Bilinguals vs. Monolinguals

Richard Hudson r.hudson at LINGUISTICS.UCL.AC.UK
Fri Mar 8 17:31:23 UTC 1996

In message Thu, 7 Mar 1996 09:09:20 -0800,
  Thomas E Payne <tpayne at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU>  writes:

> ... we
> linguists usually pride ourselves on not passing judgement on one speech
> variety over another. Is the speech of monolinguals necessarily "better"?
> If so, how so? This is a serious question. I too have the sense that we
> "ought" to study the speech of monolinguals. It seems intuitively to be
> "purer", closer to what a grammar claims to describe if it is called "A
> Grammar of X".

dh: Isn't this an example of passing judgement? Can we assume that there's
some pure form of each language `out there', to which some speakers
approximate more closely than others? That's not what my `intuitions' tell

> But are we really justified in this intuition?

dh: I don't think so.
Prof Richard Hudson                           Tel: +44 171 387 7050 ext 3152
                                             E-mail: r.hudson at
Dept. of Phonetics and Linguistics                     Tel: +44 171 380 7172
                                                       Fax: +44 171 383 4108
Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT

More information about the Funknet mailing list