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Unformatted text preview: Standards and Dialects
Do You Speak American? Northern/Southern
LIN 200 Language in United States
Dr. JC Weisenberg Language vs. Dialect
Language 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
pronunciation) Grammar (word order,
slang What we know about dialects Dialects have their own grammar
have Dialects are not just bad or wrong ways of
speaking; they are subject to grammatical
rules just like any other variety of a language.
In this way, dialects differ from broken
language or an imperfectly learned second
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:
reactions How do speakers react to the
subordination of their speech?
• Linguistic insecurity
Accent reduction classes (Julia Roberts)
Defiance, pride, solidarity •How should they react? Regional Dialects
Regional 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
American http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/NationalMap Major regional dialects of the United States
Major 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
Major http://www.ling.upenn.edu/phono_atlas/NationalMap/NatMap1.h Lexical Variation Do you call it a pail or a bucket?
Do you say to get a cold or catch cold
Does the ‘s’ in greasy sound like /s/ or /z/?
Which of these patterns is Northern? Midland? http://www.hamline.edu/personal/aschramm/linguistics2001/3dialec Northern vs. Midland
caught and cot do rhyme
s in greasy sounds like z in breezy
bucket (or pail: N. Midland) Northern: bag get a cold caught and cot don't rhyme s in greasy sounds like s in bussing slick crawl creek rhymes with peak () In S. Midland: branch. In N. Midland: spigot or spicket pail (*bucket – possibly for larger
creek rhymes with pick faucet New England /r/
New Where would we expect to find /r/-less speech
in New England? Along the coast or inland?
in Mapping Dialect Boundaries
isogloss: a geographic boundary line delimiting
the area in which a given linguistic feature
occurs. http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~dinkin/TLN/map4.html Isogloss
dropping Modern Day Lexical Variation:
soda vs. pop vs. coke
What do you call a carbonated beverage? http://www.popvssoda.com/countystats/total-county.html Discussion
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
American English (SAE)
American How can we categorize the features of SAE?
• Phonology (pronunciation)
Grammar (word and sentence formation)
Lexicon (vocabulary) SAE Pronunciation: vowels
SAE Southern Shift • merger of the / / and // vowel sounds
before nasals (/n/ and /m/), e.g. pin/pen (/ /
is a high, front, lax vowel, whereas // is a mid-front, lax
vowel) • //-/ / merger before /l/, e.g. still/steel. (These
are both high, front vowels, but / / is lax)
are Monopthongization of /aI/ diphthong: • The diphthong /aI/ becomes
monophthongized to a single long vowel /a:/
before voiced consonants so that tide is /ta:d/
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
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
1997a, 1997b, 2001; Fridland 2000, 2001)
1 2 Thomas 1997b; Bailey and Thomas 1998; Thomas and Bailey 1998
Thomas SAE Pronunciation: consonants
SAE ing > in’
• e.g. talkin’, walkin’ , singin’ Change of the /z/ sound in
contractions to /d/
• e.g. "wasn't" = “wudint”
• doesn’t > “dudint” SAE: pronunciation
SAE: The diphthongization of the traditional
short front vowels as in the words:
pat, pet, pit
These vowels develop a glide. The vowel
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
Stress For many Southern speakers, some
nouns are stressed on the first
syllable rather than the second as in
Standard English (SE).
e.g. pólice, cément, béhind, Détroit.
e.g. pólice, SAE: pronunciation
SAE: The English of the Deep South is
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
sore like saw.
saw The more northern, inland, and
Appalachian varieties of SAE are
‘rhotic’ (have /r/).
‘rhotic’ SAE: grammar
SAE: Use of double modals ("might could",
"might should", "might would",
e.g. A: Can you help me clean the
B: I might could help you out.
B: might Use of "y'all" as the second person
plural pronoun (less commonly
"you-all") SAE Grammar
SAE Use of "fixin' to" as an indicator of
immediate future action.
• “I’m fixin’ to visit my sister.
I’m fixin’ Use of the word "done" in place of
"already" or "did."
• "We done read it." (We already read it).
"We done Multiple Negation
Multiple 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
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
SAE: Use of "over yonder" in place of "over there," e.g.
"the house over yonder”
"the All carbonated beverages called "coke". Little gray bugs called "roley-poleys" rather than "pill
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
Trends /r/-lessness is rapidly disappearing from almost all
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
beginning to appear in parts of the south (“awh” is a
mid-back vowel, whereas the “ah” in is a lowmid-back
back vowel) Influx of northerners affecting urban areas. Younger southerners giving up distinctive dialect
features. Language Ideologies
Language Widely held ideas and sets of beliefs about
languages and their speakers.
languages The idea that certain dialects (regional,
social, or even foreign) sound dumb or
uneducated, but others sound quaint or
rustic, and others sophisticated.
sophisticated Regional, social and foreign
What do particular accents say to us about the speakers of
http://www.leftlanenews.com/2006/02/22/vw-strikesagain-un-pimp-my-ride-videos/ What meanings lie behind
different accents in films?
South Judging Accents
Judging http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5zW8oA2AEio “We are sinking!” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3UgpfSp2t6k Accents” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oprr47CEw5E&feature=related “Hispanic accent” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zqohw8nR6qE “African American English “21 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iIijBLnIKDI “Comedian referring to Chinese accents” ...
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- Spring '10