Properties of American English are investigated, described and interpreted in comparison with features found in other varieties of English. In particular, the dialect of Southern English in the US and the dialect of African Americans (see project "Earlier African American English") have been the main topic of these investigations.
Frequently historical data (text documents from earlier periods) have been used in this context, notably to test hypotheses on the origins and character of these varieties; hence, as a sideline of this project some methodologically oriented work on using written data as linguistic evidence has been carried out and published.
Over the years, three large-scale research projects, two of which were externally funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, have been carried out, compiling voluminous historically-based text collections in order to investigate the history of American English dialects. These include two projects specifically directed to research on earlier African American English (see separate project descriptions), namely BLUR ("Blues Lyrics collected at the University of Regensburg") and COAAL ("Corpus of Older African American Letters"), and one project focused on 19th century white southern dialect, SPOC, the "Southern Plantation Overseers Corpus" compiled in collaboration with Prof. Michael Montgomery of the University of South Carolina (Schneider & Montgomery 2001).
Schneider, Edgar W. 1994."Appalachian mountain vocabulary: Its character, sources, and distinctiveness." In Wolfgang Viereck, ed., Verhandlungen des Internationalen Dialektologenkongresses Bamberg 1990. Stuttgart: Steiner, 498-512.
Schneider, Edgar W. 1998. "The Chattahoochee River - a linguistic boundary?" In Michael B. Montgomery und Thomas Nunnally, eds., From the Gulf States and Beyond. The Legacy of Lee Pederson and LAGS. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 123-146.
Schneider, Edgar W. & Michael B. Montgomery. 2001 "On the trail of early nonstandard grammar: An electronic corpus of Southern U.S. antebellum overseers letters." American Speech 76(4): 388-410.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2003. "Shakespeare in the coves and hollows? Toward a history of Southern English", in Stephen J. Nagle and Sara L. Sanders, eds., English in the Southern United States, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 17-35.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2004. "The English dialect heritage of the Southern United States." In Raymond Hickey, ed., Transplanted Dialects: The Legacy of Colonial English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 262-309.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2007. "My baby loves me, she love me: Verbal –s variability in the history of black and white dialects of the southern United States." In Ute Smit, Stefan Dollinger, Julia Hüttner, Gunther Kaltenböck and Ursula Lutzky, eds., Tracing English through Time: Explorations in Language Variation. In Honour of Herbert Schendl on the Occasion of his 65th Birthday. Vienna: Braumüller, 345-358.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2012. "Tracking the evolution of vernaculars: Corpus linguistics and Earlier Southern US Englishes." In Joybrato Mukherjee and Magnus Huber, eds. Corpus Linguistics and Variation in English: Theory and Description. Amsterdam, New York: Rodopi, 185-212.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2012. "Regional profile: North America." In Bernd Kortmann and Kerstin Lunkenheimer, eds., The Mouton World Atlas of Variation in English. Berlin, Boston: Mouton de Gruyter, 734-762.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2013. “Written data sources.” In Christine Mallinson, Becky Childs and Gerard van Herk, eds. Data Collection in Sociolinguistics: Methods and Applications. New York, Milton Park: Routledge, 169-178.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2013. "Investigating historical variation and change in written documents: new perspectives." In J.K. Chambers & Natalie Schilling, eds. The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. 2nd ed. Oxford, Malden, MA: Blackwell, 57-81.
Schneider, Edgar W. 2015. "Earlier Southern Englishes in Black and White: Corpus-based approaches". In Michael D. Picone and Catherine Evans Davies, eds., New Perspectives on Language Variety in the South: Historical and Contemporary Approaches. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 182-199.
Schneider, Edgar W. fc. 2016. "English in the United States." In Braj B. Kachru, Larry Smith, Cecil L. Nelson, and Zoya Proshina, eds. The Handbook of World Englishes. Second edition. Malden, Oxford: Blackwell.