LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Wardhaugh Ch 2
Slide 1
Small group discussion:
Try to characterize your own speech – how is it similar
and how is it different than others around you?
Be 100% honest – what are your pet peeves with
language? What are some things that you hear/see that
instigates that “gut reaction” in a negative way?
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Slide 2
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
What is the difference between language and dialect?
Variety is a term used for to replace both terms - Hudson says “a set of linguistic
items with similar distribution”
Variety is some linguistic shared items which can uniquely be associated with
some social items
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Wardhaugh Ch 2
Slide 3
Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Dialect and accent
Accent - pronunciation
Dialect - includes pronunciation, but also includes grammatical, lexical and
usage - MFL example
Dialects in North America are mutually intelligible - the differences do not
impede communication totally
Another real example - “No blended drinks today - the blender is broke” at a
coffee hut in Portland - where do you think this was? Why?
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
What is the difference between language and dialect?
Do you speak a language or a dialect?
Most speakers can give a name to what they speak - but remember Steve Harvey
on DYSA - Q:“Do you speak American?” A:”I speak good enough American”
There are sometimes very big differences between folk ideas about varieties and
linguistic realities - Dennis Preston’s work on Perceptual Dialectology
Often follows standard versus nonstandard
Bigger difference between grammatical over phonological variables
Linguistic insecurity - how a speaker of a sub-standard variety feels about
his/her variety
Linguistic security - Are Portlanders insecure or secure about our variety?
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Slide 5
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
What are the different regional accents in your opinion?
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
The Oregonian Regarding Jeff Conn's opinions about whether or not Portlanders are developing their own unique dialect Piffle!
I've lived in Portland - and other western locations - and here's my take: Intelligently spoken "western speech" that is free of
recently introduced speech influences from other regions (i.e. southern, Bostonian, ethnic, etc.) is the purest and most accent
free English in the whole world. If you doubt me, go to England and converse with normal, everyday folks. Most have
terrible pronunciation. Many of them are borderline unintelligible. London east-ender "Cockney" is totally indecipherable!
Then go north to Scotland. Delightful people, but what they speak sounds nothing like what the dictionary pronunciation
guide says it should sound like. Same thing in Ireland, and Australia. Lovely people. Terrible speech habits.
But back to the U.S. There are too many people moving from other regions into our western stronghold to justify calling any
bad speech habits as being anything but temporary.
By far the biggest influence on Pacific Northwest speech is the same as with other western regions - and probably other parts
of the country; namely, teenagers develop their own subnormal vocabulary and way of speaking. Although much more
extreme than with previous generations, subnormal has always been associated with teenagers. The big difference now is that
when young people eventually mature, they don't drop their language in favor of adult speech. Our adult language has
become the prisoner of "teenspeak," and that is an utter abomination.
True, languages evolve; but adults copying the speech of rebellious anti-social youth is not the hallmark of a great society.
And this decline of the American language will probably continue indefinitely; when was the last time you heard a teenager
say "It's time for me to speak good, correct English?"
Like, man, it'll never happen.
"'S'up?"
"He goes," "She goes."
Our language is dying, but it had a pretty good run. Luckily for me, most of my life has been during the good part.
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Slide 7
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
What is the difference between language and dialect?
There are a lot of situations that show language versus dialect isn’t clear
Chinese
Norwegian/Swedish
Croatian and Serbian
Hebrew
Arabic
Spanish?
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
What is the difference between language and dialect?
Need to discuss issues of solidarity and power - How do these play into the
definitions of a variety as a dialect or language?
“A language is a dialect with an army and a navy”
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Bell’s criteria for the difference between language and dialect?
STANDARDIZATION - has the language been codified? Written tradition,
grammar and spelling books, dictionaries, literature.
More than just linguistic - includes economic, social, political
Selection of norms
Standard English still tough to define because no agreed upon norms
Will text messaging (a written form of the English language that is becoming
codified) influence Standard English norms? thru - other alternate spellings?
Difference between standard grammar and pronunciation
Negative concord - I don’t wanna be lonely no more
Solidarity away from the standard (covert prestige rather than overt prestige)
Why would you NOT want to use Standard English - small group discussions
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Bell’s criteria for the difference between language and dialect?
VITALITY - Living versus dead languages - Hebrew/Irish Gaelic
HISTORICITY - a language of identity - belongs to its speakers - Germany and
German language - Chinese
AUTONOMY - a language is felt to be different by its speakers - Catalan? problems with pidgin and creole langs - Chinese again
REDUCTION - functionally limited, particularly to less prestigious domains linguistic insecurity - pidgins
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Bell’s criteria for the difference between language and dialect?
MIXTURE - speakers’ feelings about the purity of the language they speak
DE FACTO NORMS - ‘good’ and ‘bad’ speakers and that there is a proper way
of speaking - used and actual norms
As professors, we used to use overheads, but anymore we just use powerpoint.
This didn’t use to be Gresham, but anymore it is.
I don’t eat carbs anymore.
So many people are on an all-protein diet anymore.
With these criteria, different varieties meet them differently
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects
Dialect - has some tradition of writing in the variety (Mark Twain)
Patois - usually a very pejorative term for a variety that is less than a dialect rural speech -
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects
Dialect continuum - one definition of dialect is a mutually intelligible variety
of a language. A continuum exists in geography if you travel from NW France
to SE Italy or SW Spain - all related languages. Each adjacent village can
understand each other regardless of where the political borders are. BUT
Paris, Madrid and Rome speak varieties that are not mutually intelligible,
therefore separate languages
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects
Dialect Geography - mapping regional dialects through the use of isoglosses
RP, Estuary English, General American
Regional varieties described in terms of lexical choices done through
Linguistic Atlas creation - http://us.english.uga.edu/
Dialectologists looked at NORMs - old men in the sticks! = non-mobile
older rural males
Asked what is the word you use for...
Plotted variation on a map and drew lines - isoglosses
Now sociolinguists look at urban populations and exam different regions in
terms of what is happening in the cities and in terms of language change
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects - Isogloss
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
One variable isogloss – cot vs. caught = low back merger
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Regional Dialects of American English
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects of American English
http://aschmann.net/AmEng/
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Carver’s dialect map broken up into smaller dialects
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Slide 20
Carver’s hierarchy
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LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects of American English
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects of American English - defined by language changes in
vowel systems
Northern Cities Shift (play Chicago sample - 3mins)
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Slide 23
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects of American English - defined by language changes in
vowel systems
Northern Cities Shift (play Chicago sample - 3mins)
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Slide 24
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects of American English - defined by language changes in
vowel systems
The Southern Shift (Play Arkansas 2mins; play Eng 3mins;
Trace Adkins - country music
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Slide 25
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects of American English - defined by language changes in
vowel systems
The Southern Shift (Play Arkansas 2mins; play Eng 3mins;
Trace Adkins - country music
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Wardhaugh Ch 2
Slide 26
Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Regional Dialects of American English - defined by language changes in
vowel systems
The California/Canada Shift (Play Cali - 1:45; Ontario 2:15)
Frank Zappa’s Valley girl
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
The California/Canada Shift (Play Cali - 1:45; Ontario 2:15)
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Social Dialects
Varieties based on social groupings other than region
What social categories do you think are important?
Class
Ethnicity
Age
Sex/Gender
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Styles, Registers and Beliefs
Style = formal versus informal - intraspeaker variation
Register = sets of items associated with discrete occupational or social
groups
Rural dialects sometimes better than urban ones
Connection between older forms (often found in more formal speech)
Ideas of correctness - judgments passed on those who use “incorrect” forms
Leads to many myths about language - Preston again - accentless English
(remember the emailer from Portland?)
What happens when style and these ideas of correctness come into contact
with linguistic insecurity?
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Labov’s study of NYC shows that social class, attention to speech influence a
linguistic variable (r) in systematic ways - shows hypercorrection
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
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Wardhaugh – Chapter 2
Styles, Registers and Beliefs
Some researchers (Eckert and her followers) believe that by examining
intraspeaker variation, we can see how sociolinguistic variables are USED to
create various identities in various settings
This promotes the idea that you create who you are through the use of
sociolinguistic variation
LING 432-532 – Sociolinguistics – Spring 2011
Slide 32
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Language Attitudes - Project 1 (Dialect)
Read the Language Myth by Dennis Preston at:
http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/prejudice/attitudes/
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Ling 390 - Intro to Linguistics