language variation in the mainstream press

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Dec 6 01:00:51 UTC 2002

>I tell my students that this prejudice will change as power and money move
>southward, as they now are.  Four presidents since LBJ have been from the
>South, and no one considers them dumb (well, maybe excepting the present
>one...), and the two recent midwestern presidents, Truman and Eisenhower,
>didn't talk like the Eastern elite by any means.  Congressional, corporate,
>and even media leaders are increasingly from the South and Southwest.  So
>patience--as Labov concluded a talk he gave a few years ago at SECOL, the
>South shall rise again!
Speaking of Labov, there was a pretty good article in today's Times
(front page of section B) covering work by Ricardo Otheguy and other
sociolinguists on variation in the form and distribution of Spanish
pronoun forms among New York Latinos.  It mentions Labov's
dissertation research on "fourth floor" in NYC department stores and
in general struck me as well written, despite its references to "the
notorious...Noo Yawkese".  The writer, Janny Scott, isn't someone I
recall reading anything by in the past, but I found this one pretty


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