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Language Planning as a Sociolinguistic Experiment

By: Ernst Jahr

Provides richly detailed insight into the uniqueness of the Norwegian language development. Marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Norwegian nation following centuries of Danish rule

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Acquiring Phonology: A Cross-Generational Case-Study

By Neil Smith

The study also highlights the constructs of current linguistic theory, arguing for distinctive features and the notion 'onset' and against some of the claims of Optimality Theory and Usage-based accounts.

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Language Production and Interpretation: Linguistics meets Cognition

By Henk Zeevat

The importance of Henk Zeevat's new monograph cannot be overstated. [...] I recommend it to anyone who combines interests in language, logic, and computation [...]. David Beaver, University of Texas at Austin

Query Details

Query Subject:   American Dialects
Author:   Stan Anonby
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s):  English

Query:   Hello All,

I have a question, which came to my mind while watching the TV show "Home
Improvements". The show is set in Detroit. Once in a while, there are a
group of Caucasian construction people who appear on the show. They talk in
what sounds like to me to be a southern accent. This is obviously supposed
to be very funny. I'm not American, so I don't understand all the nuances
of this. I've got some theories.

1) Uneducated Caucasians in the US talk like Southerners.
2) Caucasians who do manual labor are often Southerners.
3) Americans find it very funny to hear someone talk in a southern dialect
on TV. So "Home Improvements" isn't portraying language as it is actually
spoken by Caucasian construction workers in Detroit. It's just a put-on for

I realize it's not too easy to explain why something is funny, but does
anyone want to give it a shot?

Stan Anonby
LL Issue: 16.1402
Date posted: 02-May-2005


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