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

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