Walt Wolfram. Photo courtesy of NC State University

Sociolinguist Walt Wolfram will discuss his most recent book co-authored with Jeffrey Reaser, “Talkin’ Tar Heel: How Our Voices Tell the Story of North Carolina,” at the Ocracoke Preservation Society spring membership meeting, 7 p.m. in the Deepwater Theater. Members can bring a dessert to share. Those wishing to become members of OPS are encouraged and welcomed to attend.

Wolfram is the William C. Friday Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University where he also directs the North Carolina Language and Life Project. His area of expertise is the social and ethnic dialects of American English. He was one of the early pioneers in the study of urban African-American English through his work in Detroit in 1969. Prior to his tenure at NC State, he taught at Georgetown University and the University of the District of Columbia. He was also the director of research at the Center for Applied Linguistics from 1980 to 1992.

He has published more than 20 books and more than 300 articles. One of this books written with Natalie Schilling-Estes is “Hoi Toide on the Outer Banks: The Story of the Ocracoke Brogue,” available for purchase at the OPS museum and other locales on the island.

He has received many awards including the Caldwell Humanities Laureate from the NC Humanities Council and served as president of the Linguistic Society of America, the American Dialect Society, and the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics.

A frequent visitor to Ocracoke, Wolfram gives a porch talk in the summer at the OPS museum and brings his students to tutor at the Ocracoke school during their spring break.

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