Date: Tue, 15 Mar 1994 12:23:19 -0500 From: Ellen Johnson Subject: Re: Conscious Learning of Accent My French was (and is) much better than my German, but when I went to Switzerland after a week in Bamberg, Germany and tried to speak French I could do so only with the utmost difficulty. It just seemed too much for my brain to handle. Upon reflecting on my "bidialectalism", if it can be called that, it is interesting that both dialects were acquired. I was conscious of my changing speech, but I didn't consciously try to change particular pronunciations. I grew up in a middle class, suburban family, though neither of my parents has a college degree. The upper-middle-class/ academic dialect I acquired in school, while the more working class type of speech was acquired throough interaction over the past 15 years with neighbors, ex-in-laws, and speakers of BVE and rural white southern dialects. My native dialect then has split off in two directions, neither of which is identical to the speech of people who speak that dialect natively. My most cultivated speech, for example, is different from that of people who were born into what remains of the old plantation aristocracy, and in my most vernacular style I never use a-prefixing or invariant be, among other features. Enough armchair theorizing and self-disclosure. The topic of bidialectalism and code-switching between dialects is an interesting one and I would welcome more discussion on it. Ellen Johnson ellenj[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]