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Re: Duke Keenan the Ok guy returns

From:H. S. Teoh <hsteoh@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 4, 2002, 14:54
On Mon, Dec 02, 2002 at 07:33:26PM -0500, Keenan wrote:
> Which is what I meant when I said "But does it need to be?" If somebody > speaks to me in Jugdjei with a French, Dutch, Californian or some other > accent I'm not gonna kick. I might *fall over* but I'm not gonna get on > them for bad pronunciation. Especially since, as you point out, I > haven't given good information. :)
Yes, but we'd *like* to be able to pronounce it right. :-) [snip]
> > That's precisely the problem. Everyone thinks their idiolect of English > > has the "correct", "official" (vowel) pronunciation. But none of these > > "official" vowels are the same. :-) > > Hmmmmmmmm. Do you think thats really true of a bunch of linguists and > language hobbyists like this group?
You haven't seen the massive threads ala flamewars that come up every time somebody mentions English pronunciation, have you? :-) OK, at least with us linguists and language hobbyists we are a bit more civil, but the size of these English pronunciation threads sure say something. :-) [snip]
> The over riding theme throughout the book, as it appears to me, is that > variations of a language *are not wrong* just different forms.
Of course. But what happens is a minor idiolect gets associated with "inferior" minority groups, and gets looked down on. For example, when I was young, we were prohibited from speaking our mothertongues (Chinese "dialects") in school; we were supposed to only speak Mandarin. But recently, in places like Taiwan, you see official moves to teaching these native dialects to kids.
> Often what happens is one class gets into power or affluence and then > their dialect is foisted on everyone else as the standard. All other > dialects are then looked down on, even dialects and forms that were > previously standard. It is one of the last areas where discrimination > has gone unchallenged. Besides the discrimination against smokers that > is. :)
[snip] Ahh, that laudible goal to carry the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion, just like the US Army, in the sense that not only they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed, and color, but also on the grounds of ... ability. Or, in this case, hygiene. [Shamelessly mangled quote from Tom Lehrer.] <flamesuit on> :-P T -- If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one? -- Abraham Lincoln