Dialect Project Identify a dialect of English that you’re familiar with.

You can work with Spanglish or Ebonics, but there are many others you can explore. Also consider that any given dialect has variations. Nicaraguan, Cuban, Colombian and Mexican Spanglish, for example, may be similar but also different in important ways. How is the Ebonics in New York City different from what is spoken in Miami or Atlanta, which is more influenced by the culture of the American South? There are endless possibilities. But keep in mind we’re not just referring to different accents. Make sure the dialect is a unique way of talking that may include not only pronunciation, but also vocabulary, grammar and even attitude or spirit. And make sure that it is actually a form of English, not another language. Part 1: Find a living sample of your dialect. That means the dialect actually being used in the real world. You may find it in the media (tv, music, newspapers, magazines, internet), or in your own experience (an actual conversation you hear or participate in). A) Write a paragraph putting the sample in context. What is the dialect? Where do people use it? In the sample, who in particular s talking? Give a summary of what the whole conversation is about. Do we need any background information to understand what is going on? If the sample is from the media, give source information. B) Transcribe all or some of the sample. Individual: at least 15 exchanges Groups: at least 30 exchanges Part 2: Create a glossary of unique words or phrases from your dialect. (Not all of them have to come from the living sample.) Give the part of speech for each entry (noun, verb, adjective, etc.) and a concise definition. Also explain the origin of the word or phrase. (If you use an outside source, identify it.) Individual: 5 entries Group: 10 entries Part 3: Identify principles of grammar or pronunciation for your dialect. You may think of these as consistent rules. Can you find patterns in the way words are spoken or written? Make sure you give an example to illustrate the principle or rule. Pay particular attention to the Anzaldua and Jordan readings for ideas. Try to come up with your own principles. You can also choose to use the principles in the readings, but give your own examples. (If you use an outside source, identify it.)

Individual: 2 principles Group: 4 principles Part 4: Synthesize your experiences, the readings about language and your analysis of a dialect so far by creating an invented dialogue: at least two people talking. The dialogue should focus on the issues about language, identity and culture that Gloria Anzaldua and June Jordan discuss. So who’s talking? How about someone who represents the English dialect you are analyzing and someone who speaks standard English. Maybe they’re having a debate about language and what is “correct.” Maybe one of them is Anzaldua or Jordan. Maybe one of them is famous. Here, for example, are some famous people who might disagree with the argument that Ebonics and Spanglish are valid English dialects: Lou Dobbs, Bill O’Reilly, and Rush Limbaugh. Individual: 15 exchanges Groups: 30 exchanges