Linguistics Chapter 2 Instructors Manual This Covers The Increasing Differentiation Among The Varieties

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
English with an Accent: Language-- Ideology and Discrimination in the United States 2nd Edition
Rosina Lippi-Green
Chapter 2
Instructors Manual
This chapter covers:
The increasing differentiation among the varieties of English
The presence or absence of /r/ in varieties of American English, specifically Labov‟s
study of /r/ deletion in Manhattan, as well as a survey of more recent studies observing
this variable
Anthropological approaches to linguistic variation and Silverstein‟s (2003) notion of
indexical order
The sound changes involved in the Northern Cities Chain Shift
Lexical variation in dialects and the discourse functions of the word like
Variation in strong and weak verb morphology
How speakers use linguistic variation to position themselves and others in the world
Sample answers to the questions from the text and the website
From the textbook
1. Consider the Salvucci map online: and read the descriptions he
provided for each dialect area. How do they compare with your own understanding of the
regional varieties of American English?
2. Think you have a pretty good handle on American dialects? Try the synonym quizzes on the
website of the Dictionary of American Regional English.
3. At the Harvard American Dialect Survey you will find the list of points of variation in
American English that was included in that study. This is by no means a complete list of changes
in progress, but there's quite a lot there. Before looking at the website and maps, identify three
points of variation that you were aware of (in your own speech, or the speech of others you
know) and three that you were not aware of.
Sample Answer: Before looking at the maps and information on the Harvard American Dialect
Survey website, I was aware of several points of variation in the United States. For example, I
4. Look at the Dialect Map of /tɔk/ talk from the University of Texas linguistics department. -- and listen to
the sound clips. Can you identify the vowels used in each geographic area? Can you hear the
5. A university or college campus often draws people from all over the country. Drawing on the
diversity available to you for sampling, design a simple field study in which you look for the
vowels in cot and caught, and map what you find. Where are the vowels distinct? Where are they
merged? You might want to use Labov's (r) study as a model.
6. Attached to the Wikipedia page for the Northern Cities vowel/chain shift is a talk page
where people can comment or make suggestions about the article. A series of comments from
late 2010 includes the following reaction to the idea of the shift itself. How does this illustrate
the concepts introduced thus far on standard language ideology?
I'm Ohio born and raised and Ive never come across this, I think this whole thing is BS.
The people on TV still sound exactly like us, I can't think of any person I've ever met who
has started or had changed into the first shift, more prevalent is rural people saying
warsh. Are there any examples or a video of people with this shift”? … I know for a fact
7. Consider the usage of usta (as in the sentence I usta go out on Saturday nights, but now I'm
broke). Is it a verb, and if so, is it past or present tense? The answer is more complex and
interesting than you might imagine, and you can read about it on Language Log, with this entry
by Mark Liberman:
Sample answer: Before looking at the Language Log post on this topic, my instinct was to think
From the Website
1. Listen to the samples of the dialects spoken in New York City, Boston, and New Hampshire
found in the International Dialects of English Archive and The Speech Accent Archive. Pay
careful attention to the speakers’ use or deletion of /r/. Compare the speakers’ use of /r/ to your
own. How do these speakers sound similar to your own dialect and how do they sound different?
Sample Answer: In general, the female speakers from New Hampshire (New Hampshire 1, 2,
2. Listen to a few of the samples of the dialects spoken in northern states and southern states
found in the International Dialects of English Archive. Pay careful attention to the speakers’ use
or deletion of /r/. The chapter discusses a study by Feagin (1990) that concluded that, contrary
to northern stereotypes of southern English being /r/-less, southern varieties of English were
retaining more and more instances of /r/. In the samples you chose to listen to, did you notice a
regional difference between the North and the South in the use or deletion of /r/?
3. Listen to the samples of the dialects spoken in Illinois, New York, Michigan, and Ohio found in
the International Dialects of English Archive. Pay careful attention to the speakersvowels.
Compare the speakersvowels to your own. How do these speakers sound similar to the way you
speak? How do they sound different? Pay special attention to the vowels affected by the
Northern Cities Chain Shift.
4. Listen to the samples of the dialects spoken in Chicago found in the International Dialects of
English Archive. Is this an accent that you can identify as being from Chicago? If so, what cues
indicate a Chicago accent for you? If not, where would you have guessed these speakers were
from and why?
1. Pay attention to whether or not the cast members use postvocalic /r/ in their speech. When do
Deena, Vinny, Snooki, and Pauly D use postvocalic /r/? When does the /r/ get deleted? Which
cast members use /r/ the most? Which use it the least? If you watch the show and are familiar
with their personalities, can you make any comment on how each person’s language use reflects
his or her identity?
2. How do the cast members featured in these clips use the word like as a discourse marker?
Can you find examples of like used as a quotative or a focuser?
Sample Answer: There are examples of the word like being used as a quotative and a focuser in
these clips. For example, in the first clip, both Snooki and Pauly use like as a quotative. Snooki
says, So I was like, Why don‟t we have some hot dogs?‟” and Pauly says, “Snooki told me the
1. Discuss the notion of prestige, especially as it relates to Labov‟s study of /r/ use in Manhattan.
Ask the students to compare and contrast the way they speak in different social situations or
different communities. Can they confidently label one variety as the most prestigious or does
prestige vary by community and situation for them? What does the amount of prestige assigned
to a language variety tell them about the values and ideologies connected to language?
2. Find out how many of your students use the word like as a discourse marker. Next, encourage
students to brainstorm what stereotypes surround this use of like. Who is the stereotypical user of
like as a discourse marker? What attributes does this stereotypical speaker have? Do they think
these stereotypes have changed over the years? What do these stereotypes reveal about language
ideology and attitudes toward the portion of the population that uses this discourse marker?
3. Ask the students if they are aware of any verb conjugations that they (or others) consider
“incorrect” (for example, snuck, dove, drug, choices between lay and lie, etc.). What do these
“incorrect” verb conjugations reveal about language change? What does the sometimes fierce
resistance to these changes reveal about standard language ideology?
4. To enhance discussion of this chapter, please visit the companion website and check out the
audio and video clips available for use in your classroom.

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