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robertogreco : dialects   17

The Legendary Language of the Appalachian "Holler" | JSTOR Daily
"Is the unique Appalachian dialect the preserved language of Elizabethan England? Left over from Scots-Irish immigrants? Or something else altogether?"



"The AAVE Connection
Many have noticed strong similarities between white southern speech and AAVE, although AAVE isn’t necessarily tied to the south. For example, Wolfram highlights language from a KKK pamphlet which reads “Look out liberals: Wallace power gonna get you” showing a similar grammatical construction to AAVE with a missing copula be (e.g. you ugly).

If it’s true that the two dialects have slightly different linguistic sources as their origins, how did they come to be so similar? As we’ve seen, white southern speech has a Scots-Irish origin, sharing some of unusual grammatical structures yet is missing many other distinctive features of those dialects. Meanwhile, though most linguists agree that AAVE originated from the same British dialects as white southern speech, some argue that there was some linguistic influence from an English-based creole formed when millions of Africans speaking many different languages were forced, through slavery, to communicate with each other.

Wolfram suggests that the missing copula is a characteristic sign of creole influence from AAVE. The question is, how did this feature get into white southern speech, especially if the grammar was inherited mostly intact from its monoculture immigrants? It seems likely that while both dialects came from similar sources, AAVE had a significant impact on how the white southern evolved. White southern speech could have adopted and assimilated certain features of AAVE through white children spending formative time with slave caregivers and their children, for example. In a social context where white southerners and black southerners were closely interacting, many elements of African American Vernacular English, from grammar to accent, were likely to have been major influences on how southern speech developed into its own distinctive dialect. The writer of the KKK pamphlet might could have been driven plumb crazy had they known that.

So the theory of the poor, white, rural Appalachian mountain men going it alone, preserving a pure and unchanging strain of archaic British English, isolated in a hardscrabble place far from civilization, could not be further from the truth. Without the influence of diverse communities of other Appalachians such as African American Appalachians, the southern Appalachian speech and culture simply would not be what it is today. To ignore their contributions to culture and language means Appalachia will always be a distant story, burdened by the myths and legends written by others, left half told."
language  us  english  appalachia  chiluu  2018  dialects  linguistics  srg 
august 2018 by robertogreco
The habitual be: Why cookie monster be eating cookies, whether he is eating cookies or not.
"Who be eating cookies? That’s the question that the University of Maryland at Baltimore’s Janice Jackson asked children in a now-famous study on “the habitual be.” Have you heard of this creature? Though it sounds like the yellowjacket perpetually hard at work on your hydrangea, it is not. It is but one way in which African-American English (AAE, to linguists) adds nuance to traditional verb forms, and it is the reason that “she be walking the dog” signifies differently to different listeners.

If you are speaking so-called white English, “Mara be walking the dog” means the same thing as “Mara is walking the dog.” If you are communicating in AAE, “Mara be walking the dog” says that Mara customarily walks the dog—that dog-walking has some definitional sway over her daily existence. It doesn’t guarantee that she is out walking the dog at this moment.

In that 2005 University of Maryland at Baltimore study, groups of black and white children were shown images from Sesame Street. In the crucial picture, a sick Cookie Monster languished in bed without any cookies, while Elmo stood nearby eating a cookie. “Who is eating cookies?” Jackson asked her test subjects, and all of them indicated Elmo. “Who be eating cookies?” Jackson then asked. The white kids replied that it was Elmo, while the black kids pointed to Cookie Monster. After all, it is the existential state of Cookie Monster to be eating cookies, while Elmo just happened to be earing a cookie at that moment. Cookie Monster, to those conversant in AAE, be eating cookies, whether he is eating cookies or not. The kids in Jackson’s experiment picked up on the subtle difference when they were as young as five or six.  

Other features of AAE—a dialect individuals might move in and out of at will—include copula absence (the omission of certain forms of “to be,” as in “they angry” instead of “they are angry,” or the currently vogueish Twitter declaration “it me”) and the deletion of s’s after third person singular verbs. (Think “Hulk smash,” not “Hulk smashes.”) But the meaning of such variations is relatively transparent regardless of your comfort level with AAE. The habitual be seems slyer, not just a simple signifier of black speech (though it’s been used to that purpose) but a separate, specialized verb tense masquerading as a “standard” one. Gaelic, Jackson pointed out, also uses verb forms that distinguish between habitual action and currently occurring action. The habitual be be reminding us of the richness of English’s many dialects."
language  aae  african-americanenglish  us  linguistics  2015  habitualbe  dialects  tense  verbs 
june 2015 by robertogreco
25 maps that explain the English language - Vox
"English is the language of Shakespeare and the language of Chaucer. It's spoken in dozens of countries around the world, from the United States to a tiny island named Tristan da Cunha. It reflects the influences of centuries of international exchange, including conquest and colonization, from the Vikings through the 21st century. Here are 25 maps and charts that explain how English got started and evolved into the differently accented languages spoken today."
english  maps  mapping  language  history  change  accents  migration  immigration  colonization  international  australia  us  india  europe  wikipedia  words  vocabulary  dialects  regionalisms 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Conversation in Truro about accent, dialect and attitudes to language. - BBC Voices - Accents and dialects | British Library - Sounds
[via: “Chacking to hear some Cornish dialects?”
http://britishlibrary.typepad.co.uk/sound-and-vision/2015/03/chacking-to-hear-some-cornish-dialects.html ]

[See also:
"The BBC Voices Recordings is an audio archive of group conversations made in 303 locations across the UK by BBC Local and Nations Radio in 2004 and 2005. The recordings involve 1,293 speakers discussing their words for 40 prompt terms (e.g. 'mother', 'tired' and 'to play truant') and exploring the language they use and encounter in their daily lives."
http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/bldept/socsci/research/voicesuk/voices.html ]

"Abstract
[00:00:00] Speakers introduce themselves. Discussion of words used to describe EMOTIONS. Comment that her hairdressing voice is very polite. Mention multiple meanings of hanging and minging. Discussion about speaking differently when talking to different people: friends/clients/parents, use of slang. Description of fathers Cornish accent, swear words he uses. Things that make them jumping (annoyed). Comment that she has picked up the Cornish phrase cheers my lover, used to address boyfriend, since moving to Cornwall.[00:07:38] Discussion of words used to describe ACTIONS. Anecdote about playing truant from school, playing truant from college during second year. Discussion about meaning, use and offensiveness of twatted.[00:11:44] Discussion of words used to describe CLOTHING. Description of clothes they wear when clubbing. Discussion about attitudes towards cheap, trendy clothes, designer labels and fakes; different fashion expectations for boys/girls, their shopping habits. Discussion of words used to mean lacking money/rich. Description of plimsolls, compulsory footwear for physical education when they were at school, comment that her six-year old cousin now wears Nike trainers for physical education at school.[00:17:58] Discussion of words used to describe PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES. Comment that as hairdressers they have to get used to using both right and left hands. Description of person who is hanging/munting/minging meaning extremely unattractive; clothes skaters wear which she thinks look awful. Discussion about subtle differences in meaning between pretty/attractive/stunning/gorgeous used to describe females, examples of women who fit each category. Description of how she reacts to rude customers.[00:28:00] Discussion of words used to describe WEATHER AND SURROUNDINGS. Comment that peoples speech reveals their age. Discussion about words they would/wouldnt use to describe different types of relationships with men, words used to describe promiscuous woman, words used to mean male partner. Discussion about what they would say to each other on seeing a man they really like in a nightclub, euphemisms used when working behind bar in nightclub; words used by men to describe women they like, how they would feel if these words were used to describe them; words used by males/females to describe wanting to have sex with someone, comment that females arent more reserved but they describe it more politely than males who use more boastful language, possibly because male/female sexual activity is judged differently by other people. Mention words used to describe being desperate to go to the toilet.[00:40:55] Discussion of words used to describe PEOPLE AND THINGS. Mention words used to mean father. Use and meaning of Cornish word dreckly.[00:49:25] Discussion about their attitudes towards the way they speak and the words they use, changing speech in different situations/when talking to different people. Attitudes towards regional accents, description of their own accents, attitudes towards Cornish accent, difference between accent of old/young Cornish people, Cornish language, accents that sound educated, how language relates to class. Comment that David Beckhams voice doesnt match his appearance. Discussion about other peoples attitudes towards and assumptions about Cornish accent, changing/losing accent over generations/when moving across country, future of Cornish accent/regional accents, regional accents on television, how accent changes across Cornwall, pride in their accents, pride in being Cornish.

Description
All three interviewees are hairdressers who are also keen clubbers and very good friends. BBC warning: this interview contains strong or offensive language. Recording made for BBC Voices project of a conversation guided by a BBC interviewer. The conversation follows a loose structure based on eliciting opinions about accents, dialects, the words we use and people's attitude to language."
truro  language  accents  dialects  english  cornish  2004  linguistics  slang  words  uk  cornwall  voices 
march 2015 by robertogreco
Computational Linguistics of Twitter Reveals the Existence of Global Superdialects | MIT Technology Review
"Gonçalves and Sánchez begin by sampling all of the tweets written in Spanish over two years and that also contain geolocation information. That gave them a database of 50 million geolocated tweets, with most from Spain, Spanish America, and the United States.

They then searched these tweets for word variations that are indicative of specific dialects. For example, the word for car in Spanish can be auto, automóvil, carro, coche, concho, or movi, with each being more common in different dialects. Different words for bra include ajustador, ajustadores, brasiel, brassiere, corpiño, portaseno, sostén, soutien, sutién, sujetador, and tallador while variations on computer include computador, computadora, microcomputador, microcomputadora, ordenador, PC, and so on.

They then plotted where in the world these different words were being used, producing a map of their distribution. This map clearly shows how different words are commonly used in certain parts of the world.

However, they also looked at the environments in which the words were used, whether in large cities or in rural locations. And that revealed a major surprise.

It turns out that Spanish dialects falls into two major groups which Gonçalves and Sánchez call superdialects. The first of these is used more or less exclusively in major Spanish and American cities. This is an international variety of Spanish that is similar across continents. Gonçalves and Sánchez speculate that this is the result of an increasing homogenization of language caused by global communication systems like Twitter.

The second superdialect is used almost exclusively in rural areas. Gonçalves and Sánchez used a machine learning algorithm to find subclusters within this group and discovered three different variations. These correspond to a dialect used in Spain, a Caribbean and Latin American dialect and another variation used exclusively in South America.

The researchers say these regions reflect the settlement patterns of Spanish immigrants dating back many centuries. “Conquerors and settlers occupied first the territories of Mexico, Peru and the Caribbean, and only much later colonists established permanent residence in [South America], which stayed away from prestigious linguistic norms,” they say.

The fact that patterns of language have preserved this history is fascinating. “This strong cultural heritage that can still be observed, centuries later, in our datasets deserves to be further analyzed in future works,” say Gonçalves and Sánchez."

[Study: http://arxiv.org/abs/1407.7094 ]
spanish  linguistics  twitter  language  expañol  dialects  superdialects  rural  urban  urbanism  history 
august 2014 by robertogreco
22 Maps That Show The Deepest Linguistic Conflicts In America - Business Insider
"Everyone knows that Americans don't exactly agree on pronunciations. 

Regional accents are a major part of what makes American English so interesting as a dialect.

Joshua Katz, a Ph. D student in statistics at North Carolina State University, just published a group of awesome visualizations of a linguistic survey that looked at how Americans pronounce words. (via) detsl on /r/Linguistics

His results were first published on Abstract, the N.C. State research blog. 

Joshua gave us permission to publish some of the coolest maps from his collection."

[More maps are here: http://spark-1590165977.us-west-2.elb.amazonaws.com/jkatz/SurveyMaps/ ]
language  us  english  words  pronunciation  2013  joshuakatz  dialects  dialect 
june 2013 by robertogreco
Northern Cities Vowel Shift: How Americans in the Great Lakes region are revolutionizing English. - Slate Magazine
"In any case, fears that TV and the Internet are funneling us toward a standard dialect don’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Dialect formation occurs long before we become ensnared in the web of modern communications technology. Children acquire language from face-to-face interaction with their parents and peers, and this learning is shaped profoundly by our desire to fit in. People wring their hands about the supposed disappearance of dialectic diversity for the same reason that such diversity is not, in fact, going anywhere: We cling to our specific identities and peer groups, and we defend our individual and regional idiosyncrasies when and where we can. Our dialects are often the weapon readiest to hand in that fight.

Which doesn’t mean that aspects of our dialects won’t evolve—and even, in some cases, blend with others over time. But years from now you’ll still learn a lot about a person’s identity just by listening closely."
via:litherland  dialects  media  robmifsud  northerncitiesshift  vowels  greatvowelshift  english  buffalo  canada  speech  linguistics  greatlakes  change  2012  pronunciation  language  us  accents 
august 2012 by robertogreco
American English Dialects, Based on Pronunciation Patterns
[Somehow I never bookmarked this amazing personal project before.]

"This is just a hobby of mine, that I thought might be interesting to a lot of people. Some people collect stamps. Others collect coins. I collect dialects. Please let me know what you think of this page. - Rick Aschmann (Last updated: July 21, 2012.)"

"There are 8 major English dialect areas in North America, listed below the map at left. These are shown in blue, each with its number, on the map and in the Dialect Description Chart below, and are also outlined with blue lines on the map. The first 6 of these begin at the eastern seaboard and proceed west, reflecting western settlement patterns.

The many subdialects are shown in red on the map and in the chart, and are outlined with red lines on the map. All of these are listed in the margins of the map as well.

In the Dialect Description Chart additional features not shown on the map are provided for distinguishing the dialects."
rickaschmann  canada  us  northamerica  mapping  pronunciation  accents  dialects  english  maps  linguistics  language 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Boontling - Wikipedia
"Boontling is a folk language spoken only in Boonville in Northern California.

Although based on English, Boontling's unusual words are unique to Boonville, California. Scottish Gaelic and Irish, and some Pomoan and Spanish, also influenced the vocabulary of the language.[1] Boontling was invented in the late 19th century and had quite a following at the turn of the 20th century. It is now mostly spoken only by aging counter-culturists and native Anderson Valley residents. Because the town of Boonville only has a little over 700 residents, Boontling is an extremely esoteric dialect, and is quickly becoming archaic. It has over a thousand unique words and phrases"

[via: http://twitter.com/thisandagain/status/89424538575712256 ]
history  writing  language  storytelling  california  norcal  boonville  andersonvalley  dialects 
july 2011 by robertogreco
California English - Wikipedia
"California English (or Californian, Californian English) is a dialect of the English language spoken in California.[1] California is home to a highly diverse population, which is reflected in the historical and continuing development of California English."

[Of particular interest is "freeway nomenclature" of Northern and Southern California: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_English#Freeway_nomenclature

[via: http://latimes.tumblr.com/post/4102291799/10-freeway ]
language  english  california  linguistics  dialects  accents  vocabulary  usage  phonology  nocal  socal  losangeles  sanfrancisco  sandiego  orangecounty  inlandempire  freeways  carculture  cars 
march 2011 by robertogreco
American English Dialect Recordings: The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection - (American Memory from the Library of Congress)
"The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations, and excerpts from public speeches. They were drawn from various archives, and from the private collections of fifty collectors, including linguists, dialectologists, and folklorists. They were submitted to the Center for Applied Linguistics as part of a project entitled "A Survey and Collection of American English Dialect Recordings," which was funded by the Center for Applied Linguistics and the National Endowment for the Humanities."
culture  history  language  languages  dialects  english  us  american  linguistics  audio  words  archives  loc 
september 2009 by robertogreco
Contrary to belief, local linguists say Northwest has distinctive dialect
""So, why do so many women talk creaky here? What's that mean anyway?

"Bill Clinton is a good example of creaky," said Ingle. Clinton's folksy speech, in which his voice sounds both scratchy and relaxed, is the opposite of "breathy" voicing, she said.

In the Northwest, Ingle's study indicates creaky voicing is popular -- especially among women. Breathy voicing, which in extreme form sounds like Marilyn Monroe's birthday song for JFK, is not big in the Northwest.

Wassink said the local popularity of creaky voicing could be how we compensate for another feature of our speech style. We've stopped using one vowel. Linguists work with 15 vowel sounds to describe spoken American English and we only use 14 of them."

[more: http://cascadiascorecard.typepad.com/blog/2005/05/do_you_speak_ca.html AND http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/05/317962.shtml ]
language  dialects  english  cascadia  speech  cv  creakyvoice 
september 2009 by robertogreco
NYPL: Zadie Smith | ART.CULT
"Last night at the New York Public Library, author Zadie Smith asked what it means when we speak in different ways to different people. Is it a sign of duplicity or the mark of a complex sensibility? In this lecture, Zadie Smith takes a look at register and tone, from the academy to the streets, through black and white, with examples such as Eliza Doolittle, Shakespeare, and Obama. Here’s her lecture, live from the NYPL."

[audio here: http://audio.wnyc.org/culture/culture20081205_nypl.mp3 ]

[See also: http://whatsheonaboutnow.blogspot.com/2009/02/if-youve-got-hour-this-could-cheer-you.html AND http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22334 ]
zadiesmith  barackobama  communication  literature  identity  race  speech  class  experience  accents  dialects  authenticity  culture  books  language  shakespeare  voice  uk  us  writing  politics  audio  recordings  poetry  cv  glvo  self  equivocation 
february 2009 by robertogreco
And Another Thing: If you've got an hour, this could cheer you up
"Today I heard a wonderful thing. It was a lecture called "Speaking In Tongues" given by Zadie Smith in New York. I'm too stupid to be able to capture any more than ten per cent of what she has to say but I found even that percentage inspiringly sane."

[See also: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/22334 AND http://blogs.wnyc.org/culture/2008/12/06/speaking-in-tongues-live-at-the-nypl/ ]
zadiesmith  via:russelldavies  barackobama  communication  literature  identity  race  speech  class  experience  accents  dialects  authenticity  culture  books  language  shakespeare  voice  uk  us  writing  politics  audio  recordings  poetry  self  equivocation 
february 2009 by robertogreco
Speaking in Tongues - The New York Review of Books
"It's my audacious hope that a man born and raised between opposing dogmas, between cultures, between voices, could not help but be aware of the extreme contingency of culture. I further audaciously hope that such a man will not mistake the happy accident of his own cultural sensibilities for a set of natural laws, suitable for general application. I even hope that he will find himself in agreement with George Bernard Shaw when he declared, "Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it." But that may be an audacious hope too far. We'll see if Obama's lifelong vocal flexibility will enable him to say proudly with one voice "I love my country" while saying with another voice "It is a country, like other countries." I hope so. He seems just the man to demonstrate that between those two voices there exists no contradiction and no equivocation but rather a proper and decent human harmony."

[see also: http://whatsheonaboutnow.blogspot.com/2009/02/if-youve-got-hour-this-could-cheer-you.html AND http://blogs.wnyc.org/culture/2008/12/06/speaking-in-tongues-live-at-the-nypl/ ]
zadiesmith  barackobama  communication  literature  identity  race  speech  class  experience  accents  dialects  authenticity  culture  books  language  shakespeare  voice  uk  us  writing  politics  audio  recordings  poetry  self  equivocation 
february 2009 by robertogreco
idiolect: Definition and Much More from Answers.com
"The speech of an individual, considered as a linguistic pattern unique among speakers of his or her language or dialect... the particular variety of a language used by an individual speaker or writer, which may be marked by peculiarities of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation."
words  language  linguistics  speech  dialects  grammar  pronunciation  accents  time  age  identity 
september 2007 by robertogreco

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