Friday, June 30, 2006

European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

In this link you will be able to find the European definitions and laws concerning the minority languages. It is interesting to identify the boundaries between prejudice and justice by reading the definitions. The Charter intends to protect minority languages and refers to it as an expression of cultural wealth and also establishes a safe environment for these languages' speakers to develop their culture and language.

Semantic and Variation in idiolect and sociolect: Corpus Linguistic evidence from literary texts.

By Max M. Lowerse

This is such an interesting article which analyzes sociolect aspects in England’s Modern Realism, taking T.S. Eliot, Charles Dickens, Virginia Woolf and James Joyce novels as corpus to test, by literary evidence, several sociolects and idiolects hypotheses. It is a different kind of research and intriguing; once it deals with a corpus that is no longer changing and, therefore, can be examined until empty it of meanings.

The sociolect of 17th and 18th century French settlers: phonological clues from French Creoles.

By Anne Marie Brousseau-Universtity of Toronto.

In this paper, Anne Marie intends to prove how the Creole languages influenced sociolect and dialectal varieties of French that were spoken in America of the 17th and 18th century by analyzing linguistic data. It is interesting to analyze through data how dialects have importance on historicity and how the standardization of a language can be based on many social aspects.

Stanford sociolinguistics

This website is very efficient once there are many important concepts (discussed in our classes) concerning dialects such as regional and ethnic dialects, pidgin and creole and other languages. The Stanford Department of Linguistic presents their research projects concerning the matter subject of socilinguistic immersed on the community environment and that resulted into many interesting and relevant projects such as the Phonological Variation in Shanghai Mandarin, “a corpus study of 100 speakers of Shanghai Mandarin, examining variation in the retroflex-alveolar distinction in relation to social variables age, gender, and education.”

Dialect leveling and geographical diffusion in British English

By Paul Kerswill- School of Linguistics and Applied Language studies, University of reading (Amsterdam)

In this article, Paul Kerswill discusses the decrease of varieties after a geographical diffusion “by which features spread out from a populous and economically and culturally dominant centre”. The concept of social dialect appears in this paper being referred as speech accommodation, meaning “will tend to converge linguistically”. According to the author, mutually intelligible dialects come together while those which differ from each other are going to be discarded. That is a form of segregation, dividing speakers into social groups which have the social dialect as the aspect which will define their social relations to the rest of the community.

Language: pride, prejudice and inferiority complex

By Prof. M. S. Thirumalai

Once India is a multilingual country, this article analyzes how the standard language created a sense of inferiority based on difference and prejudice. Apart from that, this article tries to identify how language inferiority is pushed into Indian minds and the way standard language sustain this impression, keeping some languages on orality and referring to its lack of prestige among social groups which lost their historicity and cultural background.

Language Policy and Public Knowledge

By Carolyn Temple Adger
While one of the posted subjects in this blog talks about English as an official language to the community's historicity and standardization, this website refers to the standard language as an prejudice factor, which enable dominant groups to select speakers and discriminate them. This link discusses the American Vernacular spoken by Oakland's students and the way it is observed by the community.

Varieties of English around the World

This website intends to explain how the American English arose in the United States of America. After a brief historical explanation, the website offers some technical information as background for the sociolinguistic discussion on dialectal divergence, and what were the consequences of such a difference concerning sociolect aspects. He also gives examples on the subjects.

The Sociolinguistic situation of Japan

By Nobuyuki Tukahara

The author intends to analyze what would be the consequences of Japan having English as an official language. It is interesting to see how one social dialect is observed by another community as carrier of many cultural aspects which may threaten their communities’ historicity and standardization.

University of Leeds

This website has a link called Centre for Language Education Research. There you will find many interesting information such as projects concerning death children, sign language etc. There is one specific project which called my attention and that is:
Internationalisation, Cultural Difference, and Migration: Developing a Curriculum for Teacher Education.

According to the information offered in this website, this project involves different cultures from Europe and Canadá mixing social groups to improve their cultural development. What could we gain by researching these interactions regarding social interaction and, either, the dialectal exchange?

Language varieties

However simple this site may seem to be, it can be really useful especially due to the link “Links”. There are many sites with information about various social aspects which define communication such as vernacular aspects, the formation of creole languages, and research on different dialects spoken around the world and so on. It is a very interesting and useful website.

Language in South Africa

edited by Rajend Mesthrie

The idea of language in Africa refers to many important aspects from its formation since when they were taken by many conquerors (i.e. Böers). That is a visible consequence until nowadays, not only do I refer to economic aspects, but also to the cultural and language diversity that exists in Africa. By separating tribes in order to refrains rebellions, the conquerors created new social phenomena which can still be analyzed. As Africa had English as dominant language for two centuries this book (which compile different researchers) intend to analyze what happen to the continent through 200 years.

Minority language planning of China in relation to use and development

Haung Xing, Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences- China.

This article discusses the way minority languages are classified in China. According to the author, depending on the social language’s social function, the language can be classified into three levels. Apart from creating social dialects restringing groups to get in contact with others, it is mentioned by the author that some levels are invisible boundaries which separate different economical class from the rest of the society through communication.

Style and Sociolinguistic Variation

edited by Penelope Eckert, John R. Rickford

This is a free book written by Prof. John R. Rickford, who teaches at the Stanford University. In this book you will be able to analyze stylistc repertoire concerning individuals and social groups. Prof. Rickford proposes to go beyond contemporary articles and give a more sophisticated treatment so as to analyze the way speakers and social groups make their own meanings.

IDEA- International Dialects of English Archive

This site does not refer specifically to social dialects or language prejudice. However, it concerns the accents which are consequence of different concepts studied in class or suggested in the text such as "The wave theory". It is an interesting website once we can download accents from many different countries. In addition, for each dialect you select, you can find information such as Bibliography, Links, etc. It seems to be a very useful site for research.

Dialects in Schools and Communities

By Walt Wolfram, Carolyn Temple Adger, Donna Christian
In this link you will be able to access a copyrighted book which will discuss how languages differ from one group to another into school and communities environments. Apparently, the whole book can be printed or read in this site. The authors take as a premise the idea that depending on the characteristics that form a group, a specific language variation will be developed. Giving attention to dialects, these book is interesting once it deals with the social formation of dialects resulting into different groups.

Views on bilingualism in the United States: a selective historical review

By Prof. Jill Fitzgerald, Associated professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hil

In this article, Professor Jill Fitzgerald questions the language's possibilities and main situation in the United States. The author defends the idea of bilingualism and claims that this aspect cannot be oppreesed- that would represent an aggression to cultural identity; resulting in language prejudice and xenophobia.

Linguistic Society of America

This website is supported by the Linguistic Society of America which intends to disseminate information on linguistic Scholarship to professional linguists and general public. You will be able to download journals, publications and access information about latest meetings and papers on the sociolinguistic research.