Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Who is this guy?
Other questions/comments…
Video clips from Do You Speak American – more info here:
http://www.pbs.org/speak/
Socioling
Slide
1
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Like Pragmatics, it’s the study of the use of language
The study of language in its social contexts
Speech community - group of people who share some set of social
conventions (socioling norms) regarding language use - EXAMPLES?
Accent - pronunciation
Dialect - includes pronunciation (phonological/phonetic), but also includes
grammatical, lexical and usage - MFL example
Some examples of homophones for some -- hock/hawk, caller/collar,
cot/caught, calm/com, Don/Dawn
Variety - used as a more neutral term for dialect or language
Socioling
Slide
3
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Social Factors:
REGION - what are the major dialects/accents spoken in America?
Sex/Gender
Social class
Age
Ethnicity
Style
Socioling
Slide
2
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Dialects in North America are mutually intelligible - the differences do not
impede communication totally
Dialect vs. Language???
Dialect continuum – go village by village, from northwestern France to
southern Italy and each adjacent village can understand each other, although
Parisians cannot understand Romans.
Socioling
Slide
5
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
What are the different regional accents in your opinion?
Video about perceptual dialectology
http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/mapping/map.html#
Socioling
Slide
6
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Socioling
Slide
7
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Socioling
Slide
8
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Regional varieties described in terms of
lexical choices done through Linguistic Atlas
creation
Dialectologists looked at NORMs =
old men in the sticks!
(non-mobile old rural men)
Asked what is the word you use for...
Plotted variation on a map and drew lines –
isoglosses (see image )
Now sociolinguists look at urban
populations and exam different regions in
terms of what is happening in the cities
Socioling
Slide
9
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change – cot vs. caught isogloss
From Labov et. al.’s Phonological Atlas of North American English
Available at PSU library! PE2808 .D69 2005
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Prescriptive attitudes about language variation and change…
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.
Socioling
Slide
10
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Regional difference is post-vocalic r (car, card, guard, etc)
William Labov - NYC - listen to a New Yorker
Attitudes about varieties (based on gender, ethnicity, region and social class
stereotypes!)
Coffee shop with a sign:
“We’re sorry - no blended drinks today.
The blender is broke.”
This sign was in Portland area – where would you expect to see it
(based on stereotypes – not your opinion if they’re real)
Socioling
Slide
10b
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Style and ling change interacts with social class
  William Labov’s department store study
Socioling
Slide
11
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
There are many different varieties - what is correct?
Standard English is just one of many different varieties
Linguistics try to describe these varieties and all the varieties are equal in
linguistics terms
What would happen if I said that Standard English meant that you have to
distinguish between cot~caught, tot~taught, hock~hawk, Don~dawn,
collar~caller? How would that make you feel?
Are other dialects mutually intelligible – here some sounds here from the
Northern Cities area: Northern Cities Shift (not #5)
Socioling
Slide
13*
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Regional difference by vowel production shifts (language change) over
time
Northern Cities Shift (play Chicago sample - 3mins)
Socioling
Slide
14*
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
The Southern Shift (Play Arkansas 2mins; play Eng 3mins;
Socioling
Slide
15
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
The California/Canada Shift (Play Cali - 1:45; Ontario 2:15)
Socioling
Slide
16
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Ethnicity - Chicano English, African American Vernacular English, Native
American English; etc.
AAVE - shares features with other English dialects
Tables 15.13 and 15.14 on p. 517 shows AAVE features
Phonological features part of other varieties
Habitual be, copula deletion - more elaborate than standard English
 The coffee cold today. The coffee be cold here.
Socioling
Slide
16b
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Ethnicity - African American Vernacular English,
Socioling
Slide
16c
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Linguistic variation and change
Ethnicity - African American Vernacular English, see Jeopardy game
Socioling
Slide
17
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Gender variable - different degree of usage for men and women
Do men and women speak differently?
What are the assumptions here...
Socioling
Slide
18
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Some say... women use more hedges in their speech - EXAMPLES?
 TRUE OR FALSE?
Grammatical gender - not directly related to real men and women, but most
langs with gram gender do use the masc forms as generic (ellos vs. ellas)
The switch from he as “neutral” pronoun to they
Socioling
Slide
19
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Sex differences of linguistic behavior: Discourse
Hedges
Interruption - men have been found to interrupt women more than vice-versa
(even when woman is a doctor and power is involved)
In a review article looking at 63 studies investigating the amount of talk by
sex (studies from 1951-1991) - only 2 of these studies found women to talk
more overall, but there are differences with respect to topic and formality of
situation See here for more details
Socioling
Slide
20
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
Sociolinguistics
Robin Lakoff, 1975, “women’s language”
Tag questions
Rising intonation for declarative statements
“Empty” adjectives (divine, lovely)
Specialized women’s vocabulary (color terms)
Frequent use of emphasis (“speaking in italics” - What a beautiful hat)
Intensive so (You are so fired)
Politeness devices and hypercorrect grammar (women use more standard
language; more indirect requests)
Hedges (well, like, sort of)
Women don’t tell jokes
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
“Do You Speak American” – information
Watch clips of video in class – the website here:
http://www.pbs.org/speak/
My article on Portland speech is here:
http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/pacificnorthwest/
Ch 14 – Sociolinguistics – May 20, 2010
For next time:
Whatever Dr. Hellermann tells you to do 
Also, he will review what is important information from this
lecture for exam purposes – but hey, it’s all really cool anyway so
you’ll probably remember!
Descargar

Ling 390 - Intro to Linguistics