dialect acquisition

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Fri Jul 13 20:34:58 UTC 2001

Pit Corder suggested that our perceptions of language distance and
comparative difficulty affect L2 learning more than "real" differences do,
and J. Schachter, Jordens, Kellerman, and other early critics of the
classic Contrastive Analysis hypothesis added that perceptions of closeness
might delude learners into assuming an L2 would be no problem (Sue Gass
will have all these refs close "to hand," I'm sure).  But I have on my
shelf an old volume edited by Abrahams and Troike (our own) which includes
a couple of articles connecting this idea to second dialect acquisition as
well.  Muriel Saville-Troike and Virginia Allen discuss the implications of
teachers' thinking two dialects are so similar that no contrastive work
needs to be done; as they note, the fault is in the teachers, not the
kids.  And of course Labov has said the same thing with regard to teaching
African American kids to read--they speak English, after all, so what's the

At 10:49 AM 7/13/01 -0400, you wrote:
>The notion that very closely related languages or even dialects of
>the same language are, in some respects, more difficult to learn than
>"another language" is an oft informally referred to notion among us.
>(I am guilty.) Does anyone have any references for this claim? Either
>ones which simply make it or (better of course) ones which have done
>some empirical work on the question.
>Dennis R. Preston
>Department of Linguistics and Languages
>Michigan State University
>East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
>preston at pilot.msu.edu
>Office: (517)353-0740
>Fax: (517)432-2736

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

More information about the Ads-l mailing list