End of ADS-L Digest - 24 Nov 1993 to 25 Nov 1993 ************************************************ There are 2 messages totalling 85 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. diversity of accents (2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Fri, 26 Nov 1993 16:57:50 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: diversity of accents Natalie: Based on my field work on Gullah, it seems to me that the media, especially TV or radio, help people develop additional competence (sometimes passive only) in other varieties without compelling them to speak this/these other way(s). What I often noticed among Gullah speakers was that they would turn to each other in the middle of a program on TV and comment on it in Gullah. Occasionally they would imitate something in the other variety, as if to quote it, and then burst into a laughter. I have found ethnographically naive, if I may use strong language, most of the claims of language change attributed to media. To paraphrase strongly a statement in the conclusion of my contribution to the EMERGENCE OF BLACK ENGLISH, it is almost as if linguistic features could spread, like germs of cold or the flu, without intimate interaction. When some linguists claim that speakers of nonstandard varieties imitate educated speech, they just do not realize that sometimes speakers of nonstandard varieties ridicule educated speech among themselves! One thing several of us have confused is 'wanting to be treated equal' with 'wanting to be the same'. Incidentally, a more elaborate discussion of reasons why Gullah may not be decreolizing was published in my article "Some reasons why Gullah is not dying yet" in ENGLISH WORLD-WIDE 12.221-243 (1991). An earlier discussion, which compared the situation with Southern English, was published in my review article on LANGUAGE VARIETY IN THE SOUTH (ed. by Montgomery and Bailey) published in the J. OF PIDGIN AND CREOLE LANGUAGES 2.93-110 (1987). Salikoko S. Mufwene Linguistics, U. of Chicago s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]uchicago.edu 312-702-8531