dialects and languages of this diverse southern state, from Hoi Toider speech on the Outer Banks to the Highland speech of the Smoky Mountains. Cherokee and Lumbee Indians, rural and urban African Americans, Spanish-speaking immigrants, and Southerners of all walks of life lend their voices to a hymn of language and identity in their state.
2005. DVD. 27 minutes.
View related lesson plans
Click on each title below to learn more.
- American Voices: How Dialects Differ from Coast to Coast
- Fine in the World: Lumbee Language in Time and Place