Reblogged from aschmann.net May 12th, 2013 59 notes #language #dialects #english #usa #linguistics
Because of the massive popularity of Hollywood movies, most people in the world (including Americans) assume that people in the US all sound like they’re from California, and in particular Southern California. This intensely detailed map created by linguist Rick Aschmann in his free time, tracks the highly diverse dialects in North American English, from the soothing drawl of the American South, to the broad-A’s of Boston. To back up his many examples, Aschmann’s large map is interactive, allowing users to click on locations to see Youtube videos or listen to audio samples featuring people speaking.
While far from the easiest map to read, Aschmann packs a load of information into the large image; from whether locals pronounce their “O” at the front, middle or back of the mouth, to whether “pen” and “pin” sound the same when spoken. Even for people living in North America it is impressive to see the diversity of dialects spoken even in relatively close areas. Not surprisingly, the north east US has some of the most diverse lingual sounds, most likely because of its early settlement and the lack of travel in those times. The west on the other hand, is a land of relative uniformity, only lending credence to those who think we all sound Californian.
This map is really fun to explore! Of course, it’s never as simple as all that (not that this map is simple), but it’s a good reference.
Along with pronunciation, different dialects may use different words, or have words for certain things that others don’t.
The Harvard Dialect Survey (which is getting old by now!) is a really interesting collection of lexical splits across the country. For instance, , below:
What are some terms you use that might be unique to your area?
remember that point in life where we suddenly became Shego?
how is she filing her nails with gloves on
^^^ I wanted to hate this show when it was on, but it just sucks you in with it’s awesomeness.
(via life-isnotaparagraph)Reblogged from possiblegifs April 2nd, 2013 105,275 notes #linguistics #morphology #english
Just found out that one of the big English teaching programs out here (run primarily by Taiwanese) openly discussed rejecting all east Asian American applicants at one point, since they don’t look “American” (i.e. white) enough. The program in question was already predominantly white, but the second biggest group was composed of said applicants.
It just goes to show you how pervasive and damaging white supremacy is, even out here.
How did you come by this information? This is horrible!Reblogged from blackinasia February 19th, 2013 114 notes #Taiwan #English #teach English #Asian Americans #esl
Reblogged from sciver January 23rd, 2013 76 notes #LINGUISTIC TAKE DOWN! #TKO #english
A word most often used to imply that almost nothing is left after a destructive event.
The correct usage however, is that exactly one tenth of something has been removed or destroyed.
To decimate an army is to kill every 10th soldier.
The English language is dying,…
I made a post about this when I first created this blog. Many of the grammar hang-ups we needlessly fight about can be traced back to people like Robert Lowth FRS, Bishop of the Church of England & Oxford Professor of Poetry.
(I found my post!) To quote myself, “In the mind of Bishop Lowth, Latin was considered to be a divine language, and English “lacked” the virtue and dignity that Latin had. He needed a way to uplift the pagan English language to a divine status.”
(It’s important to remember that non-English speakers held that English was a “bastardized” language instead of a “pure” one like Latin and other Latin derived languages.)
So he ended up wiring a booklet on grammar and made it so that English would follow Latin-syntactic rules. And the booklet got leaked to the general public, and then people made copies of it, and then they started teaching it in school & now we’re in 2013 still teaching people Latin-based English. Yay for prescriptivism! :/
Also, singular/plural they has been a thing for about 700 years now. Some of y’all need to let it go.
(via deliciouskaek)Reblogged from ginadanielsjfc January 18th, 2013 16,968 notes #english #singular they #plural they #pronoun usage #latin #divine languages #Bishop Robert Lowth #post Renaissance
How did English evolve? - Kate Gardoqui
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-did-english-evolve-kate-gardoqui
What is the difference between “a hearty welcome” and “a cordial reception”? In a brief, action-packed history of the English language, Kate Gardoqui explains why these semantically equal phrases evoke such different images.
Lesson by Kate Gardoqui, animation by Ben Tobitt.
by TED Education.
To watch laterReblogged from ed.ted.com December 22nd, 2012 145 notes #english
“Modern English is a direct descendant of the language of Scandinavians who settled in the British Isles in the course of many centuries, before the French-speaking Normans conquered the country in 1066,” says Faarlund. He points out that Old English and Modern English are two very different languages. Why?
“We believe it is because Old English quite simply died out while Scandinavian survived, albeit strongly influenced of course by Old English,” he says.
The two researchers show that the sentence structure in Middle English — and thus also Modern English — is Scandinavian and not Western Germanic. “It is highly irregular to borrow the syntax and structure from one language and use it in another language. In our days the Norwegians are borrowing words from English, and many people are concerned about this. However, the Norwegian word structure is totally unaffected by English. It remains the same. The same goes for the structure in English: it is virtually unaffected by Old English.”
Posting for now. Not coherent enough to focus right now.
(via thothofnorth)Reblogged from howllor December 11th, 2012 100 notes #linguistics #english #scandinavian #language
“ These lexical invasions did leave some cute wrinkles here and there. Because when French ruled the roost, it was the language of formality; in modern English, words from French are often formal versions of English ones considered lowly. We commence because of French; in a more mundane mood we just start, using an original English word. Pork, très culinary, is the French word; pig— très beastly—is the English one. And then even cuter are the triplets, where the low-down word is English, the really ritzy one is Latin, and the French one hovers somewhere in between: Anglo-Saxon ask is humble; French-derived question is more buttoned up; Latinate interrogate is downright starchy.
John McWhorter, Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue: The Untold Story of English (via beahbeah)
(via zahnie)Reblogged from beahbeah December 8th, 2012 144 notes #Linguistics #English #French #Latin
Reblogged from notalwaysworking.com November 29th, 2012 329 notes #Language #Perpetual foreigner #English #names #ethnocentrism
Me: “My name is Guinan Chan. But, just write ‘G Chan’; it’s easier.”
Me: “Yes, but just use my first initial.”
Employee: “I’m sorry, but Guinan?”
Me: “Yes, it’s Mandarin. I realize that sounds unusual here.”
Employee: “I’m sorry, but you need an English name.”
Employee: “You need an English name.”
Me: “Okay… how about Pennebrygg?”
Me: “…with two Ns and two Gs.”
Me: “It’s English. It dates back to at least the 14th century.”
(My order arrived addressed to ‘G Chan’.)
YOU NEED AN ENGLISH NAME
for an order
I have a request to make of you all (that I might come to regret). No worries, doesn’t involve money.
I have a thought in my head that I just can’t seem to escape regarding swearing and swearwords and how they’re used. I honestly don’t know where I’m going with this, or what I’ll do with it yet, but it’s a thought that I haven’t been able to shake for months.
So, I was wondering if you guys would all be ever so kind as to message me with lists of curse words. (In English.) Cursewords that you use, or you’ve heard before, ones your family members use, or ones that were new to you, etc. No matter how indecent or vulgar some of these words are. This also includes cursewords that are blasphemous (i.e. invoke God/Jesus, even though some people don’t think of these as cursewords) such as “G—damn”. Even ones using other Biblical names.
Oh, and any expressions that you’ve heard before that invoke God/Jesus’ name, like “God’s teeth!” and “Jesus on the cross!” and things of that nature.
Oh, yeah, for those of you who don’t curse, what other words do you use as a substitution?
I await your replies.
My poor inbox…November 28th, 2012 0 notes #Language #English #cursewords #swearing #linguistics #send me a message #or just reblog with your contribution #much thanks!
“ The real aim of colonialism was to control the people’s wealth: what they produced, how they produced it, and how it was distributed. Colonialism imposed its control of the social production of wealth through military conquest and subsequent political dictatorship. But its most important area of domination was the mental universe of the colonised, the control, through culture, of how people perceived themselves and their relationship to the world. Economic and political control can never be complete or effective without mental control. To control a people’s culture is to control their tools of self-definition in relationship to others. For colonialism this involved two aspects of the same process: the destruction or the deliberate undervaluing of a people’s culture, their art, dances, religions, history, geography, education, orature and literature, and the conscious elevation of the language of the coloniser. The domination of a people’s language by the languages of the colonising nations was crucial to the domination of the mental universe of the colonised.
The language of an African child’s formal education was foreign. The language of the books he read was foreign. The language of his conceptualisation was foreign. Thought, in him, took the visible form of a foreign language. So the written language of a child’s upbringing in the school (even his spoken language within the school compound) became divorced from his spoken language at home. There was often not the slightest relationship between the child’s written world, which was also the language of his schooling, and the world of his immediate environment in the family and the community. For a colonial child, the harmony existing between the three aspects of language as communication was irrevocably broken. This resulted in the disassociation of the sensibility of that child from his natural and social environment, what we might call colonial alienation. The alienation became reinforced in the teaching of history, geography, music, where bourgeois Europe was always the centre of the universe.
Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature - Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o (via abstractverses)November 28th, 2012 685 notes #Language #colonialism #imperialism #English #German #Spanish #French
Does anyone have any resources handy that talk about the intersection of language and gender in a non-binary way? I’m trying to punch up a lecture for tomorrow’s class, and would appreciate sources that go beyond the basic Deborah Tannen stuff. I can…
Dang it! My books are in storage and this isn’t my area of expertise. Passing on to the tumblr linguist community.Reblogged from lesserjoke November 7th, 2012 26 notes #linguistics #language #english #pronouns #gender #non-binary
‘Irregardless’ is not a word. You’re affixing the negative prefix ‘ir’ to the word ‘regardless’ which in itself is already negative, making it a logical absurdity. Stop it.
You are a fictional…
bonegrammaticality breaks it dooowwwwnnnnnn. love it.
(via hereincoherent)Reblogged from i-am-greg-house October 13th, 2012 20 notes #language #double negation #double concord #linguistics #english #regardless #irregardless
I’m tired of all these potential employers that stay giving grammar tests that are flawed. (Especially, the punctuation section.) It makes me want to write notes all over the test to correct their biases. Plus, how are you going to give me a grammar test where half of all the answers are wrong? Seriously?! I just really wanna whip out my wallet-sized, laminated copy of my degree and say, “I’m a linguist. This test is completely wrong and here’s why.” And then go though it with them.
I’ve realized that studying linguistics has totally messed up my judgement of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ grammar since you discover that such concepts don’t actually exist. And it takes me a minute to remember how to think like a teacher (I tutor kids in my church and family members.).
Le sigh.October 11th, 2012 5 notes #employment #grammar #english #personal #grammar tests #language #job search