10-Ling 122-10 - Intelligibility

10-Ling 122-10 - Intelligibility - Ling 122: English as a...

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Ling 122: English as a World Ling 122: English as a World Language - 10 Language - 10 Intelligibility Reading: Chapter 4
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In discussing social and cultural features of non- native varieties of English, we need to address the  concept of intelligibility.  The reason for that is that questions of intelligibility  arise whenever there is variation in language use. And, non-native varieties of English, by definition,  exhibit variation; therefore it is natural that  intelligibility becomes an issue for those using world  Englishes across cultures. 2 Kachru & Smith, Ch 4: Intelligibility & Interlocutors
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Understanding and intelligibility are often used  interchangeably in conversation. It is not uncommon for “intelligibility” to be the cover  term for all aspects of understanding. But in order to understand the social and cultural  features of the non-native variety of Englishes,  Kachru and Smith separate three layers of  understanding:  1. Intelligibility;  2. Comprehensibility;  3. Interpretability. 3
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 Intelligibility is the recognition of the words or another  sentence-level element of an utterance.  E.g.   “Anyone lived in a pretty how town” What do we know about this utterance? - It contains six English words;  - We know the meaning of every word in the  utterances. - But, do we know what it means? 4
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10-Ling 122-10 - Intelligibility - Ling 122: English as a...

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