Ling HW5 - Courtney Mulroy Linguistics Hw 5 November 30,...

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Courtney Mulroy Linguistics Hw 5 November 30, 2007 I. Introduction: Language, as we have learned, is a naturally acquired form of communication that all humans posses. The unbounded, discrete combinatorial system allows us to say whatever we would like to express without limits. Although these statements are true, there is still one big part of language to take into consideration; language itself is socialized depending on where you were raised, who you were raised by, what morals you were taught, how you were taught to pronounce letters or sounds, what grammar system you use and the list could go on. One large factor that has socialized many languages is the distinction between T and V pronoun usage. Languages like Spanish, Russian, French and German all use these pronouns very carefully in everyday life to address the second person (you). Because societies are hierarchical, social stratification has occurred. People with different status, whether it is age, wealth, gender or education level, are taught to use the proper T/V pronoun to reflect the relative status of the two people conversing; thus, status is reflected in the grammar of many languages. The big thing to remember here is that in the languages listed above, interchangeable use of the T or V pronoun is based on two factors; the status as well as the closeness or solidarity of the people taking. The T pronoun is typically used in familiar and intimate relationships, where the V pronoun is used in formal or more polite conversation. This doesn’t sound too complicated, but it sure can be. These languages all use the T/V distinction, but some in different ways. Some languages are always more formal unless it is with family or close friends, some languages change from a V to T pronoun or mutual V to a mutual T usage once the relationship get to a certain level, and then some base their usage of a pronoun more on solidarity than status, and some more on status than solidarity. You can see how this could become very confusing for an onlooker and even natives of the language. The best way to figure out how each language uses these distinctions is to interview a native speaker. I used a native speaker of Russian to address how their language addresses status and closeness in relation to these pronouns. Giving her situations of different status/closeness relationships, we can address how the Russian language uses T/V pronouns. Does it depend more on the status or the closeness? Do any of these factors (gender, age, money, education or solidarity) affect the distinction more than the other? These questions will be addressed through data and analysis. II. Methodology: My consultants name is Polina and she is a sophomore here at UMass and also my close friend. She is a nineteen year old female studying anthropology and art. She was born in Vladimir, Russia where she lived until she was nine years old with her mother and father. Her parents were born and raised in Russia as well. Her family moved to Worcester, Massachusetts
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This note was uploaded on 04/25/2008 for the course LING 17756 taught by Professor Johnmccarthy during the Spring '08 term at UMass (Amherst).

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Ling HW5 - Courtney Mulroy Linguistics Hw 5 November 30,...

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