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Language standards (was: "y" and "r")

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Monday, April 2, 2001, 18:15
At 2:02 pm +0200 1/4/01, Mangiat wrote:
>Nik wrote: > >> Raymond Brown wrote: >> > I would >> > assume, and I guess most others would, that it'd be the way an educated >> > Italian speaking what most text books give as standard Italian. >> >> But there's no such standard in English. There is such a standard if >> you're specifying British English, but American English has no such >> standard, it seems to have regional standards. I'm not sure if >> Australian English has such a standard, but at any rate, there's >> definitely no standard for "World English". >> > >Italian hasn't an established standard, as well.
Yet textbooks seem fairly agreed (not 100%, I admit) on what Italian ideally should be like. I don't think anyone speaks 'standard X' whatever language X is. I doubt, e.g. whether there has ever existed a "pure 100% Received Pronunciation' speaker of southern British English. These standards seem to be ideals to which educated speakers think they adhere. [snip]
> >For istance, the way Tuscanians pronounce a word should be the rule;
I thought it was "Tuscan as pronounced by Romans" :) ----------------------------------------------------------------- At 1:18 pm -0400 1/4/01, John Cowan wrote:
>Raymond Brown scripsit: > >> I'm by no means an expert on Italian regional dialects, but I do understand >> that northern dialects are not immediately comprehensible to southern >> dialect speakers & vice-versa, i.e. there is a good deal of variation >> within Italy. > >I think that there is no great barrier between northerners and southerners >*when both are speaking Standard Italian*. But of course people in both >North and South often speak their so-called local dialects, which really >amount >to separate languages -- indeed, far northern Italian dialects are >really Gallo-Romance rather than Italo-Romance at all.
Precisely what I meant. But large regional differences like this generally influence the way a standard language is pronounced, and Mangiat's email seems to bear this out.
>> I was under the impression that there was some sort of notional "general >> American", but I may be mistaken. > >"General American" is the name of a specific regional variety. It has >a broader distribution than the other regional varieties, but it is not >truly "general". Furthermore, it does not have special status in >the other regions.
Right - I obviously misunderstood the term. Ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================


Mangiat <mangiat@...>R: Language standards (was: "y" and "r")