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Articles tagged with: Northern California

French speakers in California, Past and Present

By Asya Pereltsvaig | April 17, 2013 | 17 Comments

When it comes to people who speak French at home, California has only the third largest population of all U.S. states. California’s francophone population shrank by about 4% between 2000 and 2005. But historically, the situation was quite different, as French used to be an important and widely spoken tongue in the state.

Northern Californian English: Hella Different?

By Asya Pereltsvaig | February 21, 2012 | 14 Comments

As discussed in earlier GeoCurrents posts, Northern California, and especially the Greater Bay Area, is demographically, culturally, economically, and politically distinct from the southern part of the state. Are there differences in the speech of Northern and Southern Californians as well? Accents and dialects take time to form, but while English has been spoken in the eastern part of the …

Regionalizing California

By Martin W. Lewis | February 16, 2012 | 6 Comments

With thirty-eight million people spread over an area of 163,696 square miles (423,970 km2) and an economy that would rank between the eighth and eleventh largest in the world if it were an independent country, California makes an unwieldy state. Its different regions are so distinctive culturally, economically, and politically that numerous attempts have been made to divide California into two or more …

Linguistic Diversity in Northern California

By Asya Pereltsvaig | February 14, 2012 | One Comment

In 1929, anthropologist and linguist Edward Sapir wrote: “Few people realize that within the confines of the United States there is spoken today a far greater variety of languages … than in the whole of Europe. We may go further. We may say, quite literally and safely, that in the state of California alone there are greater and more numerous …

The New State of Coastal California?

By Martin W. Lewis | February 25, 2010 | 2 Comments

In 2009, former California legislator Bill Maze proposed dividing his state, hiving off thirteen counties as Coastal (or Western) California (see map). Maze, a conservative from the agricultural Central Valley, objects to the domination of state politics by the left-leaning Los Angeles and San Francisco metropolitan areas. The initial impetus for his proposal

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