Black preachers and comedians and singers, especially rappers, also use it for dramatic or realistic effect. But many other people, black and white, regard it as a sign of limited education or sophistication, as a legacy of slavery or an impediment to socioeconomic mobility. Some deny its existence (like the black Chicagoan whose words "Ain't nobody here talkin' no Ebonics" belied his claim). Others deprecate it (like Maya Angelou, who found the Oakland School Board's 1996 Ebonics resolutions "very threatening" although she uses Ebonics herself in her poems, e.g. "The Pusher")..
The Art & Science of Speaking:Languages, Dialects, and Vernaculars
Language Game 1Construct a dialogue where eachperson is limited to one sentence,and each sentence must be aquestion.
Language Game 2Construct a dialogue where each personis limited to one sentence (question-answer format), and each sentencemust begin with a successive letter.
Language Game 3Construct a dialogue where one personcreates a line in Gibberish (randomsounds) and the other person translatesthat line in English.
Differences between humans and animals? 1. Vocal tract 2. Duality of patterning 3. Displacement 4. Open-endedness 5. Stimulus-freedom 6. Arbitrariness 7. FOXP2 Gene
Team Quiz1. Gather in groups of four (find your respective card).2. As a group, create one closed question and one open question on a separate sheet of paper with your names listed.3. You have 5 minutes.REVIEW MATERIAL:Features of language (duality of patterning, displacement, open-endedness, stimulus-freedom, arbitrariness , etc.)Types of consonants and vowelsAnatomy of languageSample film clip
“Mother” and “father” wordsFrench 1. mère 1. pèreWelsh 2. mam 2. tadTurkish 3. ana 3. babaHebrew 4. ima 4. abaRussian 5. mat 5. otyetsMongolian 6. eme 6. echigeCrow Indian 7. masake 7. birupxe
Human Vocal TractAn elaborated language requires a highlysophisticated speech organ that will enablethe speaker to produce the manydifferentiated sounds. Only humans areendowed with a speech organ of thiscomplexity.
Human Vocal Tracthttp://www.phonetics.ucla.edu/cour se/chapter1/chapter1.html
Duality of patterningBecause of the restricted capacity of ourvocal tracts, we use a limited set of speechsounds (e.g., consonants and vowels,sometimes called phonemes).We can assemble and reassemble thesesounds into larger units (“words”,“sentences,” “stories,” etc.).Thus our capacity to produce new vocabularyis infinite and unlimited.
DisplacementIn contrast to other animals, humans havea sense of the past and the future. Agorilla, for example, cannot tell his fellowsabout his parents, his adventures in thejungle, or his experience of the past.
DisplacementThe use of language to talk about thingsother than "the here and now", is acharacteristic of humans.
Displacement.Displacement is our ability to convey a meaningthat transcends the immediately perceptiblesphere of space and time.
DisplacementEXAMPLES1. I was in Paris last week.2. I want to be an astronomer when I grow up.
DisplacementAlthough some animals seem to possess abilitiesapproximating those of displacement, they lackthe freedom to apply this to new contexts.
DisplacementThe dance of the honey-bee, forinstance, indicates the locations ofrich deposits of food to other bees.
DisplacementThe bee frequently repeats the samepatterns in its dance, whereas humansare able to invent ever new contexts.
Open-endednessThe ability to say things that havenever been said before, includingthe possibility to express inventedthings or lies, is also a peculiarfeature of human language.
Stimulus-freedomHumans have the ability to say anythingthey like in any context.
Stimulus-freedomThis ability is only restricted in certainceremonial contexts such as churchservices, etc., where a fixed form isexpected to be followed.
Stimulus-freedomFor example, the honey-bee mustperform its dance, the woodchuck mustcry out in order to warn his fellows whenit beholds an eagle.
ArbitrarinessWhy is a table called "table” inEnglish"? Why is the same objectcalled “la mesa” in Spanish?Obviously, the thing never told us its name.And tables do not make a noise similar tothe word. The same applies to most of thewords of our language.
ArbitrarinessLanguage is not simply motivated by itssound structure.In other words, we cannot tell from the soundstructure which meaning is behind it. Hence,words and their meanings have no aprioriconnection (from theoretical deduction).
ArbitrarinessThere are, however, exceptions to this rule:language can beiconic, which means that thereis a direct correlation between form andmeaning.
ArbitrarinessThe length of a phrase, for example, couldrepresent a length of time the phrase refersto, like in “a long, long time ago.”Here, the extension serves to visuallyrepresent the semantic emphasis. Iconicity inlanguage can be found frequently.
ArbitrarinessAnother example for nonarbitrariness areonomatopoeia. These are words thatseem to resemble sounds. There are manyexamples for onomatopoetic words, likesplashor bang.
ArbitrarinessAnother example for nonarbitrariness areSome names for animals are alsoonomatopoetic, for example, cuckoo. Still,since animals such as the bird are nameddifferently in different languages, there canbe no ultimate motivation for the name.
Nicaraguan Sign-Language:A Case of Linguistic Creativity
Language and Dialects1. What do you think the differences are between a language and a dialect?2. Give examples of each (teach each otherthree examples). Write on an index card.
The Study of Language1. Where did you grow up?2. How many languages do you speak?3. Teach each other a word, phrase, or sentence in another language or regional form.4. Write on an index card your group partner’s responses.
Language Dialect Dialect DialectLanguage Language Language
The Language-Dialect Distinction1. Folklorists and sociolinguists focus onlinguistic diversity internal tospeechcommunities.
The Language-Dialect Distinction2. One such case of linguistic diversity isdialectal variation.
The Language-Dialect Distinction3. Most dialects are considered mutuallyintelligible varieties of a language thatdiffer in systematic ways.
The Language-Dialect DistinctionSo, if one of you grew up in NewEngland and another one was born andraised in Georgia, you’re still able tounderstand one another, despitedifferences in the language variety eachof you speaks.
The Language-Dialect DistinctionWe say you both speak two dialects ofthe same language, that is, English.
The Language-Dialect Distinction EXAMPLEThink of the recent evolving of“Serbian”,“Croatian”, and “Bosnian”languages in the former Yugoslavia.
The Language-Dialect DistinctionPrior to the disintegration of formerYugoslavia, people in this part of theworld all spoke something they called“Serbo-Croatian.”
The Language-Dialect DistinctionToday, they still speak the same thing,but it’s not called Serbo-Croatian anymore. It’s Serbian, Croatian, orBosnian, depending on where you live.
The Language-Dialect DistinctionFolklorists and sociolinguists focus onlinguistic diversity internal tospeechcommunities.
The Language-Dialect DistinctionWe say you both speak two dialects ofthe same language, that is, English.
IdiolectAn idiolect is an individual’s unique wayof speech. Since no two people speak inthe same way, we say that each one ofthem has an idiolect.
AccentAn accent is a person’s distinctiveway of pronouncing words, which istypically associated with a particularregion, e.g., a Boston accent, a Brooklynaccent, or a British accent.It is also often used for the pronunciationof non-natives speaking a foreignlanguage.
Lexical dialectal variationIf you ask for a tonic in Boston, you willget a drink called soda or soda-pop inLA; and a freeway in LA is a thruway inNY, a parkway in New Jersey, amotorway in England, and anexpressway or turnpike in other dialectareas.
Dialect: ExamplesREPEAT:Pahk the cah in Hahvuhd yahd.WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?
Phonological dialectal variationSpeaking of pronunciation, how do you say:1. “caught” and “cot”?2. “Will Mary marry in a merry wedding?”3. Otter Creek? (a [krik] or a [krIk])
Morphological dialectal variationIn parts of Northern England and SouthWales, the morpheme -s is not just a thirdperson singular marker in present tense,but a general present tense marker:1. I likes him.2. We goes.
Syntactic dialectal variationEXAMPLE: She done already told you.1. Can you use “done” as an auxiliary?2. What dialect is this? What does it mean?
Appalachian English syntaxAE makes use of double modals:1. I might could make one up.2. I useta couldn’t count.
Appalachian English syntaxMultiple negation:1. There ain’t never none on that shelf.2. Ican’t hardly read it.
Appalachian English syntaxDeletion of the relative pronoun in subjectrelative clauses:1. He had a broken back was never set.2.That man lives down the road is crazierthan a loon.
African-American English (AAE), or Black English Vernacular (BEV)AAE and BEV, as with other dialects, is a rule-governed system, exactly asStandard American English is.It shows the same kind of systematicdifferences from other dialects of English thatoccur between many of the world’s majordialects.
Examples of AAE or BEV1. "She BIN had dat han-made dress." (SE: Shes had that hand-made dress for a long time, and still does.)2. AAVE: "Befo you know it, he be done aced de tesses." (SE: Before you know it, he will have already aced the tests.)3. AAVE: "Ah on know what homey be doin." (SE: I dont know what my friend is usually doing.)4. AAVE: "Cant nobody tink de way he do." (SE: Nobody can think the way he does.)5. AAVE: "I ast Ruf could she bring it ovah to Tom crib." (SE: I asked Ruth if/whether she could bring it over to Toms place.)
African-American English (AAE), or Black English Vernacular (BEV)Scholarly labels: African-American English, BlackEnglish Vernacular, African-American EnglishVerncularRecent label: Ebonics (ebony + phonics)
African-American English (AAE), or Black English Vernacular (BEV)IMPORTANT POINT:“African-American English” is not specific toAfrican-Americans; it is a scholarly label thatrefers to a language variation that at first waslargely shared by African-Americans historically. Itstill thrive todays in many speech communities..
The Ebonics Controversy (1996: Oakland, CA)“Black writers from Paul Laurence Dunbar to ZoraNeale Hurston to August Wilson have made extensiveuse of it in their work, and some, like James Baldwin("this passion, this skill, ... this incredible music."), ToniMorrison, and June Jordan have praised it explicitly.Black preachers and comedians and singers,especially rappers, also use it for dramatic or realisticeffect…”
The Ebonics Controversy (1996: Oakland, CA)“But many other people, black and white, regard it as asign of limited education or sophistication, as a legacyof slavery or an impediment to socioeconomic mobility.Some deny its existence. Others deprecate it (likeMaya Angelou, who found the Oakland School Boards1996 Ebonics resolutions "very threatening" althoughshe uses Ebonics herself in her poems, e.g. "ThePusher").” - JohnRickford
African-American English (AAE), or Black English Vernacular (BEV)Possible origins:AAE derives from language structures andpatterns of West African languages, Britishlanguages and dialects, and Carribeancreoles
African-American English (AAE), or Black English Vernacular (BEV)Other linguists suggest AAE was the historicalresult of the creolization process (the processof creating a new “language” from themultigenerational contact and mixing betweentwo or more incompatible languages).
African-American English (AAE), or Black English Vernacular (BEV)Whatever its possible origins, AAE has evolvedas a language variety with its own linguistically-rich features and functions over several hundredyears.
African-American English (AAE), or Black English Vernacular (BEV)The following examples and taxonomies aretaken from actual conversations ofindividuals talking with one another ineveryday life from a variety of linguists andfolklorists for decades.
African-American English (AAE), or Black English Vernacular (BEV)Even though the following examples include alist of common or regular linguistic features,some of AAE’s “rules” are variedor optionalacross the United States (as all dialectal formsvary within each speech community or withincertain regions).
African American Phonologyr-deletion is fairly common in AAE, such thatthe following words would come out the same:1. guard [pronounced “god”]2. sore [pronounced “saw”]
African American PhonologySome speakers also drop their [l] in codaposition:1. toll [tow]2. all [aw]3. help [hep]
African American PhonologyLoss of interdental fricative [T] and [D] :mouth [mawf]
African American MorphosyntaxDouble (or multiple) negatives:1. You don’ know nothin’.2. I don’ never have no lunch.
African American MorphosyntaxCopula “be” deletion:1. He nice.2. You crazy.Habitual “be”:1.The coffee be cold. (= always)2. He be tired out. (habitually)
African-American Morphosyntax (Optional)Absence of possessive -s:John hat; Byron carAbsence of third person singular -s:she talk; he singAbsence of plural -s after quantifiers:three dog; some cat
African-American MorphosyntaxUse of stressed “bin” as an auxiliary:1. She bin married.2. I bin known him.
AAE or BEV Is Just Another English Variety! Claims that AAE or BEV is“ignorant,”“deficient,” “sloppy,” “broken English,” “incomplete,” “uneducated speech,” “illogical,” “ghetto,” or“slang,” are incorrect from a scientific or linguistic perspective.
TO REPEAT…AAE and BEV, as with other dialects, is a rule-governed system, exactly asStandard American English is.It shows the same kind of systematicdifferences from other dialects of English thatoccur between many of the world’s majordialects.
Code-switchinga speech behavior wherebilingual speakers typicallymove back and forthbetween two languages
Code-switching Is Also Rule-Governed(Example: Chicano English, “Spanglish”)
Style (or Vernacular)Style or vernacular refers to the kind oflanguage that one uses in a particularsituation or location.
Style (or Vernacular)Formal style is typically used informalcontexts, e.g., written language,speeches, the media, educational institutions,etc.Informal style is typically used in dailyconversations with family and friends forexample.
Formal vs. Informal Modes of AddressMany languages have rules for registers.For example, the tu-vous and du-siedistinction in French and German,respectively.French even has a verb tutoyer and Germanhas duzen.Japanese also has a system ofhonorific-marking.
SlangCertain words used in informal styles thatchange rapidly among groups (but mayeventually enter the lexicon) are called slang,e.g.,barf, flub, rave, ecstasy, pig, fuzz, hot dog,TV, fan, phone, tight, clowning.
SlangSlang is equivalent to lexical dialectal variation(different words referring to the same object).
SlangSome slang words originate withinunderground subcultures or when we addresstaboo topics:crack (drug), sawbuck (money), to hangpaper (to write bad checks), con (to deceivesomeone), brek (from breakfast), burn(tobacco), screw (prison officer).
Jargon (or Argot)Jargon or argot refers to the technicallanguage used in a particular domain.
Jargon (or Argot)For example, in this course we have used alot of academic jargon, e.g., signifier,signified, alea, ilinx, displacement, etc.Computer jargon: PC, CPU, RAM, ROM,modem, hacking, virus, download, etc.
The Lumbee Dialect: Group ReflectionDescribe the lexical, phonological,morphological, and syntactic variationin this dialect.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cVnh WSMLn4
Endangered Languages: The Case of N/u http://hctv.humnet.ucla.edu/department s/linguistics/VowelsandConsonants/vo wels/chapter14/_xoo.htmlhttp://hctv.humnet.ucla.edu/departments/linguistics/VowelsandConsonants/cours e/chapter6/xong/!xong.html
Endangered Languages: The Case of N/uThink about the following questions during this clip:1. What are some of the central features of N/u?2. How is the language perceived by insiders and outsiders? Why do you think this is the case?3. How are these negative perceptions of particular languages found within the United States?4. Why is this language “dying” in South Africa?5. What are ways to revive or preserve these endangered languages?
Sign Languages: 8-MinutesIn groups of two, come up with a set of signs for thefollowing sentences. Illustrate gestures on one sheetof paper with your names.1. I’m scared.2. You’re tall.3. Let’s swim.4. The lion is happy.5. Where’s the dog?6. How did you do that?7. Why do you think he got mixed up with her?8. What did your aunt say yesterday when you called her?
ASL: Facial ExpressionsCompare the ASL sentences for "Im going to therestaurant" and "Are you going to the restaurant?"
ASL: NO VERB TENSESPast, present and future are conveyed byintroducing time frame words like "yesterday,""today" or "tomorrow" into the beginning of asentence to establish the context of what follows."
ASL: LINEAR SEQUENCES OF EVENTS Most ASL sentence structure is based upon sequential thought. That is, if you talk about one event happening after another event, you would describe the first event and then the second.
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORYCharles Michel De LEppe (1712-1789):Established the first free public school for thedeaf in France (1771)Samuel Heinicke (1727-1790): Establishedthe Oral method of teaching deaf children tospeak. Strongly opposed to the use of signlanguageThomas Hopkins Gallaudet (1787-1851):Visited Europe to study Deaf Education andresumed to co-found the American School forthe Deaf with Laurent Clerc.
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORY1690-1880: Marthas Vineyard, Massachusetts:Settled by 200 immigrants from Kent County England,an area known as "the Weald". Carried dominant andrecessive genes for deafness. By the mid-1700s asign language had developed on the island, used bydeaf and hearing islanders alike. Almost all inhabitantssigned and town meetings were signed for all.
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORY1864: Gallaudet College founded in Washington, DC
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORY1864: Gallaudet College founded in Washington, DC
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORY1941-1945: WorldWar Two creates a need for labor. Deaf men andwomen are hired inrecord numbers to work in defense industries.
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORY1960: First Linguistic book and defenseof ASL as a language by William Stokoe
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORY1984: Cochlear implant first approved for clinical use for persons 18 and older.
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORY 1993: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is passed: U. S. Department of Education establishes a Policy of Inclusion, giving all disabled students the right to attend neighborhoodschools in a "least restrictive environment."
SIGN LANGUAGES: HISTORY 1995: Use of cochlear implantsincreases. Nucleus 22 device and SPEAK Speech Processing system are the latest technological advances in implantation.
DEAF CULTURE: QUESTIONS .1. What is “audism”?2. How does each film represent this insider and outsider perspectives of deaf people?3. Why did some members of the deaf community reject the notion of implants?4. Would you give you child a cochlear implant if they were born deaf? Why or why not?
SOUND AND FURYhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A61WvbVtIxE&fea ture=relatedhttp://www.pbs.org/wnet/soundandfury/cochlear/co chlear_flash.html
Textual ReferencesAbrahams, Roger D. 2009 . Deep Down in the Jungle: Black American Folklore from the Streets of Philadelphia.New Jersey: Folklore Associates, Inc.Baugh, John. 2000. Beyond Ebonics: Linguistic Pride and Racial Prejudice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Di Napoli, Lisa. 2007. Language Matters: A Guide to Everyday Questions About Language. Oxford University Press.Green, Lisa. 2002. African American English: A Linguistic Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Labov, William. 1973. Language in the Inner City: Studies in the Black English Vernacular. Philadelphia: University ofPennsylvania Press.Labov, William, Sharon Ash, and Charles Boberg. 2006. The Atlas of North American English. Mouton de Gruyter.Pinker, Steven. 2007. The Language Instinct. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics.Poplack, Shana, ed. 2000. The English History of African American English. Malden, MA, and Oxford, UK: Blackwell.Rickford, John R. , and Russell J. Rickford. 2000. Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English. New York: John Wiley.Smitherman, Geneva. 2000. Black Talk: Words and Phrases from the Hood to the Amen Corner. New York: HoughtonMifflin.Wolfram, Walt, and Erik R. Thomas. 2002. The Development of African American English. Malden, MA, and Oxford, UK:Blackwell.
Internet ReferencesChicano English. Carmen Fought.http://www.pbs.org/speak/seatosea/americanvarieties/chicano/Deaf Culture. PBS.http://www.pbs.org/wnet/soundandfury/culture/intro.htmlDeaf Culture (Timeline).http://www.aslinfo.com/trivia2.cfmEbonics Notes and Discussion. John Rickford.http://www.stanford.edu/~rickford/ebonics/EbonicsExamples.htmlThe Features of Human Language. Charles Hockett.http://people.exeter.ac.uk/bosthaus/Lecture/hockett1.htmHistory through Deaf Eyes. GallaudetUniversity.http://my.gallaudet.edu/bbcswebdav/institution/Deaf%20Eyes%20Exhibit/index.htmLanguage and Linguistics: A Special Report. National Science Foundation.http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/linguistics/intro.jspLumbee English.http://www.learnnc.org/lp/multimedia/10157Rickford, John, “What is Ebonics (African-American Vernacular English)?:http://www.lsadc.org/info/ling-faqs-ebonics.cfm“Saving Dying Languages,” Scientific American. W. Wayne Gibbs. 2002..http://www.language-archives.org/documents/sciam.pdfWhat is Appalachian English?http://www9.georgetown.edu/faculty/zanuttir/Appalachian%20project/whatis.html