How Gemixt Are the Pickles? Germanic Dialect Humor in America
As far back as the colonial era, humor centered on regional and ethnic diversity in America has drawn on stereotypes about language differences. In the presentation we will explore some of the ways that so-called dialect humor has been used to advance stereotypes about Americans of Dutch, German, Scandinavian, and Yiddish-speaking ancestry by members of the respective communities themselves as well as outsiders. A common thread running throughout ethnic dialect humor is the playful depiction of the outcomes of contact between English and immigrant languages yielding fanciful varieties of ethnic English including Yankee Dutch, Dutchified English, Scandihoovian, and Yinglish.
Mark L. Louden is the Director of the Max Kade Institute and Professor of German at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.