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Language variation register genre dialect accent.

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Presentation on theme: "Language variation register genre dialect accent."— Presentation transcript:

1 Language variation register genre dialect accent

2 Language variation dialect accent "a language"

3 Discussing language variation in Iceland Are there any dialects in Icelandic? What "type" of Icelandic is taught to foreign students? Will they hear any difference in the Icelandic spoken in Reykjavík, Ísafjörður, Akureyri, Neskaupstaður, Höfn..... Can all Icelanders understand each other?

4 Discussing language variation in Iceland Compare this to an Icelandic student who has learnt English for 15 years at school and at university in Iceland – will s/he be able to communicate with people on the street in London, Taunton, Cardiff, Manchester, Newcastle, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Londonderry, Dublin....?

5 Discussing language variation in Iceland Can all speakers of Icelandic understand each other? Can all speakers of English understand each other? German? Italian? Japanese?

6 Discussing language variation in Iceland How long do you have to listen to an Icelander to hear what part of Iceland s/he comes from? Britain? Germany? Norway? Italy?

7 I saw her yesterday I seed her yesterday So I said to him... So I says to him... I don’t want any more trouble I don’t want no more trouble English?

8 Description Prescription descriptive rules or prescriptive rules?

9 Our father which art in heaven Our father who art in heaven Our father who is in heaven Our father oo is in heaven Our father what is in heaven Our father as be in heaven English?

10 Good and bad English Correct and incorrect English Standard and substandard English Standard and non-standard English Dialects of English English?

11 Lexical - vocabulary Grammatical Phonological - pronunciation LINGUISTIC VARIABLES

12 Lexical - vocabulary

13 This and the following maps are from Widdowson and Upton Isogloss showing lexical variables

14 Isoglosses showing lexical variables

15 Isoglosses showing lexical variables

16 Isoglosses showing lexical variables

17 Isoglosses showing lexical variables

18 Isoglosses showing lexical variables

19 Grammatical Lexical - vocabulary

20 Isoglosses showing grammatical variables

21 Isoglosses showing grammatical variables

22 Isoglosses showing grammatical variables

23 Isoglosses showing grammatical variables

24 Isoglosses showing grammatical variables

25 Phonological - pronunciation Grammatical Lexical - vocabulary

26 vocabulary grammar pronunciation } → dialect → accent dialect 1 → accent 1 dialect 2 → accent 2 dialect 3 → accent 3 dialect 4 → accent 4 Each dialect has its own accent: Standard dialect → standard acccent + all other accents

27 vocabulary grammar pronunciation } → dialect → accent London dialect→ London acent Yorkshire dialect→ Yorkshire accent Somerset dialect→ Somerset accent Standard English → RP + London, Yorshire, Somerset..... English dialects:

28 Phonological variables


30 ISOGLOSS A line drawn on a map between two different realisations of a single linguistic variable.

31 ISOGLOSS These realizations are often the result of a historical process, such that on one side of the line the process has occurred (+), and on the other it has not occurred (-). + _

32 ISOGLOSS b b a a Here are two isoglosses, showing two imaginary processes which we shall call a and b

33 ISOGLOSS b b a a +a +b +a -b -a -b -a +b They split the area into 4 different language varieties.



36 BUNDLES OF ISOGLOSSES Isoglosses often occur in bundles, resulting in different dialectal areas with a transition zone between them. dialect x dialect y




40 Language dialects ? What do we mean by: language? dialect? Some possible definitions: Languages are divided into dialects Dialects are regional varieties of language Dialects are regional and social varieties of language But first we have to ask: what do we mean by a language?


42 Eidskog Eda 20 km ei stein e sten


44 Eid Eda steinsten

45 Oslo Stock- holm ← dialect continuum →

46 Oslo Stock- holm Eda Eid

47 Oslo Stock- holm Norwegian Swedish socio-political entities Eda Eid




51 Dialect continua in Europe

52 Langauge B "Language" A "Language" B GarobiaPorkistan Gorb Porki A national border in a dialect continuum

53 Language A Language B bilingual area Banandia Gorskch Nanamai Pthsiskt A national border between two different language families

54 Dialect continua in Europe

55 What is a dialect? What a language? Popular understanding: 1.A dialect is a type of language spoken by uneducated or country people. It is a corrupt form of the “correct” language. It is derived from the “corrrect” form. Those who speak the language “correctly” do not speak “dialect”.

56 What is a dialect? What a language? Or: 2.A language is a collection of dialects, one of which has been adopted as the standard variety, which people think of as “the language”. The standard variety is simply another dialect.

57 A dialect becomes a standard: 1.Selection. The dialect of the ruling or most influential class is adopted as the standard. 2.Literacy. It acquires a written form. 3.Standardizaton. Grammars and dictionaries are composed, spelling becomes fixed, and are competing grammatical or spelling forms current, one is adopted as correct and the other(s) are deemed incorrect. 4.Elaboration. Its vocabulary increases with cultural, philosophical, technological and scientific development.

58 the standard language: “French”, “German” REGIONAL DIALECTS Social axis Geographical axis

59 NorskSvenska Eidskog Eda


61 To Sweden, 1658




65 Max Weinreich 1945 n_army_and_navy n_army_and_navy "Vos iz der khilek fun a dialekt biz a shprakh?" Ikh hob gemeynt, az es ruft zikh im der maskilisher bitl, un ikh hob im gepruvt aroyffirn afn rikhtikn veg, nor er hot mikh ibergerisn "Dos veys ikh, ober ikh vel aykh gebn a besere definitsye. A shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot."

66 Max Weinreich 1945 n_army_and_navy n_army_and_navy...A teacher at a Bronx high school once appeared among the auditors. He had come to America as a child and the entire time had never heard that Yiddish had a history and could also serve for higher matters.... Once after a lecture he approached me and asked, 'What is the difference between a dialect and language?' I thought that the maskilic contempt had affected him, and tried to lead him to the right path, but he interrupted me: 'I know that, but I will give you a better definition. A language is a dialect with an army and navy.' From that very time I made sure to remember that I must convey this wonderful formulation of the social plight of Yiddish to a large audiencemaskilic


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