Date: Sat, 14 Jan 1995 13:07:18 -0800


Subject: Re: Gullah Bible

Peter Patrick writes: "I get the

feeling that even though these folks are in some sense validating the

variety by publishing important stuff in it, they're still very

reluctant to see it as linguists do, and very prone to dress it up or

Anglicize/standardize it-- while celebrating its "difference"!

This ambivalence is a very familiar, and very understandable,

attitude in a post-colonial society, but it also reveals the very

same confusion of social values with linguistic structure..."

I totally agree. Coming myself from hillbillies from Arkansas that moved to

LA during the Dustbowl years, growing up in my early years in a church full

of Arkies and Okies, going thru sixth grade in a private Christian school

filled with the children of those church people -- I want to tell you, it was

a real shock in those early TV days to go to junior high and find out that

my way of speaking was not acceptable (especially when I wrote it!), and that

there was a Standard English that I wasn't really familiar with. Was I

embarrased? Yes. Was I ashamed of my parents and all those church people

for the way they talked? You bet -- because that was all about a way I had

to train OUT OF in order to feel accepted. And since linguistics is

essentially an upper-division and graduate enterprise, it seems it's with

good reason lots of people haven't 'gotten the message' of linguistics yet,

and still confuse social values with linguistic structure. Lots of people

just never really understand that 'standard' doesn't mean 'mandatory.'

-- Moonhawk (%- )

"The fool on the hill sees the sun going down and

the eyes in his head see the world spinning round"

-- McCartney/Lennon