Unformatted text preview: Standards and Dialects
Do You Speak American? Northern/Southern Varieties
LIN 200 Language in United States Dr. JC Weisenberg Feb. 9th, 2010 Language vs. Dialect What’s the difference between a language and a dialect? “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.” (Max Weinreich, quoting a Bronx teacher) (Aronoff, 2009) Aronoff, M. (2009) Language and group legitimization. Humanities Institute at Stony Brook, lecture [September 9, Language is a system Language system Phonology (sounds/ pronunciation) Grammar (word order, prefixes, suffixes) Lexicon (vocabulary)
slang What we know about dialects Dialects have their own grammar have Dialects are not just bad or wrong ways of bad wrong speaking; they are subject to grammatical rules just like any other variety of a language. rules In this way, dialects differ from broken language or an imperfectly learned second language language. language. What we know about dialects
•Dialects show a speaker’s regional origin •There may be more than one dialect in one place •Dialects show a speaker’s social position •Speakers adjust their speech behavior to how they are spoken to •Dialects can be chosen •Speakers adjust their speech behavior to a particular social circumstance Language Subordination: Language reactions reactions How do speakers react to the How subordination of their speech? subordination
• • • • Linguistic insecurity Linguistic Resignation Accent reduction classes (Julia Roberts) Defiance, pride, solidarity •How should they react? Regional Dialects Why do people speak differently as you move around the US?
• European settlement began as isolated communities • Settlers brought their own distinct dialects and languages with them. American Dialect Regions http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/NationalMap Major regional dialects of the United States New England Noted for fronted /a/ in “car” and loss of postvocalic /r/ in urban areas. Maine, MA, Rhode Island… The Mid Atlantic (NYC, NJ) ‘nonrhotic’ or /r/less dialect. The South: ‘nonrhotic’ or /r/less dialect, Noted for monophthongization of ‘ay’ � „ � > /a:/ (Florida, SC, Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia, Arkansas) � The Midland (N. Midland & S. Midland): a residual domain with much greater diversity, where most individual cities have developed dialect patterns of their own. Pittsburgh, PA; St. Louis, Missouri. (N. Midland: Ohio, Illinois, Southern Iowa)(S. Midland: ScottsIrish brought from PA into Southern Appalachia, picked up some Southern features before it spread westward to Kentucky & Tennessee) The North: centered on Chicago, Illinois, the Great Lakes to upper New York state. Michigan area. The West: including California and the midwest. Noted for preservation of ‘postvocalic’ /r/. Nevada, Oregon, Washington, etc. Major Regional Dialects http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/NationalMap/NatMap1.h Lexical Variation Lexical Do you call it a pail or a bucket? Do pail bucket Do you say to get a cold or catch cold Do get catch Does the ‘s’ in greasy sound like /s/ or /z/? Does greasy Which of these patterns is Northern? Which Midland? Midland? http://www.hamline.edu/personal/aschramm/linguistics2001/3dialec Northern vs. Midland
Midland: sack catch cold caught and cot do rhyme s in greasy sounds like z in breezy bucket (or pail: N. Midland) slick crawl creek rhymes with peak (‚ „“ “ * ) In 5 S. Midland: branch. In N. Midland: ‚ 5“„ “ spigot or spicket Northern: bag get a cold caught and cot don't rhyme s in greasy sounds like s in bussing pail(*bucket – possibly for larger container) slippery creep creek rhymes with pick ‚5 “ faucet New England /r/ Where would we expect to find /r/-less speech Where in New England? Along the coast or inland? in Mapping Dialect Boundaries
isogloss: a geographic boundary line delimiting isogloss the area in which a given linguistic feature occurs. occurs. http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~dinkin/TLN/map4.html Isogloss For ‘r’ dropping Modern Day Lexical Variation: Modern soda vs. pop vs. coke soda coke
What do you call a carbonated beverage? http://www.popvssoda.com/countystats/total-county.html Discussion Why do dialect differences persist despite intense exposure to a national network standard? What are the social consequences of changing the way you speak? Of not changing the way you speak? Examining a dialect:
Southern American English Some features of Southern Some American English (SAE) American How can we categorize the features of SAE?
• • • Phonology (pronunciation) Grammar (word and sentence formation) Lexicon (vocabulary) SAE Pronunciation: vowels Southern Shift • merger of the /•/ and /•/ vowel sounds ° ° vowel before nasals (/n/ and /m/), e.g. pin/pen (/•/ (/°
is a high, front, lax vowel, whereas /•/ is a mid-front, lax ° is is vowel) vowel) • /•/-/•/ merger before /l/, e.g. still/steel. (These ° merger °
are both high, front vowels, but /•/ is lax) ° are Monopthongization of /aI/ diphthong: • The diphthong /aI/ becomes becomes monophthongized to a single long vowel /a:/ before voiced consonants so that tide is /ta:d/ tide and wide is /wa:d/. wide Southern Vowel Shift (SVS)
Researchers1 working on Southern American dialects have noted a series of what appear to be distinguishing vowel shifts occurring in white Southern speech, referred to as the Southern Vowel Shift (SVS). Little is known about the ethnic distribution of the SVS, but preliminary work2 suggests the Southern African American work community may not be participating in changes affecting white speech in the South.
Labov, Yaeger, and Steiner 1972; Feagin 1986; Labov 1991, 1994; Bailey 1997; Thomas Labov, 1997a, 1997b, 2001; Fridland 2000, 2001) 1997a,
1 2 Thomas 1997b; Bailey and Thomas 1998; Thomas and Bailey 1998 T homas SAE Pronunciation: consonants ing > in’ • e.g. talkin’, walkin’ , singin’ Change of the /z/ sound in Change contractions to /d/ contractions
• e.g. "wasn't" = “wudint” “wudint” e.g. • doesn’t > “dudint” SAE: pronunciation The diphthongization of the traditional The diphthongization short front vowels as in the words: short pat, pet, pit pet pit These vowels develop a glide. The vowel These glide The moves up from original starting position to /j/, and then back down to schwa. /j/, pat/æ/ → [æjə] pet /ɛ/ → [ɛjə]; pet [pɛjət] pit /ɪ/ → [ɪjə] Stress For many Southern speakers, some For nouns are stressed on the first syllable rather than the second as in Standard English (SE). Standard e.g. pólice, cément, béhind, Détroit. béhind, e.g. pólice, SAE: pronunciation The English of the Deep South is The historically ‘non-rhotic’ (/r/-less): it drops the sound of final /r/ before a consonant or a word boundary, so that guard sounds similar to god and guard god sore like saw. sore saw The more northern, inland, and The Appalachian varieties of SAE are ‘rhotic’ (have /r/). ‘rhotic’ SAE: grammar Use of double modals ("might could", ", "might should", "might would", etc.) etc.)
e.g. A: Can you help me clean the A: gutters? gutters? B: I might could help you out. B: might Use of "y'all" as the second person as plural pronoun (less commonly "you-all") SAE Grammar Use of "fixin' to" as an indicator of as immediate future action. immediate
• “I’m fixin’ to visit my sister. I’m fixin’ Use of the word "done" in place of in "already" or "did." "already"
• "We done read it." (We already read it). "We done Multiple Negation He ain’t never done no work to speak of. There ain’t never none on that shelf. I can’t hardly make it out. Ain’t no chicken that can’t get out of no coop. Shakespearean English: I cannot goe no further. Multiple Negation in other Multiple languages languages No hay nadie. There isn’t nobody. There isn’t anyone. Il n’a pas rien dit. He didn’t say nothing. He didn’t say anything. No se nada. I don’t know nothing. I don’t know anything. SAE: lexicon Use of "over yonder" in place of "over there," e.g. Use "the house over yonder” "the All carbonated beverages called "coke". Little gray bugs called "roley-poleys" rather than "pill Little bugs" or "woodlouse" bugs" “grocery cart” called a "buggy” The small freshwater crustacean in lakes and streams as a "crawdad," "crawfish," or "crayfish.” streams Trends in SAE /r/-lessness is rapidly disappearing from almost all /r/-lessness Southern accents, to a greater degree than the other traditionally /r/-less dialects of the East Coast such as New York and Boston. New Low back merger: merger of vowels in cot/caught is Low cot/caught beginning to appear in parts of the south (“awh” is a mid-back vowel, whereas the “ah” in ( £ • µ ¹Ë ƒJ ª is a lowmid-back back vowel) Influx of northerners affecting urban areas. Younger southerners giving up distinctive dialect Younger features. features. Language Ideologies Widely held ideas and sets of beliefs about Widely languages and their speakers. languages The idea that certain dialects (regional, The social, or even foreign) sound dumb or dumb uneducated, but others sound quaint or uneducated but quaint rustic, and others sophisticated. rustic and sophisticated Regional, social and foreign Regional, accents accents
What do particular accents say to us about the speakers of What those accents? those http:// gameads.gamepressure.com/tv_game_commercial.asp?ID =3495 http://gameads.gamepressure.com/tv_game_commercial .asp?ID=3353 http://gameads.gamepressure.com/tv_game_commercial .asp?ID=3493 http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/mythbusters/videogalle ries/promo_02.html http://www.leftlanenews.com/2006/02/22/vw-strikes again-un-pimp-my-ride-videos/ What meanings lie behind What different accents in films? different German? German? French? French? Middle Eastern/Arabic? Chinese? Chinese? Japanese? Japanese? South Asian/Indian? South Judging Accents http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zW8oA2AEio “We are sinking!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UgpfSp2t6k Accents”
“Hispanic accent” “21 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oprr47CEw5E&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqohw8nR6qE “African American English http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIijBLnIKDI “Comedian referring to Chinese accents” ...
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This note was uploaded on 02/14/2010 for the course LIN 200 taught by Professor Julia during the Spring '10 term at SUNY Stony Brook.
- Spring '10