Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 08:47:48 CST

From: Ellen Johnson Ellen.Johnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]WKU.EDU

Subject: vernacular

I want to return to something Jeutonne said a few days ago.

I object to the use of "vernacular" in the term, an objection that

I have had since the early 1980s.

Until we consistently use "vernacular" with other terms, such as

Southern dialect, Northern dialect, Yiddish English, Chicano

English, etc., we make, in my opinion, an unfortunate distinction for

African American English. Enough of this soap boax topic.

I am working on a paper on what sociolinguists mean by "vernacular"

and the value they attach to it. My hypothesis is that although we

often give a style-based definition of the term, we operationalize it

as a class-based construct. So I am asking, What does "vernacular"

mean to you?"

And while I'm at it, is everyone here comfortable with the claim that

the vernacular shows less internal variation than more formal/middle

class varieties?


ellen.johnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]