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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 20 Chapter 20 Language Varieties Standard English
Standard English Standard English is the form of English that is:
Used in newspapers and books Taught in schools Used by the mass media Taught to native speakers of other languages Accent v. Dialect
Accent v. Dialect Accent: the description of aspects of pronunciation and intonation which identify where an individual speaker is from, regionally or socially. Dialect: a more general term referring to pronunciation patterns and the features of grammar and vocabulary that are particular to a given variety of a language. Dialect
Dialect A dialect is a systematic variety of a language specific to a particular region or social class.
An idiolect is the specific linguistic system of a particular speaker.
The rule of thumb is that different dialects are mutually intelligible but different languages are not. Linguistic Atlases
Linguistic Atlases Pg 230 in book
Developed in the early 1900s
Show the distribution of dialects by identifying consistent features of speech in various regions
In some sense, these atlases were outdated by the time they were printed because the linguists tended to use nonmobile, older, rural, male speakers (NORMS) as their informants. Atlases
Atlases The linguists would ask informants questions about pronunciation and vocabulary and then draw lines called isoglosses separating a region where a certain term or pronunciation was used from a region where a different term or pronunciation was used.
Ex: grocery “paper bags” (north of the line) or “paper sacks” Dialect boundary
Dialect boundary When linguists found that a lot of isoglosses overlapped in a certain area, indicating that the groups in the two regions had a lot of differences in terms of vocabulary and pronunciation, they drew a solid line to indicate a dialect boundary. Dialectal continuum
Dialectal continuum There is a dialectal continuum – people who live close to a dialect boundary are more likely to have characteristics of both dialects in their speech than those who live far from the boundary.
Some people are aware of the dialect differences and can consciously switch from one dialect to the other, so we could call them bidialectal. Southern v. Northern
Southern v. Northern Southerners say some things differently than Northerners, although these differences are disappearing as our society becomes more mobile and homogeneous. But things are persistent:
Quarter till three
Quarter of three
pin v. pen Language planning
Language planning Language planning: decisions about which language should be used in schools and in courts and in governmental affairs Language planning
Language planning The adoption of a national or official language may take place in stages: Selection: choosing an official language
Codification: the standard form/variety of the language is established using grammar texts, dictionaries, etc…
Elaboration: standard variety begins to be used in daily life and literature
Implementation: government tries to encourage use of the standard form
Acceptance: when a substantial majority of the population use it and come to think of it as a national language. Pidgin and Creole
Pidgin and Creole Pidgin and Creole are hybrid languages that spring up as the result of frequent interaction between speakers of different languages.
Pidgin: a variety of a language which developed for some practical purpose, such as trading, among groups of people who had a lot of contact, but who did not know each other’s languages. A pidgin does not have any native speakers. Pidgin
Pidgin Pidgins have several typical characteristics: The absence of complex grammatical morphology Limited vocabulary Functional morphemes often take the place of inflectional morphemes in the source language Phrases in the source language may become words in the pidgin Creole
Creole If a Pidgin is used often enough to be acquired by children as their native language, it becomes the first language of a community and is called a Creole. A Creole language has native speakers and its grammar, morphology, and vocabulary are much more complex than those of a Pidgin – closer to other languages. Creole
Creole Decreolization is the process of a Creole language slowly approaching the Standard language due to increased social, educational and professional contact between Creole speakers and speakers of the Standard language. Creole
Creole Transition stages between the Creole and the Standard form that occur during decreolization:
Basilect: more Creole like Mesolect: somewhere in the middle Acrolect: more standard like. ...
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- Fall '08