Sounds like Greek to me

Damien Hall djh514 at
Fri Dec 12 09:46:49 UTC 2008

Robert asked about linguists' work on folk perceptions of foreign 
languages. Miriam said:

> I believe that Dennis Preston has done substantial work on 'folk 
> linguistics.'

He has indeed, but as far as I'm aware all his work under that rubric has 
been on American dialectology: eg the words that people use to describe 
others' dialects ('nasal', 'Southern twang', etc), and the fact that 
listeners are able to place American accents on a North-South continuum 
with a remarkable degree of precision (when played sentences spoken by ten 
speakers, given a map with a North-South line of ten places on it, and 
asked to match speaker with place). I'm not aware of any work Dennis has 
done on folk perceptions of foreign languages, though that, of course, 
doesn't mean to say that he hasn't done any!

Nevertheless, the question sounds like one that people in educational 
linguistics might well have some tips on. There's a list you cuold ask, 
accessible here:

All the best


Damien Hall

University of York
Department of Language and Linguistic Science
York YO10 5DD

Tel. (office) 01904 432665
     (mobile) 0771 853 5634
Fax  01904 432673

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list