Standard non-standardisms (was: Heard on The Judges: sE > to BE)

Damien Hall halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Apr 9 13:26:31 UTC 2008

dInIs wrote:

> I guess I don't consider any cases of r-lessness as
> nonstandard so don't give me no Pahk yuh cah in Hahvahd Yahd stuff.

Glad to hear it!

On the principle of not including brand-names like _Dunkin' Donuts_ in a
collection of non-standardisms, because they've never occurred in the standard
form *_Dunking Donuts_ and don't occur like that, because they're always used
in the non-standard, indeed trademarked form:  I agree that for this reason
such non-standardisms should not be included in a collection of spontaneous
productions.  But, as a side-note, formal contexts can produce the interesting
effect of re-introduction of the standard form into these fossilised
non-standards, so speakers are clearly still aware of what the standard
'should' be.  I remember being struck by this while doing a study where we got
speakers to fill the blank in the sentence

Bob Dylan sang "BlowinÂ’ in the Wind" to protest against _____________.

to test their production of short-a in _sang_.  At least one white,
middle-class, middle-aged male speaker produced a velar nasal in the
song-title, even though it doesn't officially have one (in the official
discography on Dylan's website) and wasn't presented with one in the stimulus.

Damien Hall
University of Pennsylvania

The American Dialect Society -

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