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Lecture 18

LING316 Lecture 18: lecture18

4 Pages
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Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LING316
Professor
Terry Nadasdi

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November 13th, 2014
Language Reform
According to Lakoff: “social change creates language change, not the reverse, social
change must precede lexical change… one cannot purely by changing language use
change social status.”
Others state that as long as women use a language constructed principally by
men and which underscores their subordinate status, social reform will be
impossible or extremely limited (is it a tool or simply a reflection?)
Review (Logic)
- Verbal deprivation
- Educational psychologist, having interviewed Black kids who spoke in
one-word utterance.
- Insufficient input created a verbal deficit
- The interview situation was asymmetrical
- Labov was able to elicit verbose output when the situation was modified.
Flaws
Even in the first case, the children showed discursive skills. Labov concludes that the
educational psychologists’ conducted an uncontrolled experiment since they didn’t pay
attention to the speaker’s interpretation of their intentions.
Origins od AAV(E)?
- Regional variety learned by blacks in plantation settings
- Started out as a creole, result of English in contact with west African languages
and over time we’ve moved along the post creole continuum towards the
acrolect.
Grammaticality
Some researchers have suggested that Black English structures like “They mine” (Zero
copula), “Me got juice” (syncretism between subject and object) are ungrammatical and
illogical. Concerning zero copula, L. states that this is how relations of predication are
established in Russian, Hungarian and Arabic. AAVE follows that same strict rule set as
Standard English contraction.
Concluding Remarks
1. Uncontrolled misleading data was used to form deficit theory and to say that Black kids
spoke in a restricted code, ill-equipped for communicating complex ideas and this was
related to poor performance in school.

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Description
November 13​ , 2014h​ Language Reform According to Lakoff: “social change creates language change, not the reverse, social change must precede lexical change… one cannot purely by changing language use change social status.” Others state that as long as women use a language constructed principally by men and which underscores their subordinate status, social reform will be impossible or extremely limited (is it a tool or simply a reflection?) Review (Logic) -​ Verbal deprivation -​ Educational psychologist, having interviewed Black kids who spoke in one-word utterance. -​ Insufficient input created a verbal deficit -​ The interview situation was asymmetrical -​ Labov was able to elicit verbose output when the situation was modified. Flaws Even in the first case, the children showed discursive skills. Labov concludes that the educational psychologists’ conducted an uncontrolled experiment since they didn’t pay attention to the speaker’s interpretation of their intentions. Origins od AAV(E)? -​ Regional variety learned by blacks in plantation settings -​ Started out as a creole, result of English in contact with west African languages and over time we’ve moved along the post creole continuum towards the acrolect. Grammaticality Some researchers have suggested that Black English structures like “They mine” (Zero copula), “Me got juice” (syncretism between subject and object) are ungrammatical and illogical. Concerning zero copula, L. states that this is how relations of predication are established in Russian, Hungarian and Arabic. AAVE follows that same strict rule set as Standard English contraction. Concluding Remarks 1.​ Uncontrolled misleading data was used to form deficit theory and to say that Black kids spoke in a restricted code, ill-equipped for communicating complex ideas and this was related to poor performance in school. 2.​ Since middle-class students do better in school, their speech habits are the most appropriate. (However verbosity is dysfunctional) 3.​ Perceived grammatical differences are equated with capacity for logical analysis (non-standard varieties are just as grammatical from a linguistic perspective and just as suitable for logical and abstract thought) 4.​ Teaching a child to mimic middle class speech is not teaching him/her to think logically (this kind of thinking has been the source of both useless “educational” programs and irresponsible research regarding the genetic inferiority of non standard speakers. “​That educational psychology should be strongly influenced by a theory that is so false to the facts of language in unfortunate; but that children should be the victims of this ignorance in intolerable.” Centralization on Martha’s Vineyard Labov studied the increased used of a diphthong with a centralized onset among the th​ th​ local population on this island. Which, since 16​ and 17​ centuries has become open, even on Martha’s Vineyard. Why was it that the islanders were changing their pronunciation away from the general norm of having an open onset? Note also that while the front glide wasn’t entirely open in General American, the back glide was. (Assumed before voiceless consonants). We can’t treat all islanders as a monolithic group, we need to distinguish at least three ethnic groups: 1.​ Those of the Portuguese origin 2.​ Those of Amerindian origin 3.​ Those of Yankee origin Labov’s work on Martha’s Vineyard suggests that the change to a more centralized onset began with the rural Yankees. In fact, the centralizing of the back glide resulted from this. *This is a case of what
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