Date: Mon, 22 Nov 1993 16:47:53 -0500 From: GURT[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GUVAX.BITNET Subject: Re: Diversity of accents Well said, Dennis Preston! And a recent thread on the Sign Language Linguistics list concerned hearing children of deaf parents. According to the studies cited, these children apparently don't learn to SPEAK from listening to the television. I thought one of the things we learned from Genie is that children learn language from *interaction*, not from mere exposure. I remember as a child asking my cousin in South Carolina why she talked like that, even though nobody on TV talked like that (i.e., everybody on TV spoke (more or less) standard American English). She insisted that she didn't talk any differently than people on TV -- my impression at the time was that she was arguing that she couldn't hear a difference between her dialect and the standard. Can we infer that you learn your dialect from interaction, not mere exposure, AND that dialects spoken by people you don't interact with don't sound like different dialects? Joan C. Cook Department of Linguistics Georgetown University gurt[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]