language.prejudice.S18.pdf - LING 1010 Language and Mind...

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04/04/18 Language Prejudice LING 1010 Language and Mind Prof. Jon Gajewski Based on lectures notes by Jon Sprouse. All errors are mine.
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Announcements Exam 2 scores (out of 30) now posted. Since there were only three discussion sections before this exam I gave everyone 1/2 point extra credit. Max score is still 30. Discussion sections April 19-20 are canceled. An alternative extra credit assignment will be posted for that week: watch a video and answer questions. Experiment participation for extra credit. As the syllabus states, starting April 9 , enough experiments will be posted for everyone to earn this extra credit. Exam 3 will be offered online through HuskyCT. Exam 3 will be available throughout finals week. You will get one attempt. Once you start you will have 50 minutes to complete.
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What is a Language? Recall from our last lecture that we’ve settled on a first draft of a scientific definition of what it means to be a human language. A human language will have the following properties: 1. It will have its own phonology . 2. It will have its own morphology . 3. It will have its own syntax . 4. It will be acquired using known mechanisms of language learning . Today we are going to combine what we’ve learned about the science behind languages with an issue that arises because of language diversity - language prejudice. And last time we saw that there is quite a bit of diversity when it comes to languages, both across the world, and within a single country like the US.
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Prejudice and Discrimination Prejudice is the act of pre-judging, coming to a conclusion about someone (or something) without real evidence. Language prejudice is the act of pre-judging someone based on the language that they speak (accent, vocabulary, or grammar). Discrimination is the act of treating someone (or something) differently based on their membership in a certain group or category, rather than their individual properties. Language discrimination is an act of discrimination based on the language that somebody speaks (accent, vocabulary, grammar).
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Goals for today Speakers of this language face language prejudice, and in some cases, language discrimination. Some people believe AAE is a form of broken, corrupted, or ungrammatical English. Today we will use the analytic tools of linguistics to debunk those beliefs, and demonstrate that there is no scientific basis for the prejudice. AAE is a full human language, just like any other. There are many groups, and a large number of people, who believe that the US government should only operate in English. Today we will use what we know about language acquisition to demonstrate that this is language prejudice — the inability to learn English natively is a combination of an accidental fact (location of birth) and a biological limitation (the critical period).
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  • Spring '09
  • Wurmbrand
  • Official language, African American Vernacular English, AAE

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