printability and standardization

Margaret Ronkin ronkinm at
Sun Jan 11 22:11:45 UTC 2004

Below is another terrific reading (though not on American English and already noted on this list).

Regarding the two statements "It was the Black
community across the country who rose up in protest at having AAVE imposed on them"--Yes, this experience has paralyzed some of the earlier AAVE scholars ...


"you can give them all the linguistic information you want and it is not going to help"--Please see recent and empowering empowering work on Ebonics by Stanford linguists John Rickford and John Baugh ...

Talking Proper: The Rise of Accent as Social Symbol
Lynda Mugglestone, University of Oxford
Hardback , 0-19-925061-8, 362 pages, 6 halftones and 1 figure, 234mm x 156mm , £35.00, AE
Publication date: 20
February 2003
'What Talking Proper
does very well is to trace the process by which spoken Engish came to incorporate the view that a particular way of pronouncing it was superior to
any other and should be recognised as the phonetic standard.'
-John Sturrock, London Review of Books
'a fascinating and authoritative insight into the rise (and fall?) of RP with a valuable, wide-ranging
collection of well-researched data that is always clearly and carefully presented.'
-Linguist List


Talking Proper is a history of the rise and fall of the English accent as a badge of cultural, social, and class  identity. Lynda Mugglestone traces the origins of the phenomenon in late eighteenth-century London, follows its history through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and charts its downfall
during the era of New Labour. This is a witty, readable account of a fascinating subject, liberally spiced with quotations from English speech and writing over the past 250 years.
> -----
> --Maggie
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Ronald Kephart <rkephart at>
> Date: Sunday, January 11, 2004 4:15 pm
> Subject: RE: printability and standardization
> > At 11:02 AM -0600 1/10/04, Felicia Briscoe wrote:
> >
> > >...There also seems to be an underlying assumption in much of
> the
> > >recent writing that
> > >bilingualism is either very difficult to attain or that it is
> > >someway is detrimental to the person who is bilingual.  I find
> > this
> > >a very strange assumption. Why can't a person be fully literate
> > in
> > >AAVE and fully literate in standard English.  Why is it so
> often
> > >posed as an either/or option?
> >
> > I think part of the answer lies in what anthropological linguist
> > MJ
> > Hardman calls our linguistic postulates: specifically, the
> > importance
> > of singularity. This manifests itself in all sorts of ways not
> > only
> > within our language but also how we think about language, as
> well
> > as
> > more widely: one "right" answer, one god, preference for
> > individual
> > over collective work, "most valuable players," the totalitarian
> > nature of our corporations, even the prescriptive insistence on
> > "he"
> > rather than "they" as a generic pronoun. And of course, "one
> > language."
> >
> > See: Hardman, 1978, Linguistic postulates and applied
> > anthropological
> > linguistics, in Papers on linguistics and child language, edited
> > by
> > V. Honsa and M.J. Hardman-de-Bautista, 117-36. The Hague: Mouton.
> >
> > --
> > Ronald Kephart
> > Sociology, Anthropology, & Criminal Justice
> > University of North Florida
> >

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