IPA: International Phonetic Alphabet



[p] = pit, spit, tip

[b] = bat, rabbit

[t] = tip, stop, put

[d] = doom, under

... more to add soon....







Levels of Dialect. Can be based on things like.. phonology, grammar, semantics, pragmatics...

Most transparent levels of dialect variation is the lexicon.. vocabulary of a language: soda/pop, camp/cabin, davenport/couch... Broadenings: barn- a building that holds grain -> almost any building on a farm... Narrowings: from meat being all types of food -> cow, girl use to refer to any child -> female... Meaning Shift: bead- from prayer to jewelry...Taboo Words: 'bloody' is almost the same as our four letter words in England... Slang: with Uncle Chuck in WV, he had a lot more terms for being drunk that I had never heard- "in the bag (and tied)".. Phonological Differences: Boston dropping of 'r', in WV 'crick' for 'creek'..[lots of terms as to what happens and what it is called].. Grammatical Differences: Standard- mine, Vernacular- mines... Language Use and Pragmatics: Hi!, Hello!, What's up?, What's up Dawg?, What's happening?, How are you?, How have you been?


Communication is more than that. It establishes the connection/relation to the person.

address forms. how do we say it? what words do we use? based on, according to one study, the semantics of power and solidarity. Using just first name vs. title with last name. *Age is less important than occupational status for determining address form. Very interesting bunch of studies. European countries have more confusion over address than we do.


Construct a Network of your Linguistic relationships:

::represent the varieties you use- relative proportions ("gonna", profanity).. what are the difficulties you encounter in doing so? ::what comes into play- vocabulary, tone, subject, do you dominate/are passive?, strategies?...

Switching from school to home: When I joke around with my family, all is well and good until I speak ungrammatically.. then suddenly they turn on me and point out that I am an English major and should be watching my speech.. or at least should have caught myself even though the parameters are different at home than if I am in the classroom or am talking to a professor.

With members of the opposite sex that I like I usually allow them to be more dominate (if I do not like them- I dominate as much as possible) and my tone/pitch gets softer. On the other hand, out of the private arena and in the public one with my students, I am more confident in my tone and rarely allow them to dominate.

When talking with another professor or grad. student, I allow technical terms to slip in whereas in speaking with my dad about the same ideas, the technical would rarely come into play.

In the party atmosphere and in my blogging voice, I use more profanity, words like "gonna", more slang, and try to be more humorous instead of informative (teaching) or lovable (relationships).


Gotta know the sound system.

Formal "Standard English": "established writers", resistant to change, not in natural spoken language.

Informal "Standart English": spoken, pluralistic notion, absence of non-standard structures.

*We have no prestige dialect in the U.S. unlike France, Germany.. etc.

All different dialects- babel in reverse.

1889: American Dialect Society. 1960's: Geographical studies -> Social and Ethnic.

Speakers of Non-Standard English all have these 'problems': Double negatives, different irregular forms ("she done it"), double comparisons ("more bigger")... Mulitplex Network: interact with same people in different social arenas. Uniplex Network: interact with different people in different arenas.


All dialects are equal in the eyes of the linguist.

Linguistic Explanation... there is not randomness to why certain languages/dialects turned out they way they did.. there are underlying principles of language structure that guide the ways in which the dialects of a language will differ... rule extension, analogy, the transparency principle, grammaticalization, pronunciation phenomena, words and word meanings.


Why do languages have dialects?

Sociohistorical Explanation... settlement, migration routes, geographical factors, language contact, economic ecology, social stratification, communication networks, group reference, personal identity...


What does your speech say about your lifestyle?

Parent talk, sister talk, friend talk, colleague talk, professor talk (professional), writing voice, blogging voice, relationship voice...

I think most of the time, I don't sound like a grad. student in English. I try to be a humor/fun person which, for me/to me, means that I need to use slang and profanity once in awhille. Rarely, however, do I do this in the classroom when teaching OR when in contact with professors. Fortunate for me, I live with my crazy sisters and can let loose with my speech there. They still correct my speech however...

Language and Power.


Everyone speaks a dialect of their language.

"Correct English" "Proper English" "Good English" - How do we define these terms? They are bogus- there is no such definition. What do these labels tell us about the ideology of our society? Ideology- meaning- ingrained, unquestioned beliefs about the way the world world is, the way it should be, and the way it has to be in respect to language. Why do things always have to be RIGHT or WRONG? Good or bad? *Calling it "Standard English" (maybe a better connotation)- we then have sub-categories of formal and informal levels.

Vernacular Dialects: Varieties of language which are not classified as standard dialects- the minority language. This doesn't mean they are bad, but the majority puts them into that category.


links to linguistic information