Levels of Dialects Pascual Soto Universidad de Santiago de Chile Facultad de Humanidades Paradigmas Lingüísticos
* Vocabulary, or lexical stock of a language.
E.g. Mountain lions / cougards / panthers.
- Different lebel is used for the same semantic reference;
skillet and frying pan
- Shared words whose semantic reference has become more restricted or expanded for different groups of speakers. E.g. Along the New Jersey coast, a person takes a vacation at the shore , while a person from Maryland and the Carolinas goes to the beach.
- English words that have narrowed or broadened the semantic range of an item. E.g. Holiday (once referred only to religious 'holy days' expanded to any day of freedom from labour, and in some cases any vacation, as in, I was on holiday for a month. - When a particular semantic feature of a lexical item is extrapolated and applied to a new class items. E.g. The term submarine for a particular type of sandwich
In many cases confined just to particular phrases, such as differences in prepositions.
E.g. Sick to/at/in/on my stomach , or of/in the morning.
Most of these differences are considered to be regional curiosities of the American population, and little status is attached to them.
- Jargon refers to specialized vocabulary characterizing a full array of special interest groups.
E.g. In computer technology, system cars, software, etc.
A more deliberately secretive jargon is referred to as an argot, such as criminal argot.
In popular culture: everything from the general use of vernacular dialect to specialized vocabulary words that are socially stigmatized.
The term slang is loose, imprecise. Many dialectologists shy away from using this label at all.
Part of the problem in defining it appears to be a set of characteristics rather than a single attribute for classifying it.
- Slang also relates to its role as a special kind of synonym. E.g. Kick the bucket for die , wus for coward, or bumpin' for good.
- It involves the pronunciation of a shared, significant English sound unit, or phoneme.
- It is possible for different dialects to share a common phoneme, but to vary its phonetic production. E.g. bought, caught, and raw.
- The most dialectally sensitive vowels in English are the back /ɔ/ of coffee or the front vowel /æ/ of bad and ban .
High vowels Front of [i] (beet) [u] (boot) Back of mouth mouth [ɪ] (bit) [U] (put) [e] (bait) [o] (boat) [ɜ] (bet) [ə] (about) Front [ʌ] (but) Front vowels [æ] (bat) [ɔ] (bought) vowels [a] (father) Low vowels
- Phonetic rotation in vowels, known as chain shifting, i.e. the lowering of a vowel like the [ɔ] in bought closer to that of the [a] in father may have the effect of moving the vowel of words like pop forward, closer to the [æ] of bat. This movement, in turn, may cause the vowel of bat to change its phonetic position, moving closer to the [ɜ] of bet. The point is that vowels are not functioning as independent units, but as a rotating system. [æ] [ɔ] [a]
- The tendency to combine different vowels within a single vowel phoneme by gliding from one vowel into another. E.g. By /baɪ/, where the glide is reduced or eliminated in some southern varieties, resulting in /ba/ - In some cases, contrasts between distinctive sound units, or phonemes, may be neutralized, or merged, in one dialect while maintained in another. E.g. Caught and Cot.
- Differences between consonants may be neutralized. E.g. 'g-dropping', in southern dialects the sounds /z/ and /θ/becomes /d/ before a nasal, like in wadn't and dose. And the vernacular neutralization between f and th , e.g. Ruth and roof, both /ruf/. - Consonant clusters. Clusters in items like west /st/, find /nd/, act /kt/, and cold /ld/, are reduced to a single consonant as in wes' /s/ and col' /l/.
E.g. Vernacular Afro American English speakers use a wider range of contours than those found in White American English speakers
Also women tend to exhibit a wider pitch range than those used by men (Brend 1975).
- Two levels: morphemes and syntax
Morphemes derivational suffix, e.g. buyer
inflectional suffix, e.g. girls
In some vernacular dialects, the third person -s (She come/She comes), some plural (four mile/four miles) and possessive -s (Julia hat/Julia's hat), may be absent.
- Syntax Variations in how word classes are organized. Verb auxiliaries are a major source of difference in the varieties of English. E.g. Completive done , as in He done forgot about work, habitual be , as in Sometimes my ears be itching, and counterfactual liketa as in I liketa died, when I found out it was you. Double modals, found in southern varieties, e.g. She might could finish it. - Agreement or concord, e.g. She don't like it here. - Double negative, e.g. She didn't have no money.
LANGUAGE USE AND PRAGMATICS
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DIALECTS AND STYLE
Adjustments of language within or across dialects without primary reference to social status evaluation.
E.g. Submarine v/s hoagie sandwich.
Take place on an intradilectal rather than interdialectal level language register.
E.g. Let Mommy kiss the iddy biddy booboo and make it better parent-baby interaction; baby talk register.
The adjust of the forms based on a conventionally defined genre.
E.g. Writing or public lectures ( can't versus cannot, and I'll versus I will)
- It affects the social evaluation of speech in a significant way. E.g. Isn't versus ain't.
Dialect A Dialect B
- One of the initial attempts to explain style shift is related to the amount of attention paid to speech.
- Speech accommodation model (speaker's social and psychological adjustment to the addressee).
E.g. Convergence , the speaker language becomes more like that one of the addressee.
- Audience design model (speakers adjust their speech primarily on the basis of the attributes of people in the speech audience.
Dialect code switching - Involves changing distinct sets of linguistic structures.
Common English Forms Standard dialect Vernacular dialect Feature 1 Feature 2 Feature 3 Feature 4
- Linguistically, it refers to the fact that a form has been extended beyond its regular linguistic boundaries, either by analogy or by generalization.
- Manifested in social settings in which speakers feels a need to use more standard or 'correct' forms.
(where the boundaries of linguistic patterns are extended) e.g. When speakers extend the objective case ending of the relative pronoun to subjective function, as in Whom is it?
- Speakers attempting to use 'precise pronunciation' might add a /t/ to words which ends in /s/, as in synthesis resulting in synthesist.
- In phonology, substitution or addition of a sounds. E.g . Vernacular dialects normally uses /f/ instead of the standard /θ/, as in bath [f]
- Statistical hypercorrection (the structural placement of forms follows a common, shared rule, but the relative frequency of the forms quantitatively exceeds the norms of the target group.
80 60 40 20 0 A B C D Style
Another type of grammatical hypercorrection involves the case of marking pronouns such as you and I.
*Subjective case marking are overextended into objective functions, e.g. The woman gave it to you and I.
- When speakers tend to use 'big' words in less formal occasions, deliberately seeming to avoid a more common synonym, it could be considered a kind of lexical hypercorrection.
Some lexical extensions, commonly referred to as malapropism, involve the mistaken semantic reference of a word. E.g. Amnesty confused with amnesia, or, sedate with seduce.
*Not all malapropism can be called hypercorrection. E.g. Children often confused ammonia and pneumonia.
But when it occurs in a social context where the speaker stretches to use less familiar but more erudite words, then it is appropriately viewed as a kind of hypercorrection.