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ANT253H1 (58)
Chapter 5

Chapter 5 notes.odt

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Marcel Danesi

Chapter 5 Variation – Language forms (such as phonological, grammatical) vary constant across both time and space – If there is a lot of variant forms, they are said to constitute a version of a language called dialect Diaelct overview – Geographical dialect or simply dialect – different speech in different regions – Social dialect or sociolects– how social groups of communities speak – Dialects develop over time due to regional or societal(economic classes or religion) seperations – Dialect speech is often considered to be a marker of identity- e.g. Massachusetts people have different vowel pronunciations than the tourists – Dialect is simply a variant version of a language- but the distinction is not so obvious – e.g. “Romance language” such as French, Spanish, portuges etc. turn out to be moderd-day dialects of latin- spoken – they are spoken in territories that became countries after the breakdown of the Roman Empire – They were granted the status of official national languages because the countries they were spoken in received political independence Dialect – deried from dialektos meaning speech – indicating that the term was innitially coined to refer to the ways people commonly use language in everyday communication – different from the standard set up of a proper/official language – e.g. french spoken in Paris = the standard form of French; all other varients = dialect – it doesn't have to do with Parisian French being more cultured or the quality of its structual features (pronunciation, lexicons, etc.) – similarly Tuscan as the basis for the standard language of Italy mainly because it was used by great medieval writers (Dante, Petrarch, etc.) and was guarenteed a wide audience – determining whether 2 languages are dialects or different languages is difficult – Dialectologists usually rely on mutual intelligibility to make the distinction – if two linguistic codes cannot be understood mutually by the speakers of both languages – they are distinct linguages – if they are intelligible, then they are considered to be dialects of the same language – Chambers and Trudgill – explained that this view of languages can be used classify dialects as subparts of a language- and providing criteria for distinguishing two languages – Problems with this criterion – many levels of mutual intellibility exists- at level can you decide that they are no longer mutually understandable? – most people can usually tell the distinction though –e.g. canadian and american English are dialects of the British English- where Canada tries to preserve more of the British English (colour vs. color) – Although it is becoming more similar to theAmerican recently – especially when it comes to vocabulary (e.g. gasoline instead of petrol, friend instead of mate, etc.) 3 Major dialectal variants of English in the US 1. Northern – called Eastern or New England – typically spoken in New England or New York – its charecteristics include: – dropping the r sound at the end of words e.g. cark pronounced as Kah – short close o sounds instead of open o (e.g. in fog) 2. Southern – spoken in the southern states – features include: – the loss of r sound – the use of broad a (e.g. time = taahm) – the use of short i for e before a nasal sound (pen = Pihn) 3. Midland- Called Western or Midwestern – spoken in pennsylivania, West virginia and mostAppalachian mountain states – sometimes considered the standard form of English because it is spoken in the largest geographic are – include the use of the r sound, the use of open o,the use of long ay in time Study of Dialects – there are many tools developed – Dialect atlas – collection of maps of specific regions – each map shows morphology and pronunciation a word rakes in a specific region/area surveyed – Georg Wenker – the first person to study such maps – he sent a list of sentences written in standard German to other schoolteachers in North germany, asking them to write the list into local dialect – This questionaire method led to two setps of maps – The questionaire method sti
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