Reblogged from aschmann.net May 12th, 2013 58 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?
Reblogged from grammar.net May 11th, 2013 877 notes #language #prescriptivism
This is language-shaming, plain and simple. (Oh em gee, I just said both “plain” and “simple,” two words that mean almost the same thing. And together form a cliche. How redundant!) Redundancy is a natural part of all human languages, and from a communication-based perspective that’s a GOOD THING because it helps ensure that a message gets across even if part of a sentence is misheard or misparsed.
This post also makes huge value judgments — “plague words,” really? — many of which are against a variety of language favored by young people and young women in particular. (Totally, true fact, etc.) It’s all a sham, and I urge my followers not to listen to such claptrap.
NO LISTEN, SERIOUSLY GUYS
- What you call “correct grammar” is a social construct which is useful to know specifically because people will equate it with your level of education when you are trying to, say, apply for jobs, or get a book published, or the like. It is otherwise…
A whole lot of nope right here. There is a huge difference between colloquial language and poor grammar. Also if I learn that 2+2=5 in childhood does not make that right. Grammar is there for a reason and while it’s your prerogative to follow it or not but not following it doesn’t shield you from judgement or being corrected.
Nobody is a poor speaker of their native language(s). Your math analogy is misleading and inaccurate. You can honestly trust me on this.
The difference between poor grammar and colloquial language would be determined by the judgments of native speakers, which means that “poor” grammar would only be relevant in the case of a non-native speaker making second language errors.
“Grammar” as you conceive it is indeed there for a reason, and the reason is to act as a shibboleth. That’s it.
(via misandristscum)Reblogged from hereincoherent May 10th, 2013 2,219 notes #burn #language #value judgements
Searching for Knowledge: moniquill: What if people told European history like they told Native... Link post
Reblogged from sofriel May 9th, 2013 3,637 notes #colonizer's language #language #history
The first immigrants to Europe arrived thousands of years ago from central Asia. Most pre-contact Europeans lived together in small villages. Because the continent was very crowded,…
“ People sometimes end up in confused arguments about what words ‘really’ mean. Just because one meaning of a word is older than others, this doesn’t make it the ‘real’ meaning of that word, and you would find yourself in all sorts of trouble if you tried to enforce this line. For instance, in Old English, ‘man’ meant ‘human being’, irrespective of sex and age, but I doubt (m)any adult women would use this as grounds to use the ‘Men’s’ room at a movie theatre. Similarly, ‘meat’ originally meant ‘(solid) food in general’, but this meaning is now wholly lost.
Most linguists find the notion of ‘real meaning’ unhelpful. Instead, they find it more useful to talk about what is conventionally implied by a word when it is used, what other words it frequently occurs with, and what it implies when it is used in different conversational contexts.
Introducing Sociolinguistics by Miriam Meyerhoff, 2nd ed.
This is so relevant to conversations about slurs, and about the ‘real’ definitions of sexism and racism.
(via theslavbarbarian)Reblogged from yellow-dress May 9th, 2013 366 notes #language #linguistics
Reblogged from marhaba-maroc-algerie-tunisie May 5th, 2013 184 notes #Language
Map of Arabic Dialects
When people talk about Arabic, they often think of it as a single language. Although Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is widespread and often understood by the Arabic speaking world, it is not mutually intelligible with all the Arabic dialects. People have argued that MSA is closest to Egyptian Arabic, but it is not identical. While Egyptian Arabic might be one of the more famous types (due to the popularity of Egyptian media), the pronunciation of some sounds and the word choices are not the same as in MSA. (For instance the ج - [ʒ] sound in MSA is pronounced [g] in Egyptian Arabic.)
Most Arabic speakers will tell you how hard it is to understand Moroccan Arabic if you’re not from Morocco. Similarly, some lexical items in Iraqi Arabic are so different from their equivalents in MSA that you would never be able to figure them out without the help of someone who knows Iraqi Arabic. Part of the reason for this is that Iraqi Arabic has many borrowed words from Persian and Turkish, whereas other Arabic dialects do not.
So, at what point do these dialects stop being Arabic and start being different languages? Well, that’s more of a political question than a scientific one. In general terms, a language is defined by how its speakers define it.
On one extreme of the debate, a linguist could argue we all actually speak one single language across the world, with gradient differences in lexical items (words) and grammatical structures. On the other extreme, a linguist could argue that we all speak different languages (even though they might be mutually intelligible) because no two people use their words and syntax in exactly the same ways. Neither one of these arguments is useful, though.
So how would you define what a language is?
Reblogged from meret118 May 4th, 2013 25,741 notes #language
Reblogged from mysterysnake April 28th, 2013 173 notes #Linguistics #great post #language #slang #regional variations #language change #endangered languages #value judgements #internalized racism #internalized ethnocentrism
Associated Press drops ‘illegal immigrant’ from Stylebook
ABC-Univision: Newsgathering organization the Associated Press announced its Stylebook no longer sanctions the term “illegal immigrant” or the use of “illegal’ to describe a person.
“Instead, it tells users that ‘illegal’ should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally,” Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll wrote.
The company’s decision comes after years of controversy over the term.
Paul Colford, the director of media relations for the AP, said the majority of the 1,400 U.S. newspapers that make up the Associated Press Cooperative likely follow AP style.
Photo: Associated Press Office in New York City. (Ben Hider/Getty Images)
Took long enough.Reblogged from breakingnews April 2nd, 2013 390 notes #language #immigration
Reblogged from dmentality April 1st, 2013 5,134 notes #language #value judgements #internalized racism
It amazes me how many arabic names like Aaliyah and Jamal, etc etc, are reduced to ‘ghetto’ names when given to black children
it’s not just arabic names
any set of names that became popular amongst black ppl thanks to being OWNED by a certain group are considered “ghetto”, including many Western European names and some Asian names
I had a (basic) conversation in Spanish yesterday, and one today in Japanese! And I remembered words and sentence structures…without thinking in English first. And could speak without feeling shy or like passing out or vomiting. And I felt a little nervous both times, but I actually controlled my nervousness. And I didn’t have to ask either person to speak slowly.
And did I mention that I had actual conversations that weren’t in English?!
This is a big deal for me, so I ran to the Internet to document it. I hope that one day switching between languages will be easy for me.
March 26th, 2013 5 notes #Personal #no reblogs #yay me #language #on the (sloooow) path towards fluency
Searching for Knowledge: Alright. Who speaks fluent Spanish and wants to help me translate an old book all dedicated to names and descriptions of... Link post
Reblogged from akoaykayumanggi March 9th, 2013 63 notes #Linguistics #language #Spanish #translation
I’m looking at this whole thing and having grabby hands but sadly there isn’t an English translation of the whole book (at least I know of) so I am in need of a translator.
So yes. Who speaks fluent Spanish and wants to help translate…
YALL WANNA BLOG RACIST NON-BELIEVING WHITE PEOPLE TWEETS LOOK AT RACIST MUSLIM TWEETS. BRUH.
what in the actual fuck. lol for those who wanted “proof,” here it is
Lol fucking dumb people acting like no one knows what abeed means….
what a fucking train wreck.
this is all sorts of fail
For those who don’t know, the Arabic words “abeed” عبيد, “abd”عبد , and “abdah” عبدة (slaves) are used to refer to people of African descent. It’s primary use—seems to be—a racial slur, always reminding Black people of their status of servitude. HOWEVER, and this is where it gets tricky, “abeed” is used in the Qur’an in reference to Allah’s worshipers and speaks about those who honor God.
So as a non-Arabic speaking person, and as a member of an Abrahamic religion, I find it suspect how people would twist such a sacred title given to us by our GOD to use against a specific group of Allah’s people in order to demean and dehumanize them.
(And if I said anything that was wrong here, then please correct me. My Arabic is rough.)March 9th, 2013 323 notes #would this be a form a sacrilage? #racism #ethnic slurs #language