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What they are and how they are defined

SOCIAL AND ETHNIC DIALECTS

English varieties based on socioeconomic class

SOCIAL DIALECTS

WHAT ARE SOCIAL DIALECTS?

The definition of a social dialect is multidimensional based on a range of factors:


Social

class Ethnicity Gender Age (see Cajun English & Lumbee English) Patterns of interaction
Source: Wolfram and Schilling-Estes. 2006. American English

PATTERNS OF INTERACTION??

LINGUISTIC MARKETPLACE

Definition: The extent to which a speakers economic activity necessitates the use of a particular language variety. Example: Teachers, salespeople, or receptionists who are expected to conform to public expectations of standardness may use SE more than their SES* peers in other occupations.

SOCIAL NETWORKS
Definition: The pattern of social relationships that characterizes a group of speakers. Example: Closed social networks characterized by repeated interactions (e.g. work, leisure, and church) tend to have a greater concentration of localized, vernacular dialect features. *SES = socioeconomic status

DIALECT AND REGISTER

Source: Tottie, Gunnel (2002) p. 207

REGISTER
Informal
(or casual)

Neutral
(less formal)

Formal
Hello, Mr. Smith, Im pleased to meet you.
dine, consume, ingest stiffer (sitting upright), body pulled in careful enunciation

Address
Vocabulary

Hey dude!
scarf, chow down out

Hi John
eat normal, at ease normal rate and enunciation

Body language relaxed, sprawled Speech type Participants and turns Content
casual, fast speech generally dyadic freer choices of topic, changes of topic

generally dyadic stricter turns, longer turns neutral, topics somewhat constrained limited or even scripted

Informal speech is characterized by generic terms of address (dude, man), more slang, relaxed (or even sprawled) body stance, faster sometimes more slurred speech, turn taking between conversants, perhaps with rapid turns and overlaps, and the choice of topic is usually much freer. Neutral speech is slightly more formal. We tend to use first names in address, less slang, have a relaxed (but not sprawled) body stance, speak at a normal rate, enunciate more. Topics are somewhat more constrained, partly because conversants may not be as intimate Formal speech is characterized by ritualized forms of address: title plus last name, standard greetings. Slang is not normally used. Rather than every day vocabulary, more formal (high falutin) words may be used. Body stance tends to be more rigid and restricted (partly because of more formal clothing!). Speech is more carefully enunciated. Participants may use stricter turn-taking (no overlap), or there may be rules for who gets to talk when (think of a lecture, or job interview). Topics tend to be limited, or pre-determined, and the speech may even be scripted (say for a wedding).

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 26TH

ANNOUNCEMENTS & AGENDA

Announcements
Upcoming
Essay

Assignments

#1 Friday, September 28th at 8pm (no late submissions!) Question of the Week #5 - Wednesday, October 3rd at 8pm
Exam

#1 Friday, October 12th during lecture

Agenda
Social

and ethnic dialects

-in [n] vs. ing [] : USED TO INDICATE THE SOCIAL CLASS OF A SPEAKER

We were walkin down the street and we saw this car going out of control. The driver looked like he was sleeping at the wheel or somethin. The next thing I knew the car was turnin around and just spinning around. I thought the car was comin right at me and I started runnin like crazy. I was so scared, thinking the car was gonna hit me or somethin.

FREQUENCY (%) OF USE OF THE FEATURES in, 3RD PERSON -s ABSENCE AND /R/-DELETION FOR DETROIT SPEAKERS
Features
-in
(-in place of ing)

Upper Middle 19.4%

Lower Middle 39.1%

Upper Working 50.5%

Lower Working 78.9%

3rd person - 1.4% s absence /r/-deletion 20.8%

9.7%

56.9%

71.4%

38.8%

61.3%

71.7%

Source: Wolfram and Schilling-Estes. 2006. American English

Chicano English, Lumbee English, and Cajun English

ETHNIC VARIETIES OF ENGLISH

ETHNIC DIALECTS

Linked to the terms used to describe ethnic groups Ethnicity can be a key component in the definition of some English varieties Some ethnic American English dialects:

Italian English Jewish English Irish English Puerto Rican English Chicano English American Indian English Vietnamese English African American English

DIFFERENT KINDS OF RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN ETHNICITY AND LANGUAGE VARIATION

For those who maintain a language other than English:

Language transfer: the incorporation of features into a non-native language based on the occurrence of similar features in the native language.

English of Pennsylvania Germans:


what for to mean what kind of

e.g. I dont know what for a car you had.


e.g. Im kind of sneaky when it comes to meat like that.

sneaky for finicky

For those who maintain a language other than English (cont.)

More generalized features that come from acquiring English as a 2nd language (not attributable to a specific language)
Absence

of marked tense forms, e.g. Yesterday he play at the school. Found in varieties of Native American English and Vietnamese English.

Ethnically correlated variation need not be traceable to previous language background at all. (Lumbee English)

LATINO ENGLISH?

Latinos/Hispanics
People

descended from the Spanish have populated the Americas since the 15th century Second only to Native Americans in their continuous habitation in the New World Diverse ancestry: Europeans, indigenous peoples, and in some cases Africans They are the largest group of recent immigrants to U.S. - 40 million

LATINO POPULATIONS IN THE U.S.

Southwestern US Mexican Spanish speakers California & Texas did not become states until the mid19th century New Mexico & Arizona until the 20th century

New York City & Hartford, CT stable populations from Puerto Rico for several generations. Huge Dominican population in NYC as well. Southern Florida (Miami) - Cuban refugees for half of a century Some of these areas have experienced a lot of immigration

LATINO POPULATIONS IN THE U.S.

Chicago long history of migrants from Mexico and Puerto Rico Rural and urban areas in the Southeast, Midwest, and Northwest immigrants from Central America These differences in migration and settlement history, social conditions, and community dynamics make it impossible to describe a generic dialect of Latino English Spanish-influenced English varieties may be linked by one heritage language, but theres no unified core variety of Latino English in the US

CHICANO ENGLISH

Definition
A

vernacular variety that has been influenced by Spanish but it is not dependent on bilingualism per se. (Santa Ana 1993; Mendoza-Denton 1997; Fought 2003)
variety spoken only by native English speakers that is to be distinguished from the English of second-language learners (Santa Ana
1993:15)

WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT CHICANO ENGLISH

Many speakers of CE are monolingual in English. Although historically influenced by Spanish contact, CE exists independent of bilingualism. Code-switching, known as Spanglish, is separate from, and should not be confused with CE.

Used by speakers that cut across social and cultural groups.


Defined by a set of phonological, grammatical, and lexical features rather than social division. (no class distinction) A separate variety of English with highly organized linguistic patterns.

PHONOLOGICAL FEATURES OF CHICANO ENGLISH: TRACED TO SPANISH-ENGLISH CONTACT

Non-reduced vowel in unstressed syllables

Other English varieties: because buhcause [bkz]; today tuhday [tdei] CE: [i] & [u]

beecause [bikz] tooday [tudei]

Pronunciation of ing by CE-speaking teenage girls


-eeng [i], e.g. runneeng (for running)


Signals greater social distance from European Americans

(Mendoza-Denton, 1999)

Although these can be traced to the effects of original contact situation of Spanish and English, they are fully integrated into the English variety and no longer depend on bilingualism.

CE PHONOLOGICAL FEATURES SHARED WITH OTHER ENGLISH VARIETIES

th [, ] (then, think) den [dn], tink [tnk]

[] [d] and [] [t]

Consonant clusters are reduced at end of words


west end wes end Occurs more frequently in CE than in other European American (white) dialects

Uptalk: a rising intonation on declarative sentences.

CHICANO ENGLISH SYNTAX

A combination of features:
Shared by other vernacular (non-standard) English varieties Resulting from the Spanish-English contact situation Items shared by neighboring regional and social dialects

Regularization of Past tense to be


SE: I was, you were, s/he was, we were, they were CE: I was, you was, s/he was, we was, they was

CHICANO ENGLISH SYNTAX

Found in other English varieties throughout the US


Multiple Negation

She aint been nowhere. Yesterday he come to visit.

Irregular Past Forms

Result of original Spanish-English contact

Use of prepositions on and for


Shes on the fifth grade. She told the truth for she wont feel guilty.

Use of adverb barely for just recently


I barely broke my leg. A blend of Sp. apenas scarcely, hardly and barely in English

CHICANO ENGLISH SYNTAX

Syntactic influence from neighboring dialects


Habitual
Means

be (originally from AAE)

a habitual occurrence, typically translated as usually or all the time e.g. The news be showing it too much.
Be

like and be all (from So. California Valley Girl?)


Shes like, You dont leave the house. Hes all, Im working for you. Now widespread, especially among younger speakers.
e.g.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28TH

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Essay #1 Due TODAY on bSpace at 8PM NO LATE SUBMISSIONS (Your grade will be affected!)

Question of the Week #5 has been posted and is due Wednesday, October 3rd by 8PM. Study guide for Exam #1 will be available on Wednesday, October 3rd by 8AM.

AGENDA

Chicano English one slide left Cajun English Lumbee English

CHICANO ENGLISH: CONCLUSION

All dialects combine features from sources (neighboring dialects) available to them. Chicano English in California is a distinctive, regionally situated variety of English that is symbolically linked to ethnic group membership.

CAJUN ENGLISH

Spoken by Cajuns from Southern Louisiana Cajun comes from Acadian


Descendants

of Acadians (French Canadians) from Nova Scotia Acadians were forced to leave Nova Scotia because they would not pledge their allegiance to the British rule

CAJUN ENGLISH: FRENCH INFLUENCE

Phonetic traits

Elimination of glides [y,w]


Other

English varieties: late (layeet) [let] and boat (bowuut) [bot] Cajun English: [bot], [let] Although this is similar to French, this is found in monolingual English speakers as well as native Cajun French speakers

Diphthong /ai/ in time and light


Cajun

English: tahm [tam], laht [lat] A transfer feature from French but also found in neighboring regional varieties of Southern English.

CAJUN ENGLISH: FRENCH INFLUENCE

Nasalization of vowels

Man and bone sound like nasal vowels (e.g. pain bread and bon good)

Voiceless stops [p, t, k] may be produced without aspiration (h-sound)


English: pat [phat], coat [khot] Caj. English: [pat] sounds more like bat and coat goat

[,] a stop [t,d] in all positions


think tink Brother broder

that dat teeth teet

CAJUN ENGLISH: SYNTAX SHARED WITH OTHER DIALECTS OF ENGLISH

Multiple negation: e.g. They didnt want no schooling. Different uses of irregular verbs in the past tense:
She seen it. She brung it.

Regularization of past tense to be

We was there.

CAJUN ENGLISH: LEARNING ENGLISH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE

Use of past tense with infinitives

e.g. They wanted to drank.

Progressive form without ing

e.g. I kept drank.

Distinguishing constructions
Making groceries for buying groceries Getting down from a vehicle for getting out

CAJUN ENGLISH: FEATURES FROM SOUTHERN AND AAE VARIETIES

Copula absence
e.g.

She nice. e.g. They from around here.


(

symbolizes the absence of is or are)

Verbal (3rd person) s absence


e.g.

She go with it.

CAJUN ENGLISH
the heritage language associated with Cajun culture has receded, Cajun English has become the primary linguistic symbol of Cajun identity. (Wolfram &
Schilling-Estes 204:2006)

Features associated with traditional Cajun French accent are being recycled and intensified in Cajun English.
For older speakers, these features are an effect of transfer from French Younger generations linked with Cajun identity Cajun cultural renaissance in the past several decades Gender, ethnicity, and social networks

Older generations (males and females) have similar levels of use Middle-aged and young generations males (0pen networks) lead in recycling these features. Connection between traditional Cajun male activities (hunting, fishing, music, and cooking) and tourism.

CAJUN ENGLISH: CONCLUSION

Shows how an ethnic group can reallocate language structures originally associated with heritage language to a variety of English.

Demonstrates how once-stigmatized, accented features can be recycled and reinterpreted to serve as symbolic tokens of cultural identity.
Shows how complex cultural identity, social networks, gender roles, and gender-based activities and its effect on use of Cajun English.

ETHNIC DIALECTS (CONT.): LUMBEE ENGLISH


Video Clips: History of Lumbee English (w/ Walt Wolfram): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cVnhWSMLn4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BLzH8UGZrE&f eature=related Can you identify specific way(s) Lumbee English has covert prestige in the Lumbee speech community?

LUMBEE ENGLISH

Lumbee

An example of an ethnic variety thats been constructed independently of a language contact situation involving a heritage language. Native American ethnic group in rural Southeast Largest Native American group east of Mississippi River 55,000 members registered on tribal rolls Virtually unknown outside of Southeastern North Carolina Have no particular heritage language for at least 5 generations

Not sure what the heritage language might have been. Lumbee ethnic group came from multi-tribal aggregate with Iroquoian (Tuscarora), Siouan (Cheraw), and Algonquian languages. Linguists trace Lumbee English back to other (or older) varieties of English (not Native American languages) that may have influenced it.

LUMBEE ENGLISH: INPUT FROM OTHER ENGLISH DIALECT SOURCES

Older use of be

Im been to the store for Ive been to the store.

Regularization of past tense were in negative sentences

I werent there. (vs. I wasnt there.) She werent here. (vs. She wasnt there.)

The above features are not found in neighboring dialects though regularization to werent is a wellattested trait of coastal dialects of NC.

LUMBEE ENGLISH

Unique lexical items


ellick cup of coffee with cream in it on the swamp neighborhood brickhouse Indian high-status Lumbee

Ethnolinguistic distinctiveness by use of features from neighboring varieties in unique ways

Use of finite be(s), e.g. I hope it bes a girl or They bes doing all right.
Scots and Scots-Irish descendants used this feature but no longer by younger speakers. AAE-speakers use be in habitual contexts:

Older Lumbee English speakers dont restrict it to habitual contexts Younger Lumbee English speakers are increasingly restricting it to habitual contexts indicating an alignment with AAE-speakers.

LUMBEE ENGLISH: CONCLUSION

shows how a cultural group can maintain a distinct ethnic identity by configuring past and present dialect features in a way that symbolically indicates and helps to constitute their cultural uniqueness even though the ancestral language has been completely lost. Language and ethnicity cannot be reduced to a search for the lingering effects of a heritage language.
Source: Wolfram & Schilling-Estes 208: 2006

NEXT STOP?

African American English (AAE, AAVE, Ebonics)