End of ADS-L Digest - 25 Nov 1993 to 26 Nov 1993 ************************************************ There are 2 messages totalling 70 lines in this issue. Topics of the day: 1. diversity of accents (2) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1993 12:19:49 -0600 From: Tim Frazer Subject: Re: diversity of accents I just logged onto the system and landed in the middle of this discussion, so I missed some things. Dennis, could you or someone else please cite for me the newspaper article which treats "decline of dialects"? Or enter it, better yet, on the system so I can print it off? I also get angry at journalists who print crap like this, but wehave to remember that the very journalists who perpetuate this myth are part of a cultural superstructure which has existed for more than a century. It is so common that most literatre people take it for granted. It is the result of a regional group which established economic and cultural hegemony after the Civil War and which has dominated higher education and publishing since. For this reason, Inland Northern dominates textbooks, pronunciation guides (e.g, the NBC Handbook of pronunciation) and many dictionaries. Rudy: I have on my desk a primary school textbook called IMPROVINMG YOUR LANGUAGE. It dates from 1951. It has this entry: say: pen make it rhyme with: Ben Do not say: pin This book does the same for GET, TEN, etc. I have a long discussion of this in my book, out this week, HEARTLAND ENGLISH; the intorduction touches on journalistic myths and chapter 4 touches on Yankee domination. See also chapters by Preston, Donahue, Sledd, and Riney. On TV influence: somewhere I have read about a deaf-and-dumb couple who gave birth to two normal children. They decided the kids would learn to talk "normally" by watching lots of TV. By kindergarten they had not learned to talk. I would guess from this that language learning is an interactional process (and so is dialect acquisition); watching TV is not interaction. --Tim Frazer