[lg policy] Fwd: [LINGANTH] Hating one's own speech

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at GMAIL.COM
Fri May 17 19:03:17 UTC 2013

Re:  linguistic insecurity

 Forwarded From:  LINGANTH at listserv.linguistlist.org

This isn't research per se, but if you watch the film American Tongues
(from the 80s but still quite good), there is one explicit example of
"linguistic insecurity" (nice term, Galey, copyright it now!). In it, a
white woman feels inferior due to her Brooklyn accent; she goes through
speech training (to speech pathologist, Dennis Becker)  to “correct” her
pronunciation. In a lighter scene, a group of young women from New Orleans
claim they could attract men more easily if they didn’t speak with their

There is also a scene where a woman describes ending a relationship with
Yale graduate because as they drove south toward his home in Georgia (to
meet his parents), he suddenly began using what she called “hillbilly
talk.” By the time they reached his hometown, she got a flight back to New
Haven. She says something like, "I didn't want all those southern babies
growing inside of me with their 'you alls'.



 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com

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