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Dialect and register

From:Thomas R. Wier <trwier@...>
Date:Sunday, December 29, 2002, 9:40
Quoting Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>:

> --- Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...> wrote: > > > Actually, dialects are more than just phonetic > > variations. Purely phonetic differences are accents.
I'd say that most linguists consider "accents" in this sense to be kinds of dialects.
> > A dialect has, at the very least, differences in > > vocabulary, and usually a few grammatical differences. > > Like, in English, the second person plural varies by > > dialect between "you", "you all", "y'all", "youse", > > "you guys", "you-uns", "you people", and probably a > > few more options. Also, some dialects accept double > > negatives. Standard English does not accept double > > modals (like, "might can" or "should ought"), but some > > dialects do permit it. Standard English uses inversion > > with wh-words, but some dialects don't ("What you > > did?") > > A lot of that smacks as much of register as of > dialect. (At least for me!) I consider myself a > speaker of "Standard" - but depending on > register, double negatives, double modals, odd > pronouns and other kinds of lexical and argot > oddities creep in. In the other direction, if the > situation be more formal, then all those res > dictae fly the country in favor of a more > confined style with attendant subjunctives, fully > enunciated and single modals and the rest. Well, > maybe not the subjunctives, as I use those as a > matter of course anyway.
I dunno. A lot of those things are extremely unnatural in my part of the country. Everyone says "y'all", but anyone saying "you'uns", "youse" or "tha" would get strange looks or incomprehension. Anyone saying "soda" or "pop" is likewise immediately marked as an outsider -- the proper word being "coke", of course. 8P So, while some of these things are available as changes of register, many are simply unavailable in different parts of the English world.
> Of course, that raises an adjunct question: has > anyone worked on registers within their conlangs?
Phaleran has rather baroque sensitivity to register. The demonstrative system is intimately linked to the level of discourse formality the speaker desires: <> In some periods, particular clitic formality markers were present to reference formality and social class, but these are not frequent nowadays. ========================================================================= Thomas Wier "I find it useful to meet my subjects personally, Dept. of Linguistics because our secret police don't get it right University of Chicago half the time." -- octogenarian Sheikh Zayed of 1010 E. 59th Street Abu Dhabi, to a French reporter. Chicago, IL 60637


Padraic Brown <elemtilas@...>