Accent (linguistics)This article is about the pronunciation characteristic of a particular group ofpeople relative to another group.In linguistics, an accent is a manner of pronunciation peculiar to aparticular individual, location, or nation. An accent may identify the localityin which its speakers reside (a geographical or regional accent), the socio-economic status of its speakers, their ethnicity, their caste or social class,their first language (when the language in which the accent is heard is nottheir native language), and so on.Accents typically differ in quality of voice, pronunciation of vowels andconsonants, stress, andprosody. Although grammar, semantics,vocabulary, and other language characteristics often vary concurrently withaccent, the word accent refers specifically to the differences inpronunciation, whereas the word dialect encompasses the broader set oflinguistic differences. Often accent is a subset of dialect.History
As human beings spread out into isolated communities, stresses andpeculiarities develop. Over time these can develop into identifiable accents.In North America, the interaction of people from many ethnic backgroundscontributed to the formation of the different varieties of North Americanaccents. It is difficult to measure or predict how long it takes an accent toformulate. Accents in the USA, Canada and Australia, for example,developed from the combinations of different accents and languages invarious societies, and the effect of this on the various pronunciations of theBritish settlers, yet North American accents remain more distant, either asa result of time or of external or "foreign" linguistic interaction, such as theItalian accent.In many cases, the accents of non-English settlers from the British Islesaffected the accents of the different colonies quite differently. Irish, Scottishand Welsh immigrants had accents which greatly affected the vowelpronunciation of certain areas of Australia and Canada.DevelopmentChildren are able to take on accents relatively quickly. Children ofimmigrant families, for example, generally have a more native-likepronunciation than their parents, though both children and parents mayhave a noticeable non-native accent. Accents seem to remain relatively
malleable until a persons early twenties, after which a persons accentseems to become more entrenched.All the same, accents are not fixed even in adulthood. An acoustic analysisby Jonathan Harrington of Elizabeth IIs Royal ChristmasMessages revealed that the speech patterns of even so conservative afigure as a monarch can continue to change over her lifetime.Non-native accentsPronunciation is the most difficult part of a non-native language to learn.Most individuals who speak a non-native language fluently speak it with anaccent of their native tongue.The most important factor in predicting the degree to which the accent willbe noticeable (or strong) is the age at which the non-native language waslearned. The critical period theory states that if learning takes place afterthe critical period (usually considered around puberty) for acquiring native-like pronunciation, an individual is unlikely to acquire a native-likeaccent. This theory, however, is quite controversial among researchers.Although many subscribe to some form of the critical period, they eitherplace it earlier than puberty or consider it more of a critical ―window,‖ whichmay vary from one individual to another and depend on factors other than
age, such as length of residence, similarity of the non-native language tothe native language, and the frequency with which both languages areused.Nevertheless, children as young as 6 at the time of moving to anothercountry often speak with a noticeable non-native accent as adults.Thereare also rare instances of individuals who are able to pass for nativespeakers even if they learned their non-native language in earlyadulthood. However, neurological constrains associated with braindevelopment appear to limit most non-native speakers’ ability to soundnative-like. Most researchers agree that for adults, acquiring a native-likeaccent in a non-native language is near impossible.Social factorsWhen a group defines a standard pronunciation, speakers who deviatefrom it are often said to "speak with an accent". However, everyone speakswith an accent. People from the United States would "speak with anaccent" from the point of view of an Australian, and vice versa. Accentssuch as BBC English or General American or Standard American maysometimes be erroneously designated in their countries of origin as
"accentless" to indicate that they offer no obvious clue to the speakersregional or social background.Being understoodMany teachers of English as a second language neglect to teachspeech/pronunciation. Many adult and near-adult learners of secondlanguages have unintelligible speech patterns that may interfere with theireducation, profession, and social interactions. Pronunciation in a secondor foreign language involves more than the correct articulation of individualsounds. It involves producing a wide range of complex and subtledistinctions which relate sound to meaning at several different levels.Teaching of speech/pronunciation is neglected in part because of thefollowing myths: Pronunciation isnt important: "This is patently false from any perspective." Speech/Pronunciation forms the vehicle for transmitting the speakers meaning. If the listener does not understand the message, no communication takes place, and although there are other factors involved, one of the
most important is the intelligibility of the speakers pronunciation. Students will pick it up on their own: "Some will learn to pronounce the second language intelligibly; many will not."Inadequate instruction in speech/pronunciation can result in a completebreakdown in communication. The proliferation of commercial "accentreduction" services is seen as a sign that many ESL teachers are notmeeting their students needs for speech/pronunciation instruction.The goals of speech/pronunciation instruction should include: to help thelearner speak in a way that is easy to understand and does not distract thelistener, to increase the self-confidence of the learner, and to develop theskills to self-monitor and adapt ones own speech.Even when the listener does understand the speaker, the presence of anaccent that is difficult to understand can produce anxiety in the listener thathe will not understand what comes next, and cause him to end theconversation earlier or avoid difficult topics.Prestige
Certain accents are perceived to carry more prestige in a society than otheraccents. This is often due to their association with the elite part of society.For example in the United Kingdom, Received Pronunciation of the Englishlanguage is associated with the traditional upper class. However, inlinguistics, there is no differentiation among accents in regard to theirprestige, aesthetics, or correctness. All languages and accents arelinguistically equal.Accent stereotyping and prejudiceStereotypes refer to specific characteristics, traits, and roles that a groupand its members are believed to possess. Stereotypes can be bothpositive and negative, although negative are more common.Stereotypes may result in prejudice, which is defined as having negativeattitudes toward a group and its members. Individuals with non-standardaccents often have to deal with both negative stereotypes and prejudicebecause of an accent. Researchers consistently show that people withaccents are judged as less intelligent, less competent, less educated,having poor English/language skills, and unpleasant to listento.    Not only people with standard accents subscribe to thesebeliefs and attitudes, but individuals with accents also often stereotypeagainst their own or others accents.
Accent discriminationDiscrimination refers to specific behaviors or actions directed at a group orits individual members based solely on the group membership. In accentdiscrimination, ones way of speaking is used as a basis for arbitraryevaluations and judgments. Unlike other forms of discrimination, thereare no strong norms against accent discrimination in the general society.Rosina Lippi-Green writes,Accent serves as the first point of gate keeping because we are forbidden,by law and social custom, and perhaps by a prevailing sense of what ismorally and ethically right, from using race, ethnicity, homeland oreconomics more directly. We have no such compunctions about language,however. Thus, accent becomes a litmus test for exclusion, and excuse toturn away, to recognize the other.Speakers with accents often experience discrimination in housing andemployment. For example, landlords are less likely to call backspeakers who have foreign or ethnic accents and are more likely to beassigned by employers to lower status positions than are those withstandard accents. In business settings, individuals with non-standardaccents are more likely to be evaluated negatively. Accent discriminationis also present in educational institutions. For example, non-native
speaking graduate students, lecturers, and professors, across collegecampuses in the US have been target for being unintelligible because ofaccent. On average, however, students taught by non-native Englishspeaker do not underperform when compared to those taught by nativespeakers of English.Studies have shown the perception of the accent, not the accent by itself,often results in negative evaluations of speakers. In a study conducted byRubin (1992), students listened to a taped lecture recorded by the samenative English speaker with a standard accent. However, they were showna picture of the lecturer who was either a Caucasian or Asian. Participantsin the study who saw the Asian picture believed that they had heard anaccented lecturer and performed more badly on a task measuring lecturecomprehension. Negative evaluations may reflect the prejudices ratherthan real issues with understanding accents.Legal implicationsIn the United States, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibitsdiscrimination based on national origin, implying accents. However,employers may claim that a person’s accent impairs his or hercommunication skills that are necessary to the effective businessoperation. The courts often rely on the employer’s claims or use judges’
subjective opinions when deciding whether the (potential) employee’saccent would interfere with communication or performance, without anyobjective proof that accent was or might be a hindrance.Kentuckys highest court in the case of Clifford vs. Commonwealth held thata white police officer, who had not seen the black defendant allegedlyinvolved in a drug transaction, could, nevertheless, identify him as aparticipant by saying that a voice on an audiotape "sounded black." Thepolice officer based this "identification" on the fact that the defendant wasthe only African American man in the room at the time of the transactionand that an audio-tape contained the voice of a man the officer said―sounded black‖ selling crack cocaine to a white informant planted by thepolice.Acting and accentsActors are often called upon to speak varieties of language other than theirown. For example, Missouri-born actor Dick van Dyke attempted to imitatea cockney accent in the film Mary Poppins. Similarly, an actor may portraya character of some nationality other than his or her own by adopting intothe native language the phonological profile typical of the nationality to beportrayed – what is commonly called "speaking with an accent". One
example would be Viggo Mortensens use of a Russian accent in hisportrayal of Nikolai in the movie Eastern Promises.The perception or sensitivity of others to accents means thatgeneralizations are passed off as acceptable, such as Brad Pitts Jamaicanaccent in Meet Joe Black.[unreliable source?] Angelina Jolie attempteda Greek accent in the film Alexander that was said by critics to bedistracting.[unreliable source?] Gary Oldman has become known for playingeccentrics and for his mastery of accents.Accents may have associations and implications for an audience. Forexample, in Disney films from the 1990s onward, English accents aregenerally employed to serve one of two purposes: slapstick comedy or evilgenius. Examples include Aladdin (the Sultan and Jafar,respectively), The Lion King (Zazu and Scar, respectively), The Hunchbackof Notre Dame (Victor the Gargoyle and Frollo, respectively),andPocahontas (Wiggins and Ratcliffe, respectively - both of whom happento be played by the same actor, American David Ogden Stiers).See also Accent reduction Acting and accents
Foreign accent syndrome Human voice Language change Non-native pronunciations of English Regional accents of English Variety (linguistics)References 1. ^ a b The New Oxford American Dictionary. Second Edition.. Oxford University Press. 2005. ISBN 0-19-517077-6. 2. ^ a b c d Lippi-Green, R. (1997). English with an Accent: Language, Ideology, and Discrimination in the United States. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-11476-4. 3. ^ a b "Australian Accents". Ask a Linguist. Retrieved 2008-05-12. 4. ^ a b Flege, James Emil; David Birdsong, Ellen Bialystok, Molly Mack, Hyekyung Sung and Kimiko Tsukada (2006). "Degree of foreign
accent in English sentences produced by Korean children and adults". Journal of Phonetics 34 (2): 153–175.doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2005.05.001.5. ^ "Accent changing". Ask a Linguist. Retrieved 2008-05-12.6. ^ Harrington, Jonathan (2006). "An Acoustic Analysis of Happy Tensing in the Queens Christmas Broadcasts". Journal of Phonetics 34 (4): 439– 57. doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2005.08.001.7. ^ a b c Scovel, T. (2000). A critical review of the critical period research. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 20, 213–223.8. ^ a b Piske, T., MacKay, I. R. A., & Flege, J. E. (2001). Factors affecting degree of foreign accent in an L2: A review. Journal of Phonetics, 29, 191– 215.9. ^ Bongaerts, T., van Summeren, C., Planken, B., & Schils, E. (1997). Age and ultimate attainment in the pronunciation of a foreign language.
Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 19, 447–465.10. ^ Long, M. H. (1990). Maturational constraints on language development. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 12, 251–285.11. ^ a b Matsuda, M. J. (1991). Voices of America: Accent, antidiscrimination law, and a jurisprudence for the last reconstruction. Yale Law Journal, 100, 1329–1407.12. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Morley, Joan. "Acquisition, instruction, standards, variation, and accent" Georgetown University Round Table on Languages and Linguistics 1996: Linguistics, language acquisition, and language variation: current trends and future prospects. Comp. James E. Alatis. Georgetown University Press. pp 140– 160. http://books.google.com/books?id=R8jZ62kA 9akC
13. ^ a b "Accents". Indiana: ). Retrieved 2008-05- 12.14. ^ Edwards, J. (1999). Refining our understanding of language attitudes. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 18, 101–110.15. ^ Hamilton, D. L., & Sherman, S. J. (1996). Perceiving persons and groups. Psychological Review, 103, 336–355.16. ^ Biernat, M., & Dovidio, J. F. (2000). Stigma and stereotypes. In T. F. Heatherton, R. E. Kleck, M. R. Hebl, & J. G. Hull (Eds.), The social psychology of stigma (pp. 88–125). New York: Guilford.17. ^ a b Gluszek, A., & Dovidio, J. F. (2010). The way they speak: Stigma of non-native accents in communication. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 14, 214–237.18. ^ Bradac, J. J. (1990). Language attitudes and impression formation. In H. Giles & W. P. Robinson (Eds.), Handbook of language and
social psychology (pp. 387–412). London: John Wiley.19. ^ Bresnahan, M. J., Ohashi, R., Nebashi, R., Liu, W. Y., & Shearman, S. M. (2002). Attitudinal and affective response toward accented English. Language and Communication, 22, 171–185.20. ^ Cargile, A. C., & Giles, H. (1997). Understanding language attitudes: Exploring listener affect and identity. Language and Communication, 17, 195–217.21. ^ Nesdale, D., & Rooney, R. (1996). Evaluations and stereotyping of accented speakers by pre-adolescent children. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 15, 133–154.22. ^ Ng, S. H. (2007). Language-based discrimination: Blatant and subtle forms. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 26, 106– 122.23. ^ Zhao, B., Ondrich, J., & Yinger, J. (2006). Why do real estate brokers continue to
discriminate? Evidence from the 2000 Housing Discrimination Study. Journal of Urban Economics, 59, 394–419.24. ^ a b Rubin, D. L. (2002). Help! My professor (or doctor or boss) doesn’t speak English. In J. N. Martin, T. K. Nakayama, & L. A. Flores (Eds.), Readings in intercultural communication: Experiences and contexts (pp. 127–137). Boston: McGraw Hill.25. ^ de la Zerda, N., & Hopper, R. (1979). Employment interviewers’ reactions to Mexican American speech. Communication Monographs, 46, 126–134.26. ^ Tsalikis, J., Ortiz-Buonafina, M., & LaTour, M. S. (1992). The role of accent on the credibility and effectiveness of the international business- person: The case of Guatemala. International Marketing Review, 9, 57–72.27. ^ Marvasti, A. (2005). U.S. academic institutions and perceived effectiveness of
foreign-born faculty. Journal of Economic Issues, 39, 151–176.28. ^ Fleisher, B., Hashimoto, M., & Weinberg, B. A. (2002). Foreign GTAs can be effective teachers of economics. Journal of Economic Education, 33, 299–325.29. ^ Rubin, D. L. (1992). Nonlanguage factors affecting undergraduates judgments of nonnative English-speaking teaching assistants. Research in Higher Education, 33, 511–531.30. ^ Nguyen, B. B.-D. (1993). Accent discrimination and the Test of Spoken English: A call for an objective assessment of the comprehensibility of nonnative speakers. California Law Review, 81, 1325–1361.31. ^ "Jamaicans accent on TV". "Jamaicans.com".32. ^ "Angelina Jolie accent". "about".33. ^ "Why Villains in Movies Have English Accents". January 15, 2003
Further reading Bragg, Melvyn (2003). The Adventure of English, 500AD to 2000: The Biography of a Language. London: Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0-340-82991-5. Giles, H., & Coupland, N. (1991). Language: Contexts and consequences. Buckingham, UK: Open University Press. Lindemann, S. (2003). Koreans, Chinese or Indians? Attitudes and ideologies about non-native English speakers in the United States. Journal of Sociolinguistics, 7, 348–364. Lindemann, S. (2005). Who speaks ―broken English‖? US undergraduates’ perception of non- native English. International Journal of Applied Linguistics, 15, 187–212. Milroy, James; and Lesley Milroy (2005). Authority in Language: Investigating Standard English (3rd ed.). London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-17413-9.
Moyer, A. (1999). Ultimate attainment in L2 phonology: The critical factors of age, motivation and instruction. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 21, 81–108. Scovel, T. (1988). A time to speak: A psycholinguistic inquiry into the critical period for human speech. Cambridge, England: Newbury House. Wated, G., & Sanchez, J. I. (2006). The role of accent as a work stressor on attitudinal and health- related work outcomes. International Journal of Stress Management, 13, 329–350. Wells, J C. 1982. Accents of English. (3 volumes). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. [Wellss home pages also have a lot of information about phonetics and accents.] Hover & Hear accents of English from around the World, and compare them side by side. The Speech Accent Archive (Native and non-native accent recordings of English) Wells Accents and Spelling
I dont have an accent! by Karen Stollznow FAQ about Accents humanaccents.com – a summary of research on non-native accents andDialectologyDialectology (from Greek διάλεκτος, dialektos, "talk, dialect"; and -λογία, -logia) is the scientific study of linguistic dialect, a sub-fieldofsociolinguistics. It studies variations in language based primarily ongeographic distribution and their associated features. Dialectology treatssuch topics as divergence of two local dialects from a common ancestorand synchronic variation.Dialectologists are ultimately concerned with grammatical and phonologicalfeatures that correspond to regional areas. Thus they usually deal withpopulations that have lived in certain areas for generations, but also withmigrant groups that bring their languages to new areas (see languagecontact).
Commonly studied concepts in dialectology include the problem of mutualintelligibility in defining languages and dialects; situations ofdiglossia,where two dialects are used for different functions; dialectcontinua including a number of partially mutually intelligible dialects;andpluricentrism, where what is essentially a single genetic language existsas two or more standard varieties.William Labov is one of the most prominent researchers in this field. Contents [hide]1 History2 Methods of data collection3 Mutual intelligibility4 Diglossia5 Dialect continuum6 Pluricentrism7 The Ausbausprache — Abstandsprache — Dachsprache framework8 See also9 References
HistoryDialect studies began in the latter half of the 19th century. The idea ofdialect studies began in 1876, by Georg Wenker, who sent postalquestionnaires out over Northern Germany. These postal questionnairescontained a list of sentences written in Standard German. These sentenceswere then transcribed into the local dialect, reflecting dialectal differences.Many studies proceeded from this, and over the next century dialectstudies were carried out all over the world. Joseph Wright produced the six-volume English Dialect Dictionary in 1905.Traditional studies in Dialectology were generally aimed at producingdialect maps, whereby imaginary lines were drawn over a map to indicatedifferent dialect areas. The move away from traditional methods oflanguage study however caused linguists to become more concerned withsocial factors. Dialectologists therefore began to study social, as well asregional variation. The Linguistic Atlas of the United States (1930s) wasamongst the first dialect studies to take social factors into account.In the 1950s, the University of Leeds undertook the Survey of EnglishDialects, which focused mostly on rural speech in England and the easternareas of Wales.
This shift in interest consequently saw the birth of Sociolinguistics, which isa mixture of dialectology and social sciences.Methods of data collectionDialect researchers typically use questionnaires to gather data on thedialect they are researching. There are two main types of questionnaires;direct and indirect.Researchers using direct questionnaires will present the subject with a setof questions that demand a specific answer and are designed to gathereither lexical or phonological information. For example, the linguist may askthe subject the name for various items, or ask him or her to repeat certainwords.Indirect questionnaires are typically more open-ended and take longer tocomplete than direct questionnaires. A researcher using this method will sitdown with a subject and begin a conversation on a specific topic. Forexample, he may question the subject about farm work, food and cooking,or some other subject, and gather lexical and phonological information fromthe information provided by the subject. The researcher may also begin asentence, but allow the subject to finish it for him, or ask a question that
does not demand a specific answer, such as ―What are the most commonplants and trees around here?‖Mutual intelligibilityMain article: Mutual intelligibilitySome have attempted to distinguish dialects from languages by saying thatdialects of the same language are understandable to each other. Theuntenable nature of blunt application of this criterion is demonstrated by thecase of Italian and Spanish cited above. While some native speakers of thetwo may on occasion enjoy some limited mutual understanding, few peoplewould want to classify Italian and Spanish as dialects of the same languagein any sense other than historical. Spanish and Italian are similar,but phonology, syntax, morphology, andlexicon are sufficiently distinct thatthe two cannot be considered dialects of the same language.DiglossiaMain article: DiglossiaAnother problem occurs in the case of diglossia, used to describe asituation in which, in a given society, there are two closely relatedlanguages, one of high prestige, which is generally used by the governmentand in formal texts, and one of low prestige, which is usually the
spoken vernacular tongue. An example of this is Sanskrit, which wasconsidered the proper way to speak in northern India, but only accessibleby the upper class, and Prakrit which was the common (and informalor vernacular) speech at the time.Varying degrees of diglossia are still common in many societies around theworld.Dialect continuumMain article: Dialect continuumA dialect continuum is a network of dialects in which geographicallyadjacent dialects are mutually comprehensible, but with comprehensibilitysteadily decreasing as distance between the dialects increases. Anexample is the Dutch-German dialect continuum, a vast network of dialectswith two recognized literary standards. Although mutual intelligibilitybetween standard Dutch and standard Germanis very limited, a chain ofdialects connects them. Due to several centuries of influence by standardlanguages (especially in NorthernGermany, where even today the originaldialects struggle to survive) there are now many breaks in intelligibilitybetween geographically adjacent dialects along the continuum, but in thepast these breaks were virtually nonexistent.
The Romance languages—Galician/Portuguese, Spanish, Sicilian, Catalan, Occitan/Provençal, French, Sardinian, Romanian, Romansh,Friulan, other Italian, French, and Ibero-Romance dialects, and others—form another well-known continuum, withvarying degrees of mutual intelligibility.In both areas—the Germanic linguistic continuum, the Romance linguisticcontinuum—the relational notion of the term dialect is often vastlymisunderstood, and today gives rise to considerable difficulties inimplementation of European Union directives regarding support of minoritylanguages. Perhaps this is no more evident than in Italy, where still todaysome of the population use their local language (dialetto dialect) as theprimary means of communication at home and, to varying lesser extent, theworkplace. Difficulties arise due to terminological confusion. The languagesconventionally referred to as Italian dialects are Romance sister languagesof Italian, not variants of Italian, which are commonly and properlycalled italiano regionale (regional Italian). The label Italian dialect asconventionally used is more geopolitical in aptness of meaning rather thanlinguistic: Bolognese and Neapolitan, for example, are termed Italiandialects, yet resemble each other less than do Italian and Spanish.Misunderstandings ensue if "Italian dialect" is taken to mean dialect of
Italian rather than minority language spoken on Italian soil, i.e. part of thenetwork of the Romance linguistic continuum. The indigenous Romancelanguage of Venice, for example, is cognate with Italian, but quite distinctfrom the national language in phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon,and in no way a derivative or a variety of the nationallanguage. Venetian can be said to be an Italian dialect both geographicallyand typologically, but it is not a dialect of Italian.PluricentrismMain article: Pluricentric languageA pluricentric language is a single genetic language that has two ormore standard forms. An example is Hindi-Urdu or Hindustani, whichencompasses two main standard varieties, Urdu and Hindi. Anotherexample is Norwegian, with Bokmål having developed closely with Danishand Swedish, and Nynorsk as a partly reconstructed language based onold dialects. Both are recognized as official languages in Norway.In a sense, the set of dialects can be understood as being part of asingle diasystem, an abstraction that each dialect is part of. In generativephonology, the differences can be acquired through rules. An example canbe taken with Occitan (a cover term for a set of related varieties of
Southern France) where cavaL (from late Latin *caballu-, horse) is thediasystemic form for the following realizations. Languedocien dialect: caval [kaβal] (L > [l], sometimes velar, used concurrently with French borrowed forms chival or chivau); Limousine dialect: chavau [tʃavau] (ca > cha and -L > -u); Provençal dialect: cavau [kavau] (-L > -u, used concurrently with French borrowed forms chival or chivau); Gascon dialect: cavath [kawat] (final -L > [t], sometimes palatalized, and used concurrently with French borrowed forms chibau) Auvergnat and Vivaro-alpine dialects: chaval [tʃaval] (same treatment of ca cluster as in Limousine dialect)
This conceptual approach may be used in practical situations. For instancewhen such a diasystem is identified, it can be used constructadiaphonemic orthography that emphasizes the commonalities betweenthe varieties. Such a goal may or may not fit with sociopolitical preferences.The Ausbausprache — Abstandsprache — Dachsprache frameworkMain article: Ausbausprache, Abstandsprache and DachspracheOne analytical paradigm developed by linguists is known asthe Ausbausprache - Abstandsprache - Dachsprache framework. It hasproved popular among linguists in Continental Europe, but is not so wellknown in English-speaking countries, especially among people who are nottrained linguists. Although only one of many possible paradigms, it has theadvantage of being constructed by trained linguists for the particularpurpose of analyzing and categorizing varieties of speech, and has theadditional merit of replacing such loaded words as "language" and "dialect"with the German terms of Ausbausprache, Abstandsprache,and Dachsprache, words that are not (yet) loaded with political, cultural, oremotional connotations.See also Abstandsprache
Language geography Dialectometry Areas of study Accent · Dialect Discourse analysis Language varieties Linguistic description Pragmatics Variation Related fields Applied linguistics Historical linguisticsLinguistic anthropologySociocultural linguisticsSociology of language
Key concepts Code-switching · Diglossia Language change Language ideology Language planning Multilingualism Prestige People Sociolinguists Please read: A personal appeal from Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales Read nowProsody (linguistics)From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2008)
In linguistics, prosody (pronounced /ˈprɒsədi/ PROSS-ə-dee) isthe rhythm, stress, and intonation of speech. Prosody may reflect variousfeatures of the speaker or the utterance: the emotional state of the speaker;the form of the utterance (statement, question, or command); the presenceof irony or sarcasm; emphasis, contrast, and focus; or other elements oflanguage that may not be encoded by grammar or choice of vocabulary. Contents [hide]1 Acoustic attributes of prosody2 The prosodic domain3 Prosody and emotion4 Brain location of prosody5 See also6 References7 Further reading8 External linksAcoustic attributes of prosodyIn terms of acoustics, the prosodics of oral languages involve variationin syllable length, loudness, pitch, and the formant frequencies of speechsounds. In sign languages, prosody involves the rhythm, length, andtension of gestures, along with mouthing and facial expressions. Prosody istypically absent in writing, which can occasionally result in readermisunderstanding. Orthographic conventions to mark or substitute forprosody include punctuation (commas, exclamation marks, questionmarks, scare quotes, and ellipses), and typographic stylingfor emphasis (italic, bold, and underlined text).The details of a languages prosody depend upon its phonology. Forinstance, in a language with phonemic vowel length, this must be markedseparately from prosodic syllable length. In similar manner, prosodic pitchmust not obscure tone in a tone language if the result is to be intelligible.Although tone languages such as Mandarin have prosodic pitch variationsin the course of a sentence, such variations are long and smooth contours,
on which the short and sharp lexical tones are superimposed. If pitch canbe compared to ocean waves, the swells are the prosody, and the wind-blown ripples in their surface are the lexical tones, as with stress in English.The word dessert has greater stress on the second syllable, compared tothe noun desert, which has greater stress on the first; but this distinction isnot obscured when the entire word is stressed by a child demanding "Giveme dessert!" Vowels in many languages are likewise pronounced differently(typically lesscentrally) in a careful rhythm or when a word is emphasized,but not so much as to overlap with the formant structure of a differentvowel. Both lexical and prosodic information are encoded in rhythm,loudness, pitch, and vowel formants.The prosodic domainProsodic features are suprasegmental. They are not confined to anyone segment, but occur in some higher level of an utterance.Theseprosodic units are the actual phonetic "spurts", or chunks of speech.They need not correspond to grammatical units suchas phrases andclauses, though they may; and these facts suggest insightsinto how the brain processes speech.Prosodic units are marked by phonetic cues, such as a coherent pitchcontour – or the gradual decline in pitch and lengthening of vowels over theduration of the unit, until the pitch and speed are reset to begin the nextunit. Breathing, both inhalation and exhalation, seems to occur only atthese boundaries where the prosody resets."Prosodic structure" is important in language contact and lexical borrowing.For example, in Modern Hebrew, the XiXéX verb-template is much moreproductive than the XaXáX verb-template because in morphemicadaptations of non-Hebrew stems, the XiXéX verb-template is more likelyto retain – in all conjugations throughout the tenses – the prosodic structure(e.g., the consonant clusters and the location of the vowels) of the stem. Prosody and emotionEmotional prosody is the expression of feelings using prosodic elements ofspeech. It was considered by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man topredate the evolution of human language: "Even monkeys express strong
feelings in different tones – anger and impatience by low, – fear and painby high notes." Native speakers listening to actors reading emotionallyneutral text while projecting emotions correctly recognized happiness 62%of the time, anger 95%, surprise 91%, sadness 81%, and neutral tone 76%.When a database of this speech was processed by computer, segmentalfeatures allowed better than 90% recognition of happiness and anger, whilesuprasegmental prosodic features allowed only 44%–49% recognition. Thereverse was true for surprise, which was recognized only 69% of the timeby segmental features and 96% of the time by suprasegmentalprosody. In typical conversation (no actor voice involved), the recognitionof emotion may be quite low, of the order of 50%, hampering the complexinterrelationship function of speech advocated by some authors.Brain location of prosodyAn aprosodia is an acquired or developmental impairment incomprehending or generating the emotion conveyed in spoken language.This is seen sometimes in persons with Asperger syndrome.Producing these nonverbal elements requires intact motor areas of theface, mouth, tongue, and throat. This area is associated with Brodmannareas 44 and 45 (Brocas area) of the left frontal lobe. Damage to areas44/45 produces motor aprosodia, with the nonverbal elements of speechbeing disturbed (facial expression, tone, rhythm of voice).Understanding these nonverbal elements requires an intact and properlyfunctioning Brodmann area 22 (Wernickes area) in the right hemisphere.Right-hemispheric area 22 aids in the interpretation of prosody, anddamage causes sensory aprosodia, with the patient unable to comprehendchanges in voice and body language .Prosody is dealt with by a right-hemisphere network that is largely a mirrorimage of the left perisylvian zone. Damage to the right inferior frontal gyruscauses a diminished ability to convey emotion or emphasis by voice orgesture, and damage to right superior temporal gyrus causes problemscomprehending emotion or emphasis in the voice or gestures of others.See also
Intonation Phonological hierarchy Prosody (poetry)References 1. ^ Hybridity versus Revivability: Multiple Causation, Forms and Patterns. In Journal of Language Contact, Varia 2 (2009), pp. 40-67. 2. ^ Charles Darwin (1871). "The Descent of Man". citing Johann Rudolph Rengger, Natural History of the Mammals of Paraguay, s. 49 3. ^ R. Barra, J.M. Montero, J. Macías-Guarasa, L.F. D’Haro, R. San-Segundo, R. Córdoba. "Prosodic and segmental rubrics in emotion identification". 4. ^ H.-N. Teodorescu and Silvia Monica Feraru. In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Springer Berlin, Heidelberg. ISSN 0302-9743, Volume 4629/2007, ―Text, Speech and Dialogue‖. Pages 254-261. "A Study on Speech with Manifest Emotions,". 5. ^ Miller, Lisa A; Collins, Robert L; Kent, Thomas A (2008). "Language and the modulation of impulsive aggression.". The Journal of neuropsychiatry and clinical neurosciences 20 (3): 261–73. PMID 18806230.Further reading NESPOR, Marina. Prosody: an interview with Marina Nespor ReVEL, vol. 8, n. 15, 2010. Nolte, John. The Human Brain 6th EditionExternal links Lessons in Prosody (at the University of Freiburg) Prosody on the Web - (a tutorial on prosody)
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