Linguistics Chapter 5 Instructors Manual This Covers The Connection Between Linguistic Variation And

Document Type
Homework Help
Book Title
English with an Accent: Language-- Ideology and Discrimination in the United States 2nd Edition
Rosina Lippi-Green
Chapter 5
Instructors Manual
This chapter covers:
The connection between linguistic variation and social positioning
How language and accent have become bases for discrimination
The definition of language ideology and standard language ideology
The role of the educational system in the standardization process
The steps in the language subordination process
The roles of the speaker and the hearer in the communicative process
The connection between accent, ideology, and the acceptance or rejection of the
communicative burden in an interaction
Sample answers to the questions from the text and the Website
From the textbook
1. From Nunberg (2009 [1983/1997]) consider this paragraph from the The Decline of
If we are bent on finding a decline in standards, the place to look is not in the language itself
but in the way it is talked about. In the profusion of new books and articles on the state of the
language, and in most new usage books, the moral note, if it is sounded at all, is either
wavering or shrill. What is largely missing is the idea that there is any pleasure or
instruction to be derived from considering what makes good usage good. Rather, grammar
comes increasingly to be regarded as a mandarin code that requires only ritual justification.
And, for all the heated polemics over the importance of grammar, it appears that each party
at least implicitly accepts this view.
What is it that Nunberg wants? Is he appealing to linguists, prescriptivists or both? On what
basis? The entire piece is available online, for a deeper understanding of his position.
2. How might Accommodation Theory serve as a tool to analyze disagreement more generally?
Can you reconstruct an argument youve had (or can imagine having) using the idea of the
communicative burden?
3. Do you remember an occasion when you witnessed or overheard one person refusing to
understand another, though the communicative content was clear? Why was the communicative
burden rejected?
4. Discuss how standard language ideology has been a positive or negative force in your own
life or your family's. Has it afforded you advantages, or disadvantages? How have you used
language ideology yourself?
5. Consider this contribution to an online discussion of accents that are attractive or
I cannot stand anyone with a thick Black southern accent, it sounds racist but I seriously
cannot understand when the people try to communicate to me. Example: I called my cell
company and I needed help with why my email pop system did not work. The guy had a
half Ebonics/southern slang accent. Trying to explain to me technical shit I had to do. It
was super annoying. I had to have him keep repeating to me what the hell he was saying,
it was embarrassing me for me, and probably for him or not.
How is (or isn't) this an example of language ideology at work? If not language ideology, what is
going on here?
6. Read "Help for today's Eliza Doolittles," a newspaper article that appeared in the Christian
Science Monitor (Gardner, November 3, 1999). How does this article demonstrate the language
subordination process? What steps are used? Why is the tone relevant?
7. Consider two (unlikely, but useful) scenarios:
a. Walking along the street in London, you come around a corner face to face with Mick
Jagger. He's wearing a torn concert t-shirt and ripped jeans, and he grabs you by the
arm. His breath is bad, and he's slurring his words. He is looking for his runaway
terrier and he's talking very fast. You dont understand everything he says in his high
agitation, but its clear he wants your help.
b. Youre waiting for a bus in a small crowd of people when a shabbily dressed stranger
who looks a lot like Mick Jagger approaches you, slowly and with deference. In a
very heavily accented English (maybe its Polish, you think, or some other Eastern
European language) this person asks for directions.
Are you equally willing to help in both situations? Do you in fact help both these people? If not,
how do you handle it?
From the website
1. In Chapter 5, the author describes how speakers of devalued varieties of English sometimes
buy in to the standard language ideology. The author mentions speakers who sound like they are
Chilean, Muslim, or Mississippian as examples of people with accents that may start to denigrate
their own language varieties. Listen to the samples of these accents found in the International
Dialects of English Archive and the Speech Accent Archive and discuss why these speakers might
become complicit in their own language subordination.
2. In Chapter 5, the author describes instances of resistance to the dominant language ideology
and gives examples related to South Carolinian English, Hawai’ian Creole, AAVE, and
Cambodian-American English. Listen to the samples of these language varieties found in the
International Dialects of English Archive and the Speech Accent Archive. What strategies can
speakers like these use to resist language subordination?
3. Listen to the samples of AAVE, French-accented English, and Asian-accented English from
the International Dialects of English Archive. What shapes a person’s reaction to certain
accents? Why do you think some people have a positive reaction to French accents but a
negative reaction to Asian accents or AAVE?
English Lesson”
From G’s to Gents
Season 2, Episode 3, Sneak Peek
This video clip provides material for discussion of language subordination.
1. How does the content of this video illustrate the language subordination process?
Suggested activities and discussion questions
1. Standard language ideology glorifies the idea of one homogenous language variety being used
by everyone in a nation. Ask the students if they think this is something we should strive for. Do
they think it could ever be possible? Why or why not?
2. Many people who subscribe to standard language ideology argue that all children should be
educated in the standard language variety so that all children have an equal chance for social and
economic advancement. What do your students think about this argument and why do they feel
the way they do?
3. Ask your students why they think many people who believe they speak *SAE feel perfectly
4. Which accents have especially positive or negative associations for your students? Why do
they think they feel the way they do?
5. Have your students ask five people to list the three foreign accents they like the most and the
three foreign accents they like the least. After their data have been collected, ask the students to
look for any patterns in their results. Are there any accents that were mentioned as a favorite
several times? Are there any accents that were mentioned as a least favorite several times? How
would the students explain any patterns they find? Have the students share their findings with

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