About me, you and this lecture – What do you hope to gain from this lecture? Jeff Conn’s Webpage: web.pdx.edu/~connjc Information about this lecture at: http://web.pdx.edu/~connjc/Suzhou%20Lecture%20Conn%202010.htm
First, a quick Phonetics review of English (voiceless sounds on the left)
Sociolinguistics • The study of language in its social contexts • The correlation of linguistic variation and social factors • Speech community - group of people who share some set of social conventions (socioling norms) regarding language use • Accent - pronunciation • Dialect - includes pronunciation (phonological/phonetic), but also includes grammatical, lexical and language usage - MFL example • Some examples of homophones for some -- hock/hawk, caller/collar, cot/caught, Don/Dawn
Sociolinguistics • Dialects in North America are mutually intelligible - the differences do not impede communication totally • 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. • Variety - used as a more neutral term for dialect or language • Issues between dialect differences versus language differences are linguistic and political • What are some dialect differences in China?
Sociolinguistics • Linguistic variation and change – dialect (and language) differences due to linguistic change over time • Some social factors interacting with linguistic variation: • REGION* - what are the major dialects/accents spoken in America? • Sex/Gender • Social class* • Age • Ethnicity* • Style
Linguistic variation and change - Region • Regional varieties described in terms of lexical choices done through Linguistic Atlas creation • Dialectologists looked at NORMs - (non-mobile old rural men) • Asked what is the word you use for... • Plotted variation on a map and drew lines – isoglosses • Craig Carver, 1987 – Used Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE) which looked at lexical variation to identify dialects of N. American English • Now sociolinguists look at urban populations and exam different regions in terms of what is happening in the cities with respect to language change • Labov, Ash and Boberg, 2005: Lingusitic Atlas of North American English = large scale phonological survey of North American English American Tongues – Chapter 10
What are the different regional accents in your opinion? http://www.pbs.org/speak/speech/mapping/map.html
Dialect regions according to some dialectologists/sociolinguists American Tongues – Chapter 5
Dialect regions according to some dialectologists/sociolinguists
Linguistic variation and change – cot vs. caught • From Linguistic Atlas of N American English
Some “general” American pronunciation Voiced sounds (like b, d, g, j) are not really voiced in beginning and end of a word in isolation – dad = [dQd] almost like ‘tat’ Voiceless stops (p, t, k) have aspiration after (little puff of air) before the vowel (when stop occurs right before vowel and no s in front). Contrast bit [bIt] pit [pHIt] and spit [spIt] North American t – Can be aspirated at the beginning of a word (immediately before a vowel) as in tip [tHIp]. Can become glottal stop (shut off air in throat) at end of word as in cat [kHQt?]. Can be glottal stop before a nasal with unstressed vowel as in kitten [kHI?n]. Between vowels (second vowel is unstressed) it becomes a tap (like a d) as in writer [raIR] which comes out the same as rider because this happens to d too – rider [raIR] American English r – dialect differences but all dialects have some r. Say “uh” and curl tip of tongue up to roof of mouth.
General American - Vowel Reduction • In unstressed syllables, vowels become more central • Common reduced vowels in English: high central unrounded vowel
Linguistic variation and change • Some dialects in North America have no r at the ends of words (car, card, guard, etc). For them, r can only be the beginning of a syllable. • Includes New York City, Boston, New England and some older southern styles (like Savannah, GA, Charleston, SC, Richmond, VA) • American Tongues Chapter 17, 44:24 • post-vocalic r(car, card, guard, etc) • William Labov - NYC - listen to a New Yorker
Linguistic variation and change • Style and ling change interacts with social class • William Labov’s department store study
Different Vowel Systems – Philly Bonnie - listen C = syllable closed by Cons; F = free – vowel final; V = closed by voiced Cons or final; 0 = closed by voiceless Cons
Linguistic variation and change • Regional difference by vowel production shifts (language change) over time • Northern Cities Shift (play Chicago sample - 3mins) O'Grady, W., Archibald, J., Aronoff, M., Rees-Miller, J. (2009). Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction (6th edition)
Linguistic variation and change • The Southern Shift (Play Arkansas 2mins; play Eng 3mins; O'Grady, W., Archibald, J., Aronoff, M., Rees-Miller, J. (2009). Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction (6th edition)
Linguistic variation and change • The California/Canada Shift (Play Cali - 1:45; Ontario 2:15) O'Grady, W., Archibald, J., Aronoff, M., Rees-Miller, J. (2009). Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction (6th edition)
Different Vowel Systems - Portland C = syllable closed by Cons; F = free – vowel final; V = closed by voiced Cons or final; 0 = closed by voiceless Cons
“Do You Speak American” – watch video for examples of regional linguistic variation – jot down notes about anything surprising or parts that were hard to understand Watch clips of video in class – the website here: http://www.pbs.org/speak/ Conn article on Portland speech is here: http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/pacificnorthwest/
Let’s try to sound Southern Let’s try to sound Northern (Northern Cities Shift) Let’s try to sound Californian (maybe west coast in general)
Linguistic variation and change - Attitudes • 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 • Are other dialects mutually intelligible – here some sounds here from the Northern Cities area: Northern Cities Shift (not #5)
What are the consequences of speaking a non-standard dialect? What is standard American English? Is there a standard pronunciation? What happens if someone speaks non-standard in China? What are the consequences? Listen to clips from American Tongues – Funny Accents track, Chapter 12 (negative feelings toward southern American), American Tongues Chapter 17, 44:24
Linguistic variation and change • Ethnicity - Chicano English, African American Vernacular English, Native American English; etc. • AAVE - shares features with other English dialects • Phonological features part of other varieties • Habitual be, copula deletion - more elaborate than standard English • The coffee cold today. (One time event) • The coffee be cold here. (Habitual)
Linguistic variation and change • Ethnicity - African American Vernacular English, From O’Grady, et. al. 2005.
Linguistic variation and change – Listen to clips from DYSA • Ethnicity - African American Vernacular English, From O’Grady, et. al. 2005.
What are the benefits for teaching English with knowledge of variation? • Knowledge of the different types of English students will encounter will help them prepare. • All language has variation, so to NOT acknowledge that is to limit our knowledge of the language. • Need to understand the repercussions for speaking in a non-standard way • Language and identity connected – American Tongues 52:27 – do we accept differences?
Teaching pedagogy As far as teaching style, I prefer a very informal setting. While lectures are good, I believe lectures with laughter are better. Why? I think that students grasp the knowledge better if they can interpret it through their own experience. I think an emotional connection to the information is vital for having it mean something to the student rather than just processing information. While some students are great at processing information on a very rational/objective level, I feel I reach more students if I can access their emotional/subjective level of understanding. Through this (what Krashen in Second Language Acquisition calls an Affective Filter), I think students will not only gain a more thorough understanding of the material, but it will also be more valuable to them.
Resources Video and Internet Sources: American Tongues video - http://www.cnam.com/non_flash/language/american.html Nice examples of different American dialects, mostly regional dialects, some profanity, a little outdated, good examples of how every day people feel about dialects Do You Speak American – website and video http://www.pbs.org/speak/ Nice examples of a lot of different American Englishes, regional differences as well as ethnic differences, linguist viewpoint (very descriptive with little information on attitudes toward language), a little long and not all is relevant, good web resources that can be used with video including teacher’s guide Conn article on Portland accent: http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/pacificnorthwest/ International Dialects of English Archive - http://web.ku.edu/~idea/ Great examples of many types of English, a little hard to find some good accent productions (not all speakers have strong regional accents)
Resources Some Useful Books: Labov, W. (1994) Principles of Lingusitic Change, Volume 1: Internal Factors. Oxford: Blackwell. (Very technical information about language change) Labov, W. (2001) Principles of Lingusitic Change, Volume 2: Social Factors. Oxford: Blackwell. (Very technical but detailed including Labov’s Philadelphia Study.) Milroy, L. and Gordon, M. (2003) Sociolinguistics: Method and Interpretation. Oxford: Blackwell. (Good information about field and methodology of sociolinguistics – some technical linguistic knowledge required, not a lot of actual examples) Wells, John C. (1982) Accents of English 1: An Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press. Wells, John C. (1982) Accents of English 2: The British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press. Wells, John C. (1982) Accents of English 3: Beyond the British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ Press. (Good descriptions of different accents, focuses on pronunciation, mainly descriptive and not as theoretical as others) *Wolfram, W. and Schilling-Estes, N. (2006) American English. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing. 2nd Edition. (Best choice for beginners – assumes some linguistic technical knowledge, many specific examples)