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final essay[dec 14]

here's a pdf version of the final essay for ling113. Good luck, let me know if you have any questions, and happy holdiays.

second quiz: linguistic features of aae[dec 7]

we decided not to make the second quiz a webct-quiz, but have it be a regular "on a piece of paper" quiz. we'll hand out a copy in class, but for you to avoid re-typing everything, just download a version. you can get it here: second quiz in a variety of formats.

comments to second assignment on aae[dec 5]

get some comments on the second assigment on aae.

experiment sign up[dec 2]

sign up for taka's experiment on japanese intonation that lisa mentioned today. there's also an experiment by anne-michelle tessier on learning object names in a novel language. to see a list of all experiments that are currently conducted in the department, follow this link to the department's experiment sign-up database.

reading for monday[nov 18]

the rickford and rickford reading for monday. it's a fairly short chapter. have a good weekend!

second homework on aae[nov 18]

here's the second homework on aae. it's based on lisa's wednesday lecture and is due on monday.

homework on aae[nov 11]

here's the homework on aae from wednesday. section 2.2.2 from lisa green's book african american english is relevant for question 1, the section called habitual be in 2.3.1 for question 2.

recording software[oct 26]

download the recording software we talked about in class and check it out. we'll give you more instructions on how to use it later in class.

lecture notes and no quiz but homework[oct 26]

contrary to what it says on the syllabus, there won't be a quiz this friday. however, it is essential that you do the assignment on the r-dropping survey (2 posts below/oct 20). so if you haven't done that yet, hand the assigment in by friday, oct 28!

also, here are the lecture notes from monday on social factors.

lecture notes from wednesday and today[oct 21]

here are wednesday's lecture notes on our survey, and today's, starting to investigate social differences and dialects.

r-dropping survey assignment[oct 20]

here are the assignment (due monday), a few tips on how to work with the data in excel, and the survey database (also as text file).

r-dropping homework and slides on shifts[oct 15]

here are the answers and comments for the r-dropping homework and the slides from wednesday on vowel shifts.

good luck with the quiz!

lecture notes and bother sentences[oct 9]

friday's lecture notes on splits and mergers are now up - below are the bother sentences we listened to.

if you want to hear more pronunciations of that sentence from all around the (english speaking) world, look here.

dialect survey part two[oct 8]

here are the instructions for the second part of our dialect survey and the questionnaire.

please enter the results into webct before next thursday, 6pm. have a good columbus day weekend!

lecture notes[oct 5]

here are the lecture notes from oct 5 on how linguistic changes can lead to dialectal variation.

lecture notes[sept 30]

the slides from sept 26 and 28 on the origin and history of the major dialect regions and the history of r-dropping and the lecture notes from september 30 on the linguistic side of r-dropping, or r-vocalization are up.

your dialect survey results[sept 27]

the results of your massachusetts dialect survey are up.

links and article [sept 23]

here are the links and the article i mentioned on wednesday. sorry a little belated.
wicked good guide to boston english, the oxford english dictionary (oed), and jeff pullums article on the great eskimo vocabulary hoax.

background reading [sept 13]

download a background reading from the book language myths, which tells you more about the social stigmata that are inflicted on the speakers of certain dialects by those who don't share them or even by the speakers of those dialects themselves. ‘they speak really bad english down south or in new york city.‘

experiment [sept 12]

there's an experiment you can sign up for here. you can participate in up to three experiments for this class, each will add 1% to your final grade. experiment accouncements are posted at the department's experimental sign up database.

hello [sept 8]

hello and welcome to the ling 113 course website. we will post class handouts and information here, as well as breaking class news, so make sure to check back frequently.

here are the syllabus and our initial questionnaire handed out on wednesday. if you haven't handed back the questionnaire to us in class, make sure to do so on friday! see you then.

class description [aug 3]

This course has the following goals:
  • To lay the background for understanding what conditions lead to the creation of dialects (through linguistic change), and more specifically what social circumstances lead to variation in dialect use within a specific regional dialect area.
  • To show that the linguistic changes which produce dialect differences are systematic and rule-governed, due to the human language faculty.
  • To provide a forum in which students’ knowledge of their own and other dialects may emerge and contribute to our understanding of the dynamics of dialect use and attitudes towards it.
  • Specific topics include how accents affect how people view each other, differences among the major US dialect regions, including the North, Midland, South, and West, with a focus on the Eastern New England dialect, and a detailed examination of various aspects of the syntax of African American English.

class info

linguistics 113
language and diversity in the us
mwf 11:15 - 12:05
dickinson 114
lisa selkirk (instructor)
web | email
jan anderssen (ta)
web | email | ling201jan (aim)