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Language Variants. A Single Language Varies According to: Idiolect = the unique characteristics of how a given individual speaks the language. Dialect.

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Presentation on theme: "Language Variants. A Single Language Varies According to: Idiolect = the unique characteristics of how a given individual speaks the language. Dialect."— Presentation transcript:

1 Language Variants

2 A Single Language Varies According to: Idiolect = the unique characteristics of how a given individual speaks the language. Dialect = a version of a language that is systemmatically different from other versions of the language Standard = the ideal against which idiolects and dialects are measured

3 Language or Dialect? Mutual Intelligibility is the criterion used to differentiate between dialects and languages is a matter of judgement and tradition. Communicative Isolation Results in the divergence of differing forms of a language (linguistic drift) is what creates dialects and new languages Can be complete or only partial Dialect Leveling The opposite of isolation, this makes a language more uniform in its variants

4 Dialects Regional = geographically defined Socioeconomic = defined by social class Ethnic = defined by membership in a particular ethnic group

5 Aspects of Dialect Accents = systematic phonological differences in the use of speech sounds Lexical Differences = vocabulary differences Syntactic Differences = differences in how sentences are constructed and used

6 Pidgins Pidgin is a language that arises from the need for workers and bosses to communicate when they do not speak the same language Limited vocabulary Simplified grammatical elements eg. Slaves and owners Colonial land owners and peasants who work the land Hawaiian Pidgin began as a pidgin that allowed colonists to give orders to indigenous workers Combined Hawaiian and English language elements

7 Creoles Pidgins that have become complete languages that are learned by children as their first language Eg. Hawaiian Pidgin has become a creole over time and is the local language that is spoken by individuals growing up in Hawaii

8 African American English (AAE) Phonological Differences R-deletion guard = god, sore = saw, poor = pa L-deletion all = awe, help = hep Neutralization of [I ]and [E] before nasals (intermediate sound) pin = pen, ten = tin Loss of interdental fricatives Ruth = roof Brother = brover This = dis That = dat

9 Syntactic Differences Double negatives he dont know nothing he dont got none Deletion of the verb to be He is nice. = He nice. I am gonna do it. = I gonna do it. Habitual be Sarah is happy. = Sarah be happy. ( Sarah is a always a happy person) He is late. = He late He is always late. = He be late.

10 Latino/Hispanic/Chicano English Phonological Differences Substitution of the Spanish 5 vowel system for the English 11 vowel system ship & sheep = sheep rid and read = read Interchangeability of sh and ch show = cho check = sheck Devoicing some consonants easy = isi guys = gais Final consonant cluster simplification war and ward = war star and start = star Consonant substitution th = t (thin = tin) th = d (they = dey) Addition of e sound at beginning of s words school = eskool start = estart

11 Latino/Hispanic/Chicano English Syntactic Differences: Double negatives he dont know nothing he dont got none Use of more for more often Use of out from for away from

12 Registers Situational dialects that are used in different roles and in differing social situations. Informal vs formal EG. Tu vs usted in Spanish Motherese with young children

13 Slang An informal set of alternative vocabulary and/or meanings Including: –Recombining existing words in new ways to create meanings (spaced out) –Introducing new words (zonked) –Attaching new meanings to existing words (to text)

14 Jargon A set of vocabulary that is used in a specified limited technical, professional or occupational context. EG. The vocabulary that you have been learning in this class that is used by specialists in Linguistics: phoneme, morpheme, phonetics, phonemics, morphology, syntax, semantics, grammar, etc.

15 Taboo Language vs Euphemisms Taboo = language that should not be used in polite situations Euphemism = a word that replaces a taboo or unpleasant word Class Exercise Why Use Taboo Language? Why Use Euphemisms?

16 Study Guide IdiolectAfrican American/Black English DialectChicano/Hispanic/Latino English StandardRegisters Mutual intelligibilitySlang Communicative isolationJargon Dialect levelingTaboo language Regional dialectEuphemisms Socioeconomic dialect Ethnic dialect Accents Lexical differences Syntactic differences


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