CMD 493 Lecture Notes - Lecture 5: Hopi-Tewa, Tewa Language, Speech Community

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21 Feb 2017
Situation: You have been invited into a public school with 67 different
language varieties spoken by the students. Although standard English is the
majority language of the school and the community, there are significant
groups of students who speak Spanish and/or African American English as
their first language and at home. The school system has asked you to
provide them with information about sociolinguistic diversity (issues of
language variation and language contact) so that decisions can be made
about (1) the extent to which these different varieties can or should be
incorporated into the school curriculum; and (2) the way in which these
different varieties might be incorporated into classroom activities. To help
the school system (and answer the question), you will need to provide (1)
basic information and concepts regarding the nature of language change and
language variation; (2) discuss attitudes toward non-dominant language
varieties and why speakers tend to keep speaking these varieties; and to a
lesser extent (3) address issues concerning potential best practices for
teaching standard languages. You are only being asked to address
potential best teaching practices in general terms and NOT in a lot of
depth; however, the teaching practices you recommend should make sense
with respect to your basic overview regarding the nature of language change
and variation, and the nature of language attitudes.
All your responses will be graded according to the breadth and depth of
your answer (the number of ideas from your readings and notes that are
appropriately used to support your point of view); the clarity and
organization of your written work (please make sure that your response is
organized in a way that is clear to the reader, and use headings and
subheadings when appropriate); and the correct use of spelling and
grammar. Make sure you begin your essay with an introductory
paragraph explaining how the remainder of your essay will be organized.
That is, the topics you will address and the order you will address them in.
Your use of headings and/or subheadings should correspond to this
introductory paragraph. PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD, PROOFREAD.
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Language Variation and Language Attitudes (revised 2012)
(Duranti, 1997; Hudson, 1996; Johnstone, 1996; Milroy & Milroy, 1985)
Language Variation: Introduction
When characterizing language variation, we can discuss this in
2 ways: (1) how language changes over time (a very dramatic
example being the creolization process, as we’ve discussed in a
different section of the lecture noteson exam, I want
examples of grammar, and not so much vocabulary; Adger &
Wolfram book also provides examples); and (2) how language
varies according to context. In what follows, we take up
concepts related to language variation according to context,
including attitudes toward different language varieties.
Three basic concepts regarding language variation and
context: speech community, social networks, linguistic
I. Types of language variation: Community and individual levels
A. Variation at the community level (an aerial view)
1. Speech Community (on an exam, your task may be to
synthesize a definition that you think works best)
a) All people who use a given language (or dialect)
(Lyons, 1970, p. 326)
Problem: According to Lyons’ definition, speech
communities may overlap (where there are bilingual
individuals) but there is no requirement for social or
cultural unity (a problem).
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Are people who speak Spanish in Mexico and in Spain
part of the same speech community? Does this create a
problem for Lyons’ definition?
b) Each language defines a speech community: the
whole set of people who communicate with each other,
either directly or indirectly, via a common language.
(Hockett, 1958, p. 8)
With Hockett’s definition, communication becomes
Pro: If two communities spoke the same language but had
no contact with one another, they would not be members
of different speech communities. A speech community,
according to Hockett, refers to a group sharing a common
language and communicating with each other.
Con: However, does Hockett’s definition cover
multilingual speech communities? Is this a problem?Are
there multilingual speech communities?
c) We will define [linguistic community] as a social
group which may be either monolingual or multilingual,
held together by frequency of social interaction patterns
and set off from the surrounding areas by weaknesses in
the lines of communication. (Gumperz, 1962)
Gumperz’ definition explicitly recognizes that members of
the same speech community may interact using different
languages. Later (see below), Gumperz (1968) made it
more clear that there are some linguistic differences
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