LIN200 Week 15 Day 2+ - final exam review

Uriel weinreich famously said that a language is a

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Uriel Weinreich famously said that “A language is a dialect with an army and a navy.” Languages are generally supersets of dialects : one language can be made up of many dialects However, there are cases where the line is blurred for political reasons: Swedish and Norwegian are called different languages, but they’re mutually intelligible Mandarin and Cantonese are both considered dialects of the Chinese language, but they are NOT mutually intelligible
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What is linguistic variation? A language has many different speakers They don’t all speak the language the same way Each speaker doesn’t even speak it the same way all the time The differences in the ways people speak make up linguistic variation Dialects are spoken by groups of people who have similar patterns of linguistic variation
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What is the vernacular? The vernacular is a general term that describes non- standard dialects Across the US, the standard is more similar than the vernacular So, every area has different vernacular varieties Social varieties are usually locally defined (so, what constitutes middle class vs. working class speech is specific to a speech community) One major exception: AAVE is surprisingly similar across different regions (although not exactly the same)
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What is stable variation? Some variables do not represent any change over time, and remain the same over decades We call this “ stable variation These variables tend to show “stylistic variation” which means that people use them differently in different situations Stylistic variation usually corresponds to differences across social classes
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What are overt and covert prestige? “covert” prestige – we don’t talk about nonstandard dialects as being good but we have warm feelings about them Sometimes people sound friendlier or nicer when they are speaking a nonstandard dialect This is opposed to “overt” prestige that belongs to standard varieties Now people often call these “local” vs. “global” prestige – nonstandard dialects are valued in a local community but standard varieties are valued on the global marketplace
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What is the difference between Group- preferential and Group-exclusive? Group-preferential variables are used by many or all groups, but at different rates E.g. I was thinkin’ about that. More likely to be phonological (i.e. sound patterns) Group-exclusive variables are not used at all by some groups E.g. We was down there; we growed tomatoes last year. More likely to be grammatical (i.e. sentence
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Stratification? Sharp stratification is when there are large differences between two overarching class categories in the use of a variable In the US, grammatical features are more likely to stratify sharply Gradient stratification is when the use of a variable correlates smoothly with a gradient measure of class (i.e. one with a larger number of categories)
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Uriel Weinreich famously said that A language is a dialect...

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