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Re: YAEPT alert! [Re: Not phonetic but ___???]

From:Ph. D. <phild@...>
Date:Monday, April 19, 2004, 23:00
Mark J. Reed wrote:
> > You don't have to resort to essentialism. :) My wife had a > coworker in a fast food establishment who spoke a dialect > of AAE, and mutual intelligibility with GAE was nil to a pretty > good approximation. When both she and he were making > a conscious effort, they could understand each other well > enough to operate the restaurant - barely. But when e.g. he > was on the phone with someone else who spoke his 'lect, > he might as well have been speaking Martian for all the > sense it made. (Of course, he may have been deliberately > exaggerating to defeat eavesdropping, but even so it was > hard to imagine that what he was speaking was English.)
Way back when I was in college in the mid-1970s, we had a lot of students from Nigeria. Sometimes we would overhear three or four of them talking together. We couldn't understand a single word, so we just assumed they were speaking "Nigerian." Later we discovered that they were speaking English! It seems they came from different tribes in Nigeria, and English was the only language they had in common. But it made no sense to us Americans. --Ph. D.