CLIK/CLEEK & NATIVE SPEAKER [was "FAG one last time"]

Frank Abate abatefr at EARTHLINK.NET
Wed Mar 14 16:57:02 UTC 2001

The word "clique" comes up quite often in discussion of social groups of
adolescents, in schools, etc.  I have heard the word pronounced in this
context many times, from young and old, and it is generally pronounced the
same as "click".

On a different note, and in response to Tom Paikeday, I respect Tom's views
expressed in "The Native Speaker Is Dead", etc., and think he has shed light
on this important issue, frequently alluded to (without comment) in
lexicographic and linguistic circles.  I personally think that there are
areas in which native speaker intuition and experience is a real thing, and
is thus valuable and informative.  By "native speaker" I mean someone using
their first language, the first one learned as a child, especially one
learned prior to the beginning of schooling.  (Some people actually learn
more than one in childhood, but I consider that exceptional.)

It is also true that "non-native speakers" have a perspective that is of
great value to lexicography.  In English, it is well known that "non-native
speakers" are often far better at detecting idiomatic expressions than
"native speakers".  There are a number of Japanese dictionaries of English
idioms, for instance, which have been real eye-openers for me as to what
seems unclear to someone learning English as a second/later language.
Native speakers use English idioms, and use idiomatic English, often without
realizing that they are using words metaphorically, playfully, or whatever.

If this starts a thread on areas in which "native speakers" may be different
from "non-native", so be it.

Frank Abate

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