Date: Thu, 20 Nov 1997 08:47:48 CST From: Ellen Johnson 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 ellen.johnson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]