Non native speaker?
THOMAS M. PAIKEDAY
t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA
Thu Oct 24 13:56:25 UTC 2002
I think this is a red herring; I never even thought of fluency, let alone
mention it in my book-length treatment as an arguing point. "Fluent in a
genre" sounds like a subspecies of Clupeus harengus.
Last night NBC Nightly News reported that it had been determined that the
sniper is a "native speaker" of English, probably a Caucasian, with an
accent suspected to be Hispanic. The above judgement seems to have been
based on the sniper's written rather than spoken English. There is a kind of
verba volant (words fly) quality to the spoken evidence. But a recording may
I am fairly confident the sniper is going to be caught one of these days;
Bush has placed the Federal resources at the disposal of the police. At that
time, linguists should be able to conduct a more thorough evaluation of the
sniper's speech. I think this would simply confirm that he is a native
speaker of his own idiolect. This applies to everyone who speaks English or
any other language for that matter (Chomsky's current position
----- Original Message -----
From: "Dennis R. Preston" <preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU>
To: <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 6:46 PM
Subject: Re: Non native speaker?
> Someone (T. M. I guess, since he has done it before, even in a
> book-length treatment) seems to be confusing "native" and "fluent,"
> particularly "fluent in a genre." I am a native speaker of English,
> remarkable disfluent in many genres.
> >I agree with Lesa Dill "it's easy, intentionally or not, to sound
> >illiterate and/or non-native." So what's the use of the native/non-native
> >Incidentally, I'd like to know what forensic linguists think of specimens
> >(freshman English, of course) such as the following. I did get an expert
> >opinion in 1985. But I would like a second opinion if anyone would care
> >comment, even for fun. The basic syntax seems perfect.
> >"During the Middle Ages everybody was middle
> >aged.... After a revival of infantile commerce slowly creeped into
> >Europe, merchants appeared. They roamed from town to town expo-
> >sing themselves and organized big fairies in the countryside.... Finally
> >Europe caught the Black Death. It was spread from port to port by
> >inflected rats.... Theologically, Luther was into reorientation muta-
> >tion.... Great Brittian, the USA and other European countrys had
> >demicratic leanings. Among the goals of the chartists were universal
> >suferage and an anal parliament.... In 1937 Lenin revolted Russia.
> >Germany was displaced after WWL... War screeched to an end when a
> >nukuleer explosion was dropped on Heroshima. The last stage is us."
> >(Britannica 1984 Book of the Year)
> >T. M. Paikeday
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Lesa Dill" <lesa.dill at WKU.EDU>
> >To: <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> >Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2002 2:23 PM
> >Subject: Re: Non native speaker?
> >> The debate about the identity of the sniper is being debated
> >> Forensic Linguistics listserv. There's quite an argument about
> >> person is native or non-native. I'd have to agree with you and say
> >native. I
> >> agree with your comments about the phrasing of the statement about our
> >> children being in danger. It is stylistically well formed. I also
> >> easy, intentionally or not, to sound garbled, illiterate and/or
> >> Isn't the sound subsitution regular in Black English/Ebonics/African
> >> English? What's PC in linguistics for that these days? Certainly not
> >> latter.
> >> Lesa
> >> Duane Campbell wrote:
> >> > According to published reports, the notes left by the sniper are in
> >> > imperfect English indicating perhaps a non-native speaker. Yet the
> >> > sentence they have released -- "Your children are not safe at any
> >> > in any place." (from memory) -- strikes me as a very well crafted
> >> > sentence. Not just lucid and free from error, but stylish.
> >> >
> >> > Any forensic linguists on the list? Is there such a thing as a
> >> > linguist?
> >> >
> >> > While I'm asking questions, Chief Moose (who is, incidentally, Dr.
> >> > replaces all of his "th" sounds with either a hard "D" (initial) or
> >> > I have heard this from time to time, though usually not so
> >> > including a classmate in 1950s rural Pennsylvania with a 100 percent
> >> > white school population. I had always assumed it was a minor speech
> >> > impediment (is there a new PC word for this?) or an ideomorph. Are
> >> > dialects that include this shift?
> >> >
> >> > D
> Dennis R. Preston
> Professor of Linguistics
> Department of Linguistics and Languages
> 740 Wells Hall A
> Michigan State University
> East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
> Office - (517) 353-0740
> Fax - (517) 432-2736
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