The language of the U.S.

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by science man, May 31, 2010.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Then why did you use the phrase "on time" to define the phrase "in time"? Frankly I would have said just the opposite: "in time" means you might be early and have time to buy popcorn, whereas "on time" means you got there with just a couple of minutes left to find your seat.
    What is your native language? From what perspective do you make this observation of neutrality? Neutral in what way, and compared to what? Many people who speak Italian, Spanish and other languages with lots of cardinal vowels, long words and lyrical inflections think English, with its abrupt monosyllables, guttural consonant clusters and flat intonation sounds butt-ugly.
    That is true of songs in any language. You obliterate the tonal structure of the words and sentences to conform to the melody, you make words longer and shorter to match the meter, you change the stress to fit the cadence. It's unusual for people to sing in their "native accent" in any language. Country & Western music with its clearly identifiable Southern American dialect pronunciation is a striking exception and that may be one reason it's so popular.
    So where are you from? All we know about you is your screen name, and you chose one that makes you appear to be a native anglophone.
     
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  3. John99 Banned Banned

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    It may be a matter of how we perceive things. 'In' is inside, which is closer and on is just outside or on top of. It is interesting because last night a friend and i were discussing the difference between 'example' and 'instance' when used with the word for preceding it.

    If someone is not being honest he may (subconsciously or not) use 'on' for example: 'he was here on time' then he is not really lying because 'on' can be outside the boundary but and either positive or negative. That is stretching the boundaries but it seems to be the case afa i have observed.

    Another example: a boss will tell you 'get here ON time'. In this context that means either before or at the specified time. He would not say 'get here IN time' because in is only a matter of a few seconds before and could cause the person to be late.

    Maybe it is but i have no way of knowing that. It would be interesting to know, but then i am not sure if other languages have various accents. I know about different dialects but tbh, never read anything about accents.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
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  5. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Most languages that are spoken over a wide geographical area have diverse accents and many have dialects.
    Two different forms of speech are languages if the speakers cannot understand each other without significant study. They are dialects if the speakers can understand each other, although it may require a little effort, and the differences must be in more than pronunciation, i.e. vocabulary or grammar. They are accents if the differences are almost exclusively in pronunciation.

    Television has been a powerful force for the leveling of dialects. As people become accustomed to each other's quaint slang and idioms they tend to enrich their own language by adopting them, just as we adopt words from foreign languages. In particular, a country's standard dialect tends to spread out to the provincial areas. Thus, what were once dialects may become only accents, as the words and grammar become normalized and only the more ingrained phonetic differences remain.

    But lately in the developed countries even accents are being leveled by the post-industrial phenomenon of people migrating to different regions for career purposes, often many times in a lifetime. People who live in the same neighborhoods and work together may (often but not always unconsciously) lose the extreme elements of their dialect pronunciation from constantly hearing the words pronounced differently. Even if the adults don't do this, their children will.

    In my lifetime I have heard the classic Boston accent, which had many echoes of Standard British English such as being non-rhotic (final R was silent), virtually disappear. The last time I was in Boston, I didn't hear a single person speak that way.

    During the same time, Southern American dialect has become little more than an accent. For many speakers, the only important difference in vocabulary is "y'all" for "you" (plural) with the possessive form "y'all's." Frankly I think that's kind of handy and I wish we would all adopt it.

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  7. John99 Banned Banned

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    But we dont hear about accents in other languages. I think Russian would be a good place to look for different accents due to its size but it seems like the dialects change and not really the accents themselves.
     
  8. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Maybe because you're not familiar enough with other languages.
    I know for a fact that French has differing accents. For example in most of France "ten" is "dix", pronounced "deece" whereas in the Montelimar/ Loriol-sur-Drome (Midi) region it's pronounced Di. Likewise 14 is Kahnz, in the Midi it's Kenz.
    And what about your own language? Doesn't that have different accents?
     
  9. John99 Banned Banned

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    That is what\why i am asking.

    Yes.
     
  10. John99 Banned Banned

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    You know, now that i look at that, are you saying that the spelling changes? If that is the case then this is not truly an accent but a dialect.
     
  11. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    I see...

    So you're aware that your native tongue AND English have different accents yet, for some reason, seem to assume that no other languages do?
     
  12. John99 Banned Banned

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    I only speak English.
     
  13. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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  14. John99 Banned Banned

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    That was sarcasm.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    How would we know? I'm not fluent in Russian, are you? Most outsiders can't tell Russian, Czech and Polish apart. How could they possibly differentiate an accent from a dialect when they can't even differentiate between two languages?
    No John. He was simply transcribing the words phonetically in English so we can see the difference in pronunciation. Don't you know anything at all about French? Everyone who reads runs into enough French to realize intuitively that it never uses the letter K, except in foreign words.

    It's still one of the most popular foreign languages in America even though it has outlived its usefulness in business, scholarship and diplomacy. It should be obvious to a high school student that that was not French writing.
    Then why did you not answer me when I asked you, twice, what your native language is? If you want to participate in discussions in the Linguistics subforum, you must be more forthcoming about issues of languages and linguistics. We all give different answers to foreigners than we do to anglophones.
    No it was not. Don't dissemble about the meaning of words when you're talking to people who study linguistics. You told us that English is not your native language. I kept asking you what is your native language, in order to be able to phrase my answers to your questions in a form that you would more easily understand. Then you turned around and told me that English is your native language after all.

    This is dishonesty. Fortunately you did not post that statement on my board. I don't tolerate it here. SciForums is a place of science and intellectual honesty is a cornerstone of the scientific method. Intellectual dishonesty is the worst kind of trolling.

    Please be aware of this and follow the rules.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  16. Shogun Bleed White and Blue! Valued Senior Member

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    I know what you mean by Japanese, it is a pain for learning Japanese.
     
  17. nirakar ( i ^ i ) Registered Senior Member

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    Since nobody else is answering:

    Italy was not paying Columbus's bill for the ships and crew, Spain was. Spain was not very pleased with Columbus when he came back without any Gold.

    I grew up calling the Native Americans "Indians" because Columbus thought he had sailed to India. Columbus thought he was in India when he discovered America.

    As far as language goes, it does not matter who came first. What matters is who comes the most and who has the best weapons. Who came the most was different for different parts of the Americas. The English, French, Spanish and Portuguese left their languages where they dominated.

    The Italians were not dominant anywhere in the Americas but the Italians who came over 400 years after Columbus sure did improve American cuisine. But then again the Italians never would have had the tomato if America had not been discovered.

    The native Americans discovered the Americas first. If it is unfair that the discoverers don't get their language spoken then it is the native Americans rather than the Italians who should be complaining.
     
  18. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    The phonetics are very easy but everything else is difficult. Their view of the universe is different from ours. I have a friend who lived in Japan and speaks the language fluently. Someone once hired him to translate a novel into Japanese. When he got to page two, a female character was speaking. He realized that he did not know how to conjugate verbs in the feminine gender. All the endings are different for a female speaker. He could understand them when he heard them but he was never actually taught how to use them properly. He had to subcontract to a Japanese woman to write the female dialog.
     
  19. John99 Banned Banned

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    That is why i asked. Still havent got an answer.

    Not dishonesty. I only recall you asking me if i am an Anglophone. I am not sure what that is, but i have an idea ans since i hardly ever hear the word, frankly, i have never heard the word but i read it a few times from old books, i didnt feel like looking it up but i have an idea. The answer then is STILL NO, i am not an Anglophone.
     
  20. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Yes you did get an answer.
    http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=2554490&postcount=25
    A post you must have read because you replied to it.

    http://www.sciforums.com/showpost.php?p=2554055&postcount=21

    But you can't be bothered to Google... and you apparently don't have an idea because of:

    Actually you are.
    http://www.thefreedictionary.com/Anglophone

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  21. John99 Banned Banned

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    you are right about the Anglophone, my impression was he was calling me a European heritage. He even pointed to my name 'John'. My name is from an outlaw song - Johnny 99, which i was listening to when i signed up. Obviously i am an English speaking person.

    Are those accents or dialects?
     
  22. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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    Since my reply was "I know for a fact that French has differing accents", what do you think?
    Fraggle has already defined the difference between accent and dialect: and Kahnz/ Kenz is an accent difference: French is fairly rigidly controlled and doesn't really allow for dialects.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010
  23. John99 Banned Banned

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    Dywyddyr, do they have names for those accents?
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2010

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