Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by humblebee » Wed Sep 23, 2009 19:34

a layer of chips wrote:
humblebee wrote:
In parts of north-east England there's also a word which I've never seen written down but sounds like "wuh" which some folks use for "our". Nice!

.
"Wor", isn't it? As in "wor Jackie". Like the sort of last syllable of "our". Maybe.
Oh, duh, I was thinking of "wuh" to mean "us". As in "the polis was chasing wuh for three blocks".

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by humblebee » Wed Sep 23, 2009 19:36

andyroo wrote:Also Geordies and Mackems also say "us" to mean "me". Well my mackem mate does, and so does Rachel Unthank. I believe that equates to a representative sample.
That one must spread south a fair way, cos I do as well. Especially to gig promoters after they've put me on - I always seem to say "thanks for having us" even if I've played solo!

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by humblebee » Wed Sep 23, 2009 19:39

crystalball wrote:Kuuk Thaayorre
That's what they say when they give you a soft drink in Dewsbury.

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by annie » Wed Sep 23, 2009 23:46

humblebee wrote:Oh, duh, I was thinking of "wuh" to mean "us". As in "the polis was chasing wuh for three blocks".
that's funny, we is pronounced 'wuh' in dutch. same with the way some northern accents say nay for no - the dutch word for no is nee, pronounced 'nay'.

my mum does the accent switching as well. she grew up in west flanders, known for its very strong accent/dialect, but can switch to a much more neutral 'brabant' accent in a flash. i can't speak with a western flemish accent as such but will speak to my family there in a very different way than i do to my friends in brussels. it just kind of happens without me noticing.

a huge number of people still speak dialect in everyday life in flanders. if a person from amsterdam (or brussels/antswerp/wherever's not west flanders, for that matter) heard my grandad speak they wouldn't understand what he's saying, not just because of the accent but because at least half of the words he uses don't exist in dutch.

are there still lots of dialects spoken in the UK, or is it mainly regional accents? when does an accent become a dialect anyway?

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by squirrelboutique » Thu Sep 24, 2009 00:08

I remember two things from the only linguistics course I ever took, one being the difference between a pidgin and a creole, and one being the difference between accent and dialect. Language differences that are only in pronunciation are accents, and dialects are about differences in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary.

Oh! I remember one more kind of cool thing. An idiolect is one particular person's speech patterns, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary etc. I like to throw that one at students whom I suspect of plagiarizing.

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by nanski » Thu Sep 24, 2009 07:03

brian wrote:This is a very interesting thread! Is there anyone here who can speak comfortably in more than one dialect/accent? I can... I was born in Glasgow and lived there til I was 5 when we moved to South London then back to Glasgow from 10 to 12... During my time in London I developed a south london accent but for years still spoke to my family in strong Glaswegian, my friends found this hilarious when they came in to play computer games or whatever or whenever my mum would shout out the window on my estate for me to come in for my dinner or whatever they'd all roll about laughing and I'd be like "Naw Ahm playin fitbaw! geez ten minutes mair!" To this day I can still speak comfortably in both dialects.

I've never studied linguistics, is being bi-accentual a recognised condition? does anyone else have this?

That kuuk thaayore stuff is rather fascinating!
sort of, i guess. or at least i used to slip into southern quite easily (when drunk, tired, or talking to a southerner), but i don't usually speak that way. i never really had a strong southern accent though, even when i lived down there.
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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by nanski » Thu Sep 24, 2009 09:01

I have for awhile been quite curious about the fact that the Japanese names of the days of the week have things in common with the West: Monday is moon day (getsu youbi) and Sunday is sun day (nichi youbi). I wondered if Easterners and Westerners came about it independently, or if one borrowed from the other. This (from wikipedia) would indicate that it's independent:

East Asian Seven Luminaries
The East Asian naming system of week-days closely parallels that of the Latin system and is ordered after the "Seven Luminaries" (七曜), which consists of the Sun, Moon and the five planets visible to the naked eye. The five planets are named after the five elements in traditional East Asian philosophy: Fire (Mars), Water (Mercury), Wood (Jupiter), Metal (Venus), and Earth (Saturn).[citation needed] The earliest known reference in East Asia to the seven-day week in its current order and name is the writings attributed to the Chinese astrologer Fan Ning, who lived in the late 4th century of Jin Dynasty. Later diffusions from the Manichaeans are documented with the writings of the Chinese Buddhist monk Yi Jing and the Ceylonese Buddhist monk Bu Kong of the 8th century under the Tang Dynasty. The Chinese transliteration of the planetary system was soon brought to Japan by the Japanese monk Kobo Daishi; surviving diaries of the Japanese statesman Fujiwara Michinaga show the seven day system in use in Heian Period Japan as early as 1007. In Japan, the seven day system was kept in use (for astrological purposes) until its promotion to a full-fledged (Western-style) calendrical basis during the Meiji era. In China, with the founding of the Republic of China in 1911, Monday through Saturday in China are now numbered one through six, with the reference to the Sun remaining for Sunday (星期日).

it also suggests there's more in common than sunday and monday. fascinating!
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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by andyroo » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:19

annie wrote:when does an accent become a dialect anyway?
Or a dialect a language?

plath would know more than I do about this, but it's the same with the various languages of the Iberian peninsula.

I'm not sure why catalá and gallego (and Portuguese for that matter, which gramatically behaves more or less identically to castellano) are considered languages but llingua asturiana a dialect of castellano? (or a speech impediment...) Is it because a language needs to have a significant grammatical difference, not just vocabulary? Or is it based on a critical mass of speakers, or regions in which it's spoken? Or is it political?
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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by lynsosaurus » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:44

brian wrote:This is a very interesting thread! Is there anyone here who can speak comfortably in more than one dialect/accent? I can... I was born in Glasgow and lived there til I was 5 when we moved to South London then back to Glasgow from 10 to 12... During my time in London I developed a south london accent but for years still spoke to my family in strong Glaswegian, my friends found this hilarious when they came in to play computer games or whatever or whenever my mum would shout out the window on my estate for me to come in for my dinner or whatever they'd all roll about laughing and I'd be like "Naw Ahm playin fitbaw! geez ten minutes mair!" To this day I can still speak comfortably in both dialects.
i do exactly the same thing. i think it initially came about from having my 'school' voice and my 'home' voice, like you were somehow expected to speak more politely (ie 'proper english') at school but once you left school at the end of the day it was back to normal. so when i speak to my family, i have a fairly broad ayrshire accent, but at work or around some friends i have a fairly non-descript scottish accent which is a kind of mishmash of all the places i have stayed. it used to be something i was very self-conscious of, but i think i do it now without even thinking about it. i think there are varying degrees of it as well, and it seems to adapt quite naturally to the person i am speaking with.

i lived in sweden for a year and my swedish flatmate already spoke flawless english, but had spent a lot of time in san francisco and so had an american accent. i went to her wedding in sweden last year and all of her family were like "riiiight, so that's where that weird accent came from!" because she'd picked up my accent from mainly speaking english with me.

i would like to stick up for 'outwith'. i think it's a great word. it makes sense!

my nomination for best scottish dialect is doric. it's kind of funny and really charming and pretty, all at the same time.

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by tonieee » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:47

moopind wrote:
brian wrote:This is a very interesting thread! Is there anyone here who can speak comfortably in more than one dialect/accent? I can... I was born in Glasgow and lived there til I was 5 when we moved to South London then back to Glasgow from 10 to 12... During my time in London I developed a south london accent but for years still spoke to my family in strong Glaswegian, my friends found this hilarious when they came in to play computer games or whatever or whenever my mum would shout out the window on my estate for me to come in for my dinner or whatever they'd all roll about laughing and I'd be like "Naw Ahm playin fitbaw! geez ten minutes mair!" To this day I can still speak comfortably in both dialects.

I've never studied linguistics, is being bi-accentual a recognised condition? does anyone else have this?

That kuuk thaayore stuff is rather fascinating!
I know two people who do that. A friend I met at university was from Edinburgh and her mum was from Luton. We were living in York and she spoke like someone from Edinburgh, but when she went to the phone box to phone her mum (or her sister) (showing my age), I'd lurk just outside, specially, to hear her speak in a proper Luton accent. She could switch perfectly and wasn't really thinking about it. Another friend grew up in Scotland for a bit (Glasgow and Edinburgh) but ended up in East Anglia at quite a young age. He speaks with a (not-particularly broad - excuse the pun) Norfolk accent. When I introduced him to my Ayrshire-moved-to-Glasgow friends, he just started speaking in a flawless Scottish accent straight off. He speaks to his family like that on the phone, too.

It's quite strange from this side of the fence, because someone's voice makes up part of your image of them. Strange when they 'style-shift' (I think this is the linguistic term) because it feels like they're putting on a funny voice when you're only used to one of the accents.
I've got a friend who speaks in a Scottish accent when talking to her family. I was at her house one day and her mum was there and it was quite amazing seeing her switch between accents depending on who she was talking to!

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by Uncle Ants » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:56

andyroo wrote: Is it because a language needs to have a significant grammatical difference, not just vocabulary? Or is it based on a critical mass of speakers, or regions in which it's spoken? Or is it political?
It certainly can be political if you want it to be. Serbo Croat ... Serbian ... Croatian ... Bosnian etc. is an example where the political is a significant factor, or at least as significant as questions of grammar, syntax and vocabulary. Language is part of identity and if you and the group you identify with speaks what is broadly the same language as another group you don't, or don't want to identify with, it (sort of) makes sense to try and argue that the language you speak is a different language or not depending on the politics. So, many (most) Serbian and Bosnian linguists claim that Serbians, Croats and Bosnians speak the same language ... many (most) Croatian linguists claim they don't. Officially they don't ... before the breakup of Yugoslavia, officially they did. A lot of linguists from all three areas claim that they speak the same language, but that the others somehow appropriated "their" language. And they will all use linguistic arguments to back up whatever their position is.
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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by indiansummer » Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:57

One of my sister's friends had a French mum and an Irish dad - she was totally bilingual, and apparently would frequently turn from a conversation in English to say something to her mum in French, before dropping back into English. Occasionally she'd start a sentence in one language and finish it in another. That was the bit i was most impressed with.
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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by andyroo » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:00

indiansummer wrote:One of my sister's friends had a French mum and an Irish dad - she was totally bilingual, and apparently would frequently turn from a conversation in English to say something to her mum in French, before dropping back into English. Occasionally she'd start a sentence in one language and finish it in another. That was the bit i was most impressed with.
My wife can do that (except in Spanish instead of French). And when you're at a dinner table and there's a conversation going on in English and one in Spanish she can follow them both. Which is really, really hard to do.

Actually it's probably what most impressed me when I first met her (it was at a party where I was the only one who didn't speak Spanish). Well, that and her huge tits.
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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by tonieee » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:01

andyroo wrote:The thing you said about the directional terms in the first post, that's a bit like saying "five o''clock" or "ten o'clock" to tell someone what direction to look I suppose.
But saying "x o'clock" is still relative to the way you're facing so just a more precise way of saying left/right/etc while North/South/East/West is an absolute (or relative to the position of the Earth). I've never heard of people having this ability before but I did read once about a device that was invented that had a series of little boxes on a belt and the one that was facing North vibrated. It gave the person wearing it the ability to always tell which way was North. After wearing it long enough they were still able to tell North automatically even after it was removed but the ability faded after time.

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by Mr Bear » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:03

lynsosaurus wrote:
i would like to stick up for 'outwith'. i think it's a great word. it makes sense!
No sticking up necessary - I said I liked the word, it was just the fact that it doesn't seem to have transferred even to the North East of England or Cumbria that I found curious.

The point about whether something can be classified a language or dialect is an interesting one. I think in many cases it's a matter of semantics, in that the nomenclature is given more weight than the definitions thereof. The word dialect to some people might denote some kind of inferiority to a primary language, whereas language suggests an association with "national" identity. The definition of language and dialect could both apply to Catalan, but I would imagine getting a bit of a frosty reception if I were to tell Carles Puyol that he speaks a dialect and not a language. Equally, the form of catalan spoken in Valencia and the Balearics is definitely a dialect, I would say, but I bet even they refer to it as a specific language.

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by islandhopper » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:07

lynsosaurus wrote: i would like to stick up for 'outwith'. i think it's a great word. it makes sense!
I really didn't realise there was anything in the slightest odd about using it.
indiansummer wrote:One of my sister's friends had a French mum and an Irish dad - she was totally bilingual, and apparently would frequently turn from a conversation in English to say something to her mum in French, before dropping back into English. Occasionally she'd start a sentence in one language and finish it in another. That was the bit i was most impressed with.
I speak Gaelic to my Dad and English to my Mum, so I do that all the time. There's nothing at all hard about it if you've been doing it since you were wee. The worst part is that you can't really direct something you say to both of them equally. You're weighting it to one or the other depending on which language you say it in.

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by linus » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:08

humblebee wrote:
andyroo wrote:Also Geordies and Mackems also say "us" to mean "me". Well my mackem mate does, and so does Rachel Unthank. I believe that equates to a representative sample.
That one must spread south a fair way, cos I do as well.
even souther than that... 'give us the ball' was a common cry (uttered by one player to another, on the same side and all that) around football pitches of my youth, 'give us a sweet' whispered across desks in the middle of lessons... I presume it's abbreviation is 'gis'
as in 'gis a job', etc- but yosser hughers came later in the eighties, it's use is definitely synonymous in my head with sherbet flying saucers, 'tiger feet' and tomahawk bikes

it was commonly picked on by teachers, 'you and who else?' they'd ask if you said 'give us a sheet of paper, sir' before they'd chastise you for not saying 'please'

this was in hertfordshire, btw, very south and east herfordshire

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by Uncle Ants » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:14

tonieee wrote:
andyroo wrote:The thing you said about the directional terms in the first post, that's a bit like saying "five o''clock" or "ten o'clock" to tell someone what direction to look I suppose.
But saying "x o'clock" is still relative to the way you're facing so just a more precise way of saying left/right/etc while North/South/East/West is an absolute (or relative to the position of the Earth). I've never heard of people having this ability before but I did read once about a device that was invented that had a series of little boxes on a belt and the one that was facing North vibrated. It gave the person wearing it the ability to always tell which way was North. After wearing it long enough they were still able to tell North automatically even after it was removed but the ability faded after time.
This is the bit I didn't quite get in the quote in Pete's original post. Do the kuuk thaayore refer to things being North, South, East, West etc. in absolute terms (I think that's implied, but it's not clear), or relative to the way they are facing? ... I mean you could imagine designating forward as North (whether it's really North or not) and everything else relative to that just like using clock terms where 12 o'clock is forward and everything else is relative. But then it would be no different from forward, back left or right and the implication is that it isn't ... which begs the question how do they know what is absolute North (I'm not suggesting they don't btw)?
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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by tonieee » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:14

soft revolution wrote:It is I think, though not one I picked up - though I can't get out of the habit of saying 'while' instead of 'until' which is a wakefield/yorkshire thing I thought?

eg -

Q: what time's the night on?
Me: 9 while 2
That used to really annoy me when I first came to Sheffield. Now I quite like it and use it all the time. It's a bit like how in Mansfield they say "lend" instead of "borrow" (eg "Can I lend a pen?" instead of "Can I borrow a pen?" or "Can you lend me a pen?") which used to annoy me as a kid.

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Re: Linguistics, sociolinguistics, accents, dialects, all that

Post by tonieee » Thu Sep 24, 2009 11:17

Uncle Ants wrote:This is the bit I didn't quite get in the quote in Pete's original post. Do the kuuk thaayore refer to things being North, South, East, West etc. in absolute terms (I think that's implied, but it's not clear), or relative to the way they are facing? ... I mean you could imagine designating forward as North (whether it's really North or not) and everything else relative to that just like using clock terms where 12 o'clock is forward and everything else is relative. But then it would be no different from forward, back left or right and the implication is that it isn't ... which begs the question how do they know what is absolute North (I'm not suggesting they don't btw)?
I took it as being absolute North, especially from this:
80sfan wrote:yeah, i've read about this before. you can put someone from these groups in a pitch black room and spin them around. once they've stopped, they'll be able to tell you which direction (north, south southwest) they're facing.
The experiment with the vibrating device shows that you can be trained to tell. I know that some animals have the ability - it must be based on having some kind of magnetic sense somewhere in the body.

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