Pittsburgh Speech and Society Project

What's online?

All of the recorded interviews conducted for the project will soon be online.

What’s in the entire collection?

The Pittsburgh Speech and Society Project Collection consists of 51 CDs containing 48 interviews as well as information about the interviewees and the project itself. Interviews were conducted by one of three people, with the majority being conducted by project director, Dr. Barbara Johnstone. Subjects involved interviews with lone subjects, married couples, and one mother-son couple. The interviews were designed to study the aspects of Pittsburgh language and dialects, however, as many of the questions relate to families, neighborhood histories, local news and individual events, life experiences in Pittsburgh are also captured.

About the Pittsburgh Speech and Society Project

Dr. Barbara Johnstone, Professor of Linguistics and Rhetoric at Carnegie Mellon University, and Dr. Scott F. Kiesling, Associate Professor of Linguistics at the University of Pittsburgh, directed the Pittsburgh Speech and Society Project as a way to study the sociolinguistics of Pittsburgh speech, informally known as 'Pittsburghese.' The project involved casually interviewing people from four Pittsburgh-area neighborhoods with the goal of capturing unselfconscious speech. The interviews were designed to inquire about people’s lives and attitudes about Pittsburgh, while investigating the local dialect. The project spanned 2003 through 2005, totaling 48 interviews. The project was made possible through funding by a U.S. National Science Foundation Collaborative Research award nos. BCS0417684 and BCS-0417657.

PSSP website