Monday, April 12, 2010

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Assignments





Due by the beginning of class on Monday, April 19th
32.  Answer questions 11-21 about chapter eleven in the textbook (pp. 342-343)

Due by midnight on Sunday, April 18th
31.  Watch the one-hour interview with Paul Ekman on the course website and make a list of 5-10 things you learned about kinesics from watching the video clip.  E-mail your list to me.



Due by the beginning of class on Wednesday, April 14th
32.  Post two separate e-mails in which you report on a violation of two of Grice's maxims of conversation.  You may commit the violation yourself or you may observe someone else committing it.  Describe the context of the occurrence (setting, characters), the occurrence itself (with quotes--to the extent that this is possible), and your feelings/thoughts about it.

Due by the beginning of class on Monday, April 12th
30.  Answer questions 1-10 about chapter eleven in the textbook (pp. 341-342)


Due by the beginning of class on Wednesday, April 7th.
** Term paper.

Wednesday, April 7th.
29.  Answer questions 32-39 about chapter eight in the textbook (pp. 261-262)

Monday, April 5th.
28.  Answer questions 23-31 about chapter eight in the textbook (p. 261).

Wednesday, March 31st.
27.  Answer questions 14-22 about chapter eight in the textbook (pp. 260-261).

Monday, March 29th
26.  Answer questions 1-13 about chapter eight in the textbook (pp. 259-260)


Friday, March 26th
25.  Write two versions of a 250-word story or dramatic dialogue in which the narrator or one of the characters expresses anger or desire.  Each version should be written in a way that communicates something different about the speaker/writer's social identity (age, education, degree of formality, gender, etc.) and/or feeling about the events described in the narration.  In class, I mistakenly said that this assignment was due on Monday the 22nd.

Wednesday, March 24th
24.  Answer questions 33-44 about chapter six in the textbook (pp. 187-188)

Monday, March 22nd
23.  Answer questions 11-32 about chapter six in the textbook (pp. 186-187)

Wednesday, March 10th
22.  Answer questions 1-10 at the end of chapter six in the textbook (page 186).


Monday, March 8th: Vote for Best Dramatic Monologue or Scene
21. Email me your vote for the best dramatic dialect monologue or scene.

Wednesday, March 3: Midterm Exam (Sociolinguistics, Cultural Anthropology, Phonetics, Phonology)

Due by the stroke of midnight on Friday, February 26th.
20. E-mail a dramatic monologue or dramatic scenario to sbenton@ecok.edu. The scenario should employ a regional dialect with which you are familiar (you may use terms that have been added to the glossaries we have been creating). If you write a monologue, Tell a story--perhaps one you have heard a relative or friend tell before. If you choose to write a dramatic scenario, try to avoid the cliche of beginning with greetings. Consider starting in the middle of a situation and setting that may be described with a few brief lines (written in Standard Edited American English). The scenario should include at least one speaker who employs a regional dialect.
Whichever option you choose:
a) Include a clever or intriguing title.
b) Try to grab your readers' attention with a dramatic opening.
c) Consider giving an unusual twist to the story 1/2 of 2/3 through it.
d) Don't make language itself the subject of the text.
The best entrants may be awarded extra credit on the midterm exam (details to come).

Due by the beginning of class on Wednesday, February 24th
19. Complete Exercise 3 (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6) on pages 79-70; and fill in the blank on Review sentences 17-23 on page 85.

Due by the beginning of class on Monday, February 22nd.
18. Complete Exercise 1 (#1, #2 and #3--not #4) on pages 68-69; Exercise 2 (#1, #2) on pages 76-77; and fill in the blank on Review sentences 1-16 on pages 84-85.

Due by the beginning of class on Wednesday, February 17th.
**Let me know which of the term paper options you will choose.
17. Complete exercises 1, 2, 3 and 4 on page 40; 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 on pages 46-47; and 2, 3 and 5 on page 60.
Due by the beginning of class on Monday, February 15th.
16. Leave a comment on the Another take on Sapir-Whorf post.
15. 3rd contribution to either the Glossary of Regionalisms or the "Thanks, AAVE!" Glossary on this blog (leave a comment).
Due by the beginning of class on Monday, February 8th
14. Complete exercises 2, 3, and 4 on page 38 of A Concise Introduction to Linguistics.
13. 2nd contribution to either the Glossary of Regionalisms or the "Thanks, AAVE!" Glossary on this blog (leave a comment).


Due by the beginning of class on Wednesday, February 3rd
12. Read Chapter 2 in A Concise Introduction to Linguistics and answer questions 1-25 at the end of the chapter (58-59).

Due by the beginning of class on Monday, February 1st.
11. Read excerpt on "Sapir-Whorf Theory" from The Language Instinct. Come to class on Monday ready to discuss it.
10. Contribute to "Thanks, AAVE!" Glossary on this blog (leave a comment).
9. Contribute to Glossary of Regionalisms on this blog (leave a comment).
8. Take the linguistic profiling quiz (link on this blog).

Due by the beginning of class on Wednesday, January 27th.
7. Read the rest of Chapter 7 in A Concise Introduction to Linguistics and answer questions 26-55 at the end of the chapter.


Due by the beginning of class on Monday, January 25th.

6. Read the beginning of Chapter 7 in A Concise Introduction to Linguistics (189-201) and answer questions 1-25 at the end of the chapter.

Due before class on Wednesday, January 20th
5. Take the online quizzes "Are you a Yankee or are you a Rebel?" and the "Advanced Rebel-Yankee" Test." Listen to a 4-minute interview with the creator of the quizzes. Click here for further instructions.
4. Check out the 35 "quaint Southernisms" collected by Dr. Beard. Give yourself 3 points for terms you use frequently, 2 points for terms you use occasionally, and 1 point for terms you don't use yourself but grew up hearing. Click here for further instructions.
3. Share your thoughts on the questions included in the post on the other side of this link.
2. Explore the website associated with the "Do you Speak American?" documentary that we began to watch in class on Wednesday. Click here for further instructions.

Due before class on Wednesday, January 13th
1. Make a post in which you reflect on your views on language, accent or dialect. Approximately 200 words.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The New York Times has a new "On Language" Columnist

He's a linguist.  Check him out.

Update:  As of February 2011, "On Language" is dead.  Ben Zimmer now writes a column for the Boston Globe. Click here to check it out.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Homophone Trouble

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Meaning of Sharks

Some words have an actual concrete item or concept (idea, action, or state of being) that the word refers to--its referent.  The referential meaning of a word is its definition.

See, for example, shark at left.







Some words refer to prevaricated things such as the Land Shark.  (Click here to see a clip from the Saturday Night Live Sketch.)

Some words take on an entirely different meaning when they are combined in an idiomatic expression such as "jumping the shark."  (See the video below at left, which shows the Fonz jumping the shark.)

The Meaning of Sloth

Some words have an actual concrete item or concept (idea, action, or state of being) that the word refers to--its referent.  The referential meaning of a word is its definition.

See, for example, the sloth at left.







Some words refer to prevaricated things such as Sloth, the Manga character in the image at left.  






Some words refer to abstract concepts, such as "sloth" (as in, laziness, represented in the image below at left).

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Vocaliz

I'm still looking for an academic rationale for including this video on our little linguistics blog.  Let me know if you come up with any.  In the mean time, enjoy the vocal stylings of this 1970s Russian TV performance by Edward Anotolevich Hill, which I just came across.  A song with no words.  This is how I imagine myself walking into class each day.

Friday, March 5, 2010

No Title #3

A young couple is sitting at a nice restaurant. The boy is planning on proposing after dinner. He is very nervous and it doesn’t help that the waiter has just spilt his water on him.

Elizabeth: lollerz. I cant bl33v the w8ter nocked yur water on u.
Greg:  =/ I just wish it didnt look lik I wet maself.
Elizabeth: LOL! Hes such a n00b.
Greg: im going to the bathroom 2 see if i can dry off. BRB
Elizabeth: kk

(He walks away, returning a few minutes later)

Greg: Sombody brok the towl dispenser.
Elizabeth: Hax!
Greg: w00t. the f00d is finally here.
Elizabeth: w00t!
Greg: short ribs ftw.
Elizabeth: lol Napkins ftw. I no how y r with ribs.
Greg: stfu
Elizabeth: JK babe so wats teh suprise
Greg: resend
Elizabeth: wats teh suprise U havent takn me here n months
Greg: u’ll c.
Elizabeth: hint
Greg: profeser plum
Elizabeth: /glare  That doesnt help tis place is 2 purple alredy
Greg: 2bad. w8 til desrt
Elizabeth: /doom fin
Greg: lqtm howz teh samon
Elizabeth: roxerz
Greg: /p0k ch33r up j00l b glad u w8td
Elizabeth: k
Greg: =/
Elizabeth: [getting up from the table with a sour look on her face] brb
Greg: liz!
Elizabeth. AFK1
Greg: fml

Elizabeth returns 10 minutes later

Greg: /dance?
Elizabeth: no u hate 2
Greg: but u luv it. /dance
Elizabeth [smiling]: /dance

They begin to dance and Elizabeth is surprised. Greg is much better than he used to be.
Elizabeth: hax
Greg: wat
Elizabeth: you r a n00b at dancin
Greg: plz i hav 1337 f337
Elizabeth: lol gift time
Greg: w8 I hav 2 say sumthin Liz b4 1 met u 1 thot 1 wz pr pwnge that 1 was as g00d as 1 c00d get. But u cam an raizd teh lvl cap 2 80 Liz w/out u im just a 1 armd n00b
Elizabeth: Greg ur so sw337
Greg: Liz will u m4rry me
Elizabeth: OMG!!1 YES GREG YES!1 U R0X0RZ M4H B0X0RZ I WiL 4B50LUT7LY M4RRY U
Greg [showing her the ring]: I had 2 farm for months 2 by this it was teh most 3pic ring 1 c00d find.
Elizabeth: I luv it but u no teh ring doesnt mater. I luv you.
Greg: I love you 2

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A linguistic joke: Artists' Canvas

Contributed by Jim Brockman:

I used to work in an art supply store. We sold artists' canvas by the yard, and you could get it in either of two widths: 36 inches or 48 inches.

Customer: "Can you please cut some canvas for me?"

Me: "Certainly, what width?"

Customer: (confused and slightly annoyed) "Uh, Scissors?"

Monday, February 22, 2010

Vocal Folds

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Great Song: "Big Ol' Chad and Alina"

We all know someone named Chad. Google's most popular "Chad" today is "Chad Murray" (that's an image of Mr. Murray on the right). I've never heard of him. Maybe some of you have. How many of you are familiar with the Chad Mitchell Trio, though?

Google's most popular "Alina," today is "Alina Simone" (that's Ms. Simone above on the left). Again, I had never heard of her before I just did that search.

I had never heard of someone named "Alina," until I heard the following song by the Steve Miller Band about a woman named "Alina" who is apparently dating a large, old man named "Chad" ("big, ol' Chad," as they call him). She doesn't want him to take her too far away.

I was an adult before I realized that this song is my own personal "Mondegreen."

Mondegreen?


According to our good friends at wikipedia:

"The American writer Sylvia Wright coined the term mondegreen in her essay 'The Death of Lady Mondegreen,' which was published in Harper's Magazine in November 1954.[3] In the essay, Wright described how, as a young girl, she misheard the final line of the first stanza from the 17th-century ballad 'The Bonnie Earl O' Murray.' She wrote:

When I was a child, my mother used to read aloud to me from Percy's Reliques, and one of my favorite poems began, as I remember:

Ye Highlands and ye Lowlands,

Oh, where hae ye been?

They hae slain the Earl O' Murray,

And Lady Mondegreen.

Check the comments section of this post to find out what the actual fourth line is:


Monday, February 15, 2010

Afternoon Delight

Is there a glottal "t" here? What do you think?

Cockney loves Glottal Stops



Click here to what a speech expert from the British Library in London has to say about Cockney.

Think this guy's an expert?



Practice sentence #1: When my little brother's got a bottle, he's very happy.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Anchorman

I got the Anchorman clip figured out but I have no idea how to upload it to here so I'll just save it to my flash drive and bring it to class Monday. And I put the "Afternoon Delight" clip on there as well because I love it and think it's hilarious...also, I believe it showcases linguistics because they pronounce the "t" in Afternoon more as a true "t" when they sing than when it's just spoken...so there's the linguistic proof we need! I'll see y'all Monday!

Monday, February 8, 2010

My mother is scolding my horse

Learn how to say it in Chinese (a tonal language).

Throat Singing

Behold what the human throat is capable of:

Have you oscillated your uvula today?

Making music on the intake

Listen to Bobby McFerrin using his ingressive sounds to make music.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thanks, AAVE!

The following are (or some of us think they are) words and phrases original to African American Vernacular English that have become a part of our lexicon.

I. These are words and phrases that I use myself.
chill’n. (Bryson Vann)
cool. (Amy Davis, Daphine Peck, Caitlyn Stephens, Russell Wimberly) I believe everyone my age has used the word "cool" since elementary school. (Brock Parsons)
dude. (Amy Davis, Caitlyn Stephens, Daphine, Russell) Like everyone else I use variations of "hey, man" or "hey, dude" (Brock Parsons).
I'm down. I don't know if this is AAVE or not, but I often use the phrase "I'm down," which means Okay, I'll go along with it. (Jaclyn Duvall)
janky. I think that is an older word and I may be the only one that still uses it. (Merry Monroe)
man. (Daphine, Sherry, Merry, Brock, Caitlyn, Russell)
my bad. (Caitlyn Stephens)
peace out. A neutral goodbye. (Bryson Vann)
punk. (Caitlyn Stephens)
talkin' trash. I'm not sure if it is AAVE. I have several AA friends who use it. (Daphine Peck)
that's ghetto. (Caitlyn Stephens)
wassup. I have used "wassup" on various occasions. (Amy Davis)
yeh. Sounds more like "yea-uh," occasionally follows "hellz" for intensity. (Bryson Vann)
yo mama! Used as an insult or when joking. (Caitlyn Stephens)

II. These are words and phrases that I hear others use, but don't use myself.
aight. I heard the word aight shortnend for all right. (Justin)
boo. (Caitlyn Stephens)
cool. (Sherry, Merry)
cuzzed. Not sober. Ex: "They were getting all 'cuzzed' up after prom." (Bryson)
dissin'. My kid used a word that I hadn't heard in some time - "dissin'". i.e. Jason was dissin' DJ. (Daphine)
dog. (Caitlyn Stephens)
dude. (Merry)
gangsta. (Caitlyn Stephens)
hellz yeah. (Brock Parsons)
ill. Cool. Ex: That d.j. was busting some 'ill' rhymes. (Bryson)
mad. (Brock Parsons)
man. (Sherry)
my bad. (Sherry, Merry, Russell Wimberly)
oh, snap. (Brock Parsons)
phat. adj. describing something appealing. Acronym for Pretty Hot And Tempting. (Ben Nicolls)
player. (Caitlyn Stephens)
scrub. (Jaclyn Duvall)
sup? This being short for whats up. (Justin McDaniel)
trif'lin'. (Jaclyn Duvall)
tripp’n’. To freak out. (Bryson Vann)
whassup? (Daphine)
what it do? (Caitlyn Stephens)
what up? (Jaclyn Duvall)
what’s good with it? A curious customer asking this wanted to know how good the barbecue was from the store I worked at :). (Bryson Vann)
where do you stay? I have many AA friends and there is a phrase that they use that is different from what I have heard anyone else say. When asking about my place of residence instead of asking where do you live, they asked, 'where do you stay'? (Merry Monroe)
word. (Daphine)
what's happenin? (Caitlyn Stephens)
whatsup. (Russell Wimberly)

Glossary of Regionalisms

The following are words, phrases and pronunciations that strike us as distinctive of the region that we grew up in:
I. Words and phrases I used to hear, but don't much anymore.
casin'.Today it's called car tires; ex.: "Let's roll caison's". Get inside the caisson (tire) and let it roll. The outer cover of an pneumatic tire. We called it "casin's", dropped the "g". (Sherry Nail)
couplins. (Merry Monroe)
Cox's Army. Ex.: "My mom cooked enough to feed Cox's Army." (Merry Monroe)
"don't forget to write." A phrase I don't hear anymore. (Sherry Nail)
drec-ly. Ex: "I'll be there drec-ly" (directly). (Sherry Nail)
going to the dogs. (Russell Wimberly)
ice box and ice tray. People would call the refrigerator "ice box"; and if you wanted ice, you would "be sure to fill the ice tray". I don't hear either word anymore. (Sherry Nail) "I know I am dating myself, but for some reason I still put my milk and eggs in the icebox." (Merry Monroe)
minus well. (Brock Parsons, Chicago?) This is something that my best friend's ex-girlfriend used to say instead of "might as well."
rasslin'. My grandmother would always say 'rassling', instead of 'wrestling', when my brother and I would fight. (Ben Nicolls)
Sam Hill. Ex.: "What in the Sam Hill are you doing?" (Sherry Nail)
tenner shoe. (Russell Wimberly, the Deep South)
tar-nation. Ex.: "What in tar-nation are you doin'?!" (Daphine)

II. Words and phrases I still hear.
A/C. In place of Air Conditioner. (Brock Parsons)
cahoots. This is a word I heard a lot when I was younger. It means to be in league with someone who is not on the up and up. Actually, depending on who I am talking to, I still use this word. (Merry Monroe)
cattywampus. I found both "cattywampus" and "woppy-jawed" in online dictionaries (see below). "cattywampus." 1. (informal) In disarray or disorder; askew. 2. Not directly across from nor adjacent to. Alternative spelling: "catawampus." So now I now these are not just words my in-laws use. (Jim Brockman)
dang nabbit. I don't know if this is regional, but I hear it and use it. (Jaclyn Duvall)
dat. I hear quite a few people say the word "dat" in place of "that". i.e. You want some of dat?" (Daphine Peck)
declare. Pronounced with an emphasis on first syllable. (Justin McDaniel)
deep freeze. This would be the freezers that are used for storing meat. (Justin McDaniel)
dem. My Grandmother & my Mother like to use the phrase - "Now, how you like dem apples?"
foo. I've heard my grandparents say is "foo" instead of "fool." (Brock Parsons)
fixin' ta. I still hear it all the time. (Brock Parsons) (also Caitlyn Stephens)
gonna. (Caitlyn Stephens)
like, pronounced: "lack". (Jim Brockman)
pickup truck. or simply pickup in place of a truck. I hear it on TV quite often still. (Brock Parsons)
plumb. Ex.: "plumb furious" or "plumb tired." (Brock Parsons)
red eye. My mom occasionally says "red-eye" in place of "reddy". For example: "Are you red-eye?" Her accent is not that strong or evident, so I think her saying is either poking fun at southern accents or people with red eyes (maybe both). (Bryson Vann)
stove/oven. Interchanged a lot. My mom always uses the word "stove" to name a heater, oven, and other related words. (Brock Parsons)
whoppy-jawed. 1. not quite right. off-kilter. out of alignment. off balance. See "cattywampus" above. (Jim Brockman)

III. Word and phrases that are not so much distinctive to a region as much as they are distinctive to individuals I know.
"alky-haul." My Grandmother says this when she talks about rubbing alcohol.(Daphine)
buttcrack of dawn. My sister often said this. "The buttcrack of dawn." So, whenever she had to wake up early in the morning she would say. " I gotta wake up at the buttcrack of dawn." (Jaclyn Duvall)
croshit. Instead of "crochet." (Jacyln Duvall)
diescussin. (Ben Nicolls)
"Eighter from Decatur." My great grandfather used to say 'let's geddup' which was later explained to me as 'let's go.'" (Bryson Vann)
government work. My father likes to say "Guess it's good enough for government work." (Daphine Peck)
Grassy ass. Alternative pronunciation of "gracias." (Katie Stephens)
hand. A friend that I used to work with called all of his co-workers "hand" (in place of: friend, dude, homie, bro etc). This reminds me of 'cow-hands' historically. It was also motivation to make a 'hand' in the workplace. (Bryson Vann)
heebie-jeebies. (Caitlyn Stephens.)
"If the good Lord spare me." (Caitlyn Stephens)
"Jackson Brown from way across town." (Bryson Vann)

IV. Category undefined.
"a'comin' or a' goin." When I lived in Sasakwa for a year as a child, my neighbor would always ask her Grandchildren if they were "a'comin' or a'goin'" The "ing" was always gone. (Daphine)
buggie. A shopping cart. (Kaitlin Wallace)
durn it. My grandpa says this one whenever he is confused. (Justin McDaniel)
geddup. (Amy Davis).
heifer. Ex.: "You heifer!" I don’t know if it’s regional but its something that people in my family use. (Caitlyn Stephens)
hoopy. A word that my uncles used in referring to an automobile. Example: We will go as soon as the hoopy warms up. This was back before the Edsel and Hudsons went by the wayside. Of course the first car that I remember was a woody station wagon, so it didn't sound all that strange to me. (Merry Monroe)
hunker. 1. When you were in for a long wait you would hunker down and wait. 2. To hunker over to proect your self from the cold. Ex.: "He walked down the road hunkered over to try and keep warm." (Merry Monroe)
"Get down and come in." This is a phrase that is still used by some of the elders. It is from a time when visitors often arrived in a wagon instead of a car. (Merry Monroe)
jism. A condiment. (Amy Davis)
"Scared the bejesus out of me!"(Caitlyn Stephens)
"They can't see the forest for the trees." My family has always used this to describe an individual carlessly overlooking something. (Bryson Vann).
tump. When I was growing up I was always told to sit in the wagon. If I stood in the wagon it would "tump" me out. (Merry Monroe)
You don't know come here from go sic em. In other words you might not be as smart as the average dog. (Russell Wimberly)

Linguistic Profiling

Click here and take the quiz!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dialects of Oklahoma?

Here's a dialect map that offers a different analysis of the dialects of Oklahoma than the one offered by Labov. This comes from the "Web Atlas of Oklahoma." Thanks for the link, Jim.

Is TV a threat to dialectical diversity?

"Many Americans believe that television and radio are homogenizing our language, making all of us talk more alike. To linguists that is a myth. Despite decades in which we have listened to or watched the same programs, the regional differences in American speech remain vigorous. Paradoxically, the truth seems to be that, where change occurs, it is often creating more diversity, not less" (31).

From Do You Speak American?: A companion to the PBS television series, by Robert MacNeil and William Crain (New York: Doubleday, 2005).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

What do New Yorkers sound like?

Click here to hear what Linguist William LaBove has to say about the social status of the /r/ in New York speech patterns (the interview includes the same clip of Franklin Roosevelt that is included in "Do you speak American?").

NYT article texting, language, and the OED

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/24/magazine/24FOB-onlanguage-t.html?src=tptw

interesting history of spelling, etc.

another blog

Thanks to Dr. Benton for inviting me to join. I regularly check this blog which keeps me up to date on Language happenings:

http://illinois.edu/db/view/25

Thursday, January 21, 2010

21 Accents


Which one sounds . . .
the most romantic?
the friendliest?
the smartest?
the least smart?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Dialect

The way someone speaks is not only reflected out loud, but it also can shape one’s writing style. The way you interpret other’s accents is also important when writing because it determines the personalities and setting of the characters in a story. It is the writer who gives voices to their characters, and the writer’s understanding of dialect strongly controls the characters. For these reasons, dialect is not only responsible for how we present ourselves, but also how we present ourselves as writers.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

African American Dialect: In the News

This column by Leonard Pitts (that's Pitts in the photo at left) appeared in the Miami Herald on Monday. Thank you, Dr. Murphy, for forwarding the link.
"Reid right about skin color, dialect"

"Somebody please tell Harry Reid there are no Negroes in America. There haven't been since the late 1960s, which is when black people arrived and drove that term out of favor. The person who uses it without irony, as Reid did, paints himself as a geezer out of touch with the past 40 years, the kind of person who still calls rock music a fad.

"That said, there is little else to complain about in the quote from the Senate majority leader that has had political types hyperventilating. Said quote is from "Game Change," the new book on the 2008 presidential campaign. It has Reid, a supporter of then-candidate Barack Obama, privately suggesting the country was finally ready to elect a black man, especially one who, like Obama, is "light-skinned" and has "no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one."

"A firestorm quickly raged, with Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele likening Reid's remarks to the gaffe that got Sen. Trent Lott in trouble eight years ago. In his online column, Journal-isms, Richard Prince wrote that panelists on the talk shows "were shocked, shocked that there is 'colorism' in America and a perceived 'Negro dialect.'... Coincidentally, there were no journalists of color in any of the discussions."

"Too bad. They might have helped frame the one question that went conspicuously unaddressed in the loud debate over what Reid said:
"Was he right?"
To find out Pitts' answer to this question, click here.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Are you a Yankee or a Rebel?

What do you think of the questions on these two quizzes (a) and (b)? Was the diagnosis accurate in your case?

After you've taken the quizzes, click here to listen to a 4-minute interview with Robert Beard, the author of the quiz, on National Public Radio.

What do you make of Dr. Beard's claim about what happens to accents once you get past Ohio?

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

"Quaint Southernisms"

Check out these selections from Robert Beard's Glossary of Quaint Southernisms.

Give yourself 3 points for terms you use frequently, 2 points for terms you use occasionally, and 1 point for terms you don't use yourself but grew up hearing.

In the comments section of this post:
1) Let us know your score (optional--you don't have to if you don't want to);
2) Leave a new term or phrase typical of this region or the region where you grew up.

Do you speak American?

The "Do you speak American?" website is great place to begin discovering what the study of linguistics is all about. Explore the website (links lead to links lead to links--just keep clicking).

In the comments section of this post, report back something interesting that you have learned (or several interesting things!). Be sure to mention the part of the website where you found the information so that others may go there if they are intrigued.