Although was/were variation is one of the most widely studied vernacular features in English (Adger and Smith 2005: 155), little attention has been paid to its presence in western varieties of American English, despite the insight such an investigation might provide to both the linguistic phenomenon and to regional varieties that have been generally overlooked in the sociolinguistic literature. In this study, therefore, I analyze was/were variation in the middle Rocky Mountain by applying corpus tools to a set of 70 interviews collected in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming toward the compilation of a Linguistic Atlas of the Middle Rockies (LAMR) and compare findings from this analysis with those of studies on was/were variation in other varieties of English. In light of these findings, I will address some theoretical issues concerning was/were variation, particularly the popular notion that it adheres to an implicational scale and how well this scale applies to was/were variation in the LAMR collection.
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