A favorite scene from Jaws. I feel like this is a really interesting example of indexicality. Brody and Ellen are clearly aware of (r)-0 in coda position, though they probably wouldn't call it that, and they seem to have some idea of what it indexes and joke about that with each other.
British Royal is speaking like an American????? [Published on 04-21-2022]
Wharr I do?Play video
The speaker in this video is replacing a string of two alveolar stops /t/ and /d/ divided by an unstressed vowel /ɪ/ with an alveolar trill [r]. This is a very interesting example of how new, ostensibly difficult to pronounce sounds can be introduced to a language.
People Explaining the Accents Present in their Home StatePlay video
A person from each US state explains their interpretation(s) of the accent(s) present in their state.
Rep. John Lewis’ Speech at March on Washington 1963Play video
A speech given by Rep. John Lewis at the March on Washington in 1963.
Fred Armisen Does Every North American AccentPlay video
Comedian Fred Armisen gives us his take on the regional accents of the US, with brief descriptions of the differences between them.
FBI Profiler Says Linguistic Work Was Pivotal In Capture Of Unabomber [Published on 08-22-2017]
This article notes terms and pronunciations of certain words that seem to contribute to the establishment of Portland as a distinct speech community. Imus used data from the Harvard Dialect Study, as well as conversations with native, longtime, and newly arrived Oregonians to gather information about the terms included in their article. Kitty-corner, filberts, and the distinction between grocery and grocery store were a few terms on the list that stood out to me. [Published on 10-18-2016]
This Tik Tok is a joke about how Americans respond to thanks with Acknowledgments like "Yep." According to the creator, it's not as a common in Britain, and it might even be seen as a little rude.
Where's My Juul??Play video
Singer Lil' Mariko parodies the "SoCal girl" dialect of English in the song "Where's My Juul??", featuring a lot of u-fronting in the words "juul" and "cool." WARNING for loud volume, profanity, guns, and descriptions of violence in the lyrics.
Accent Expert Gives a Tour of U.S. Accents - (Part One)Play video
"Dialect coach Erik Singer takes us on a tour of different accents across English-speaking North America. Erik and a host of other linguists and language experts (Dr. Nicole Holliday, Dr. Megan Figuero, Sunn m’Cheaux, & Kalina Newmark), take a look at some of the most interesting and distinct accents around the country." This video is the first of two (as of 2/18/2021) that discuss accents in various areas of the United States. It explores some specific features of the accents, such as phonetic production and prosody, as well as they came to differ from other accents in the region.
Researchers at U. Birmingham analyzed almost 1 billion twitter posts in English to find new and common emerging words in the English language.
World of dave: Guessing Konglish words.Play video
Dave, an American Youtuber who lives in Korean uses his youtube channel to teach Korean to English speakers and English to Koreans. In this video, his brother is visiting and he makes him guess the meaning of Konglish words. Konglish words, as you might be able to guess by the name, English words only used in Korean, but not really. It is a bit of a slang language as most Konglish words are spoken an American accent but are not the same words used in American English. The Koreans made their own words based on the properties of the item, idea or place. Some words are also based on American slang terms, such as sum, this is based on the slang for "something" which means there is a relationship between two people that are not an official couple.
English ConundrumsPlay video
This is a clip from an "I Love Lucy" episode in which a foreign man is having troubles with some English words. It is interesting, because it points out the several different ways one can say -ough. In my opinion, this is a great example why English is considered one of the more difficult languages to learn as a second language.
American Accent ImmitationsPlay video
This video depicts 70 non-Americans doing their best impression of an American "accent". I find this video interesting because there are so many different dialects of English and numerous other languages spoken in America, but the impressions all tend to be pretty similar, depicting Americans as ditzy, uneducated, improper, etc. This relates to language ideologies and how people outside of America perceive and have certain opinions about how all Americans tend to speak.
Deborah Tannen: Gender-specific language ritualsPlay video
This is video talk about gender specific language rituals. There are huge differences speaking ways between boys and girls. In this video, Deborah Tannen gives some interesting examples about boy's conversation and girl's conversation. It is very interesting to find the difference.
A an exhange between a cashier and a customerPlay video
This short animation created by Jack Stauber is a perfect example of a mismatch in ideology and practice between the cashier and customer. The cashier sees the customer approach his register and he asks him if he found everything he was looking for. The customer responded with "good". This response shows that the customer has been exposed to so many situations with cashiers asking him how he was that he ended up producing an automatic response. After the incorrect response the cashier and customer stare at each other in silence. This shows the dysfunction of their short conversation.
Dave/Erina trying Super Spicy Yeobki TteokbokkiPlay video
In this video Dave (the man) and Erina (the woman) are trying a super spicy Korean rice cake dish. In the video both are using Korean, neither being their native languages, but through the experience of eating the food we see an instance of code-switching from both parties due to the spiciness; Erina to Japanese, and Dave to English.
Ed Sheeran tries American AccentsPlay video
In this video, British singer Ed Sheeran is asked by a fan during a Q&A session to do his best "American Accent". He goes on to say that he can do three different ones, starting with the "Valley Girl from California" one, then moving to the "Regular" one and ending with the "Southern Draw" one. Since English is obviously one language in and of itself, but different English speaking countries have different accents. For example, Ed has a British English accent. But there are also Australian English accents, Irish English accents, and so on. There are different accents for different parts of the world, but there are also sub-accents in different parts of the same country, as shown here by Mr. Sheeran.
Martin Impersonates Daphne (Frasier)Play video
A scene from the show Frasier which showcases Martin Crane teasing Daphne Moon's English Accent. I see a two linguistic-anthropology elements in the scene. First, by code-switching dialect during the interaction he is drawing attention to the fact that Daphne is not American. What this accomplishes is up for debate given that the two are friends and that the interaction was not hostile in nature. I'm guessing that the impression may mildly suggest that the two are not on equal footing; one is a "native" while the other isn't. This may work in elevating Martin's position in the argument. Second, Martin mentions how Daphne is always complaining about what to do with her hair. Here he is indexing a gender identity that might conflict with his own. In the reading I came across portions that relate language use as a form of identity expression and so while Daphne was being expressive of her female identity Martin, annoyed by her, replied with an antagonistic male critique of her speech.
British English vs. American EnglishPlay video
This video depicts a great example of how language ideology plays a role in how you learn to speak and what sounds “natural” to you whether it be “correct” or not. I think this simple example with two different styles of the same language proves the bigger issue of trying to understand how words can or cannot directly translate in two different languages and how some things that are normal in one language can be offensive in other languages, I think it all has to do with ideology and how your society molds the way that you speak and what is viewed as correct in your community.
Keye & Peele - Text Message ConfusionPlay video
This comedy skit, called “Text Message Confusion”, shows the potential pitfalls of non-verbal communication. Text communication can lack tone and lead to confusion. This skit showcases two friends texting back and forth about evening plans. Though they are reading the same messages, the context (the person’s overall mood) for each friend is different. One is relaxed and the other is on edge, leading to two very different interpretations of the same written words.
Weird Ways People TalkPlay video
This video entitled, "Weird Ways People Talk," attempts at humor by mocking several different North American dialects of English. In so much that he can faithfully articulate English off the standard variant, he creates a divide between certain mocked groups and raises the so-called standard on a pedestal. In a similar light to mock-Spanish, these variants he mimics can be the origins of stereotypically thought.
A box for a chocolate lava cake from Domino's Pizza which refers to French as "fancy-speak" which relates to our discussion of language ideologies. [Published on 03-15-2017]
Why Do People In Old Movies Talk Weird?Play video
The history of the transatlantic accent.
He is Mi and I am YuPlay video
This is a clip from the movie Rush Hour 3 where Agent Carter is confused because of translations between Chinese and English. This clip touches issues on multilinguistic practices, translation, communication barriers, and so on. Because of the differences Agent Carter was getting frustrated making the situation worse.
This is a clip from Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm. Larry David corrects Richard Lewis' speech. Richard says, "in their private homes," and Larry corrects him with , "the privacy of their homes?" Larry David's correction displays language ideology because there was no misunderstanding, he was just being, as Richard Lewis points out, "an English language cop." Then, Larry notes that Richard utters the word "collapse" in the same way he does. It makes sense that these two would speak with the same dialect or accent since they are lifelong friends and both from New York City. When this is brought to Richard's attention, he denies sharing this with Larry and pronounces "collapse" according to Standard American English. [Published on 01-05-2015]
British People Attempting Their Best American AccentPlay video
In this video we have people on the streets of Great Britain trying to do their best American accents. The accents revolved around "Southern," "Californian/Surfer," and "Hyper-Metropolitan" accents. The words included by those speaking generally reflected stereotypes involving surfing and smoking weed (for the Californian/Surfer), eating cheeseburgers, shopping, and gossip (Hyper-Metropolitan), and drinking beer and shooting guns (Southern). The participants were not asked to do a specific kind of "American accent," either, they merely did an accent that they deemed to be what is "the American accent." How Americans are perceived by these participants was evident in their style of speech and words chosen to reflect typical American conversation along; one could also possibly argue that this reflects that some British people group all of the American identities into one conglomerate identity which they deem to be wholly "American." Thinking about this more outside of the video, I feel that this could be true in terms of how Americans think of other cultures as well, like how Americans think of the British identities.
The Author, a U.K. native moves to the United States. She attempts to make cookies with her child and learns, due cultural disconnect in wordage, she is actually making biscuits. [Published on 10-13-2011]
Cespedes receives Home Run Derby trophyPlay video
Pedro Gomez, an American born reporter translates for Spanish speaking MLB players. This specific example is at the 2014 Home Run Derby where Gomez translates for Yoenis Cespedes.
A look at Rey's accent in "The Force Awakens" as a clue to her identity and parentage. Includes a discussion of style-shifting in the Star Wars universe as being representative of intersentential Code-Switching, as well as a discussion of what different codes are (generally) used to index. [Published on 12-23-2015]
American's Don't Understand EnglishPlay video
This video is mostly silly and not serious, but it still relates to the concept of essentialism in that the guy is suggesting that a lot of the lexical differences between British and American English are due to Americans' inherently inferior intelligence.
This article gives insight onto why only being able to speak English, as is common to a majority of American's, is not a good thing. This article expresses how, as American's we should strive to learn other languages instead of expecting others to know ours. [Published on 03-19-2014]
A detailed map of how American accents are changing.
Mapping How Americans Talk - Soda vs. Pop vs. CokePlay video
This video shows the numerous dialects found in and around America. The video also shows us that despite speaking the same language, we can have multiple different words to describe a single product or object.
Dating a LatinaPlay video
Dating a Latina: Perception vs Reality. This video is funny, some may be able to relate to it. This video exhibits Spanish, American English, and Code Switching.
David Foster Wallace reviews 'A Dictionary of Modern American Usage'. In so doing, Wallace explores how language rules are developed and on what authority they are created. Near the end he tells a story about trying to convince students to write in what he calls SWE "Standard Written English" or "Standard White English". [Published on 04-01-2001]
Mark Peters discusses how the word unicorn is beginning to be used to describe unique, desirable and highly unattainable business goals. He also discusses the appeal of other similar terms such as just bump, couch surfing, and cyberbully. [Published on 02-21-2016]
This NPR article addresses the linguistic practices of code switching and how prevalent it is in today's society. NPR's approach is not as true to the linguistic anthropologist term because it looks at different linguistic practices and behaviors of individuals when interacting with different groups or in different settings. It looks at at broader range than just the mixture of two different languages.
A Starbucks Barista initially trying to take an order in English then code-switching to ASL to communicate. This video also includes specific language used only in Starbucks, for example the sizes of the orders. [Published on 11-04-2015]
A segment on NPR's The Takeaway looking at the use of regional features by politicians, particularly the positive associations from these accents that may serve a politician's goal of connecting with constituents. [Published on 10-26-2015]
A Spanish/English bilingual newscaster on an Arizona TV station is criticized for her pronunciation and use of Spanish. She wonderfully says, "change can be hard, but it's normal." [Published on 09-03-2015]
An episode of Fresh Air with sociolinguist Penny Eckert, in part a response to a recent episode of Fresh Air with a speech pathologist who criticized features used by young people in American English. [Published on 07-23-2015]
An episode of Fresh Air, profiling a filmmaker who made a documentary about sounding gay, as well as an interview with a speech pathologist who makes a number of troubling comments about features of youth language, including high rising terminals, creaky voice, and discourse markers. [Published on 07-05-2015]
A description of some forms of internet language and how the contribute to change in American English. [Published on 05-04-2015]
This is just a short article that looks at the inevitability of language change. Although it mostly talks about neutralization, I feel as though other processes and possible future developments are left out in a way that makes it more sensational for the average reader, especially New Yorkers. [Published on 02-02-2015]
New York TImes coverage of the American Dialect Society's Word of the Year vote, in which the first ever hashtag, #blacklivesmatter, was selected as the Word of 2014. [Published on 01-16-2015]
A Grammar Girl post that summarizes Alex D'arcy's research on the discourse functions of like. [Published on 12-05-2014]
An interactive piece on use of the n-word in contemporary American English, with interviews from varying perspectives and on varying aspects of the term's use, including in- vs. out-group usage, reclamation, and its use in hip hop culture. [Published on 11-10-2014]
A Slate guest post by linguist Anne H. Charity Hudley addressing issues of language discrimination in U.S. schools based on the use of nonstandard varieties and features. She argues in favor of embracing language diversity in the classroom. [Published on 10-14-2014]
Slate.com's version of Joe Fruehwald's objections to the Gawker tournament where voters select "America's Ugliest Accent." [Published on 10-02-2014]
Nefertiti Menoe: Speaking WhitePlay video
A video by artist Nefertiti Menoe on the criticism of minority speakers as 'speaking white.' She disagrees with this characterization, saying "having proper diction doesn't belong to the Caucasian race." The video sparked the long-time debate over accusations of speaking 'white' in the U.S.
Sociolinguistic Josef Fruehwald responds to the Gawker "Ugliest Accent" tournament, highlighting the use of language as a proxy for discrimination against speakers from various social and geographic groups. [Published on 10-01-2014]
American Tongues: Tough Guy from Boston's North EndPlay video
An excerpt from the documentary American Tongues profiling speakers from the North End of Boston.
American Tongues: The Odd Accent of Tangier, VAPlay video
An excerpt from the documentary American Tongues on the variety of English spoken on Tangier Island, Virginia.
When Ordering Speak English(Enlarge image)
States with English-Only Legislation(Enlarge image)
James Crawford's map from 2003 showing those states that have adopted English-Only legislation.
The official website of U.S. English, the oldest citizen's action group dedicated to making English the official language of the United States.
Lauren Squires provides a linguist's perspective on Weird Al's spoof "Word Crimes," with practical suggestions for how teachers might use the video to teach important lessons about prescriptivism. [Published on 07-17-2014]
An Atlantic article summarizing the study of Anderson et al that concluded that use of creaky voice makes women less hireable. [Published on 05-29-2014]
A critique of the Anderson et al. study that found that females using creaky voice were judged less desirable. The author points out that the matched guise approach involved speakers who were taught to produce more creaky guises, so that the creak is an imitation. Further, the creaky utterances were longer and had lower pitch, raising questions about what listeners were reacting to. [Published on 06-06-2014]
The Washington Post reports a research study that found that women who used creaky voice were judged by listeners to be less competent, less educated, less trustworthy, less attractive, and less hireable. The research team concludes that speakers should "should undertake conscious effort to avoid vocal fry in labor market settings." [Published on 06-02-2014]
Sociolinguist Anne H. Charity Hudley discusses the linguistic legacy of Dr. Maya Angelou. Although Angelou spoke out against the legitimacy of African American English during the Ebonics Controversy in the late 1990s, Charity Hudley points out her use of many features of AAE, from morphosyntax to discourse. [Published on 05-29-2014]
the various stances that a hashtag can convey, including distance, solidarity, and sarcasm
An article that describes the evolution of "office speak" or business jargon, in American English, across the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. [Published on 04-24-2014]
Most of the questions used in this quiz are based on those in the Harvard Dialect Survey, a linguistics project begun in 2002 by Bert Vaux and Scott Golder. The original questions and results for that survey can be found on Dr. Vaux's current website. The data for the quiz and maps shown here come from over 350,000 survey responses collected from August to October 2013 by Josh Katz, a graphics editor for the New York Times who developed this quiz. The colors on the large heat map correspond to the probability that a randomly selected person in that location would respond to a randomly selected survey question the same way that you did. The three smaller maps show which answer most contributed to those cities being named the most (or least) similar to you." I thought of this when we were talking about conceptions of American dialects.
A 2013 Portland Monthly article on recent research that the California Vowel Shift is used in Oregon English.
The Atlantic compiled audio recordings from the Harvard Dialect Survey and the maps of Jonathan Katz from the same dataset into a video.
An article including a video with Phillip Carter on his research on Miami English
A 2013 article on nj.com reporting that the Jersey accent is one of the top five "sexiest" accents, according to a survey on cupid.com
Insect Triggers Dramatic Code SwitchPlay video
An African-American news reporter shifts from a very standard style into a considerably more vernacular one when a bug flies into his mouth.
Like, You KnowPlay video
A performance from poet Taylor Mali entitled "Like, you know" that comments on the use of a number of features of youth language.
A 2013 article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Teaching Tolerance" publication about addressing linguistic diversity in the classroom.
A 2013 Buzzfeed list of a number of regionally distinguished lexical items, including pop and soda, sub and its variants, tennis shoes and sneakers, and more.
A 2013 Slate article about the continuing trend for British pop singers to adopt American pronunciation when singing, including the use of /r/ vocalization. Peter Trudgill's work on the Beatles is cited.
A 2013 piece on Iowa Public Radio on North American English dialects.
American Talk: The cast of Harry PotterPlay video
The cast of Harry Potter read phrases related to American culture in their best American accents
American Tongues: LexiconPlay video
A segment from American Tongues highlighting lexical variation in American English.
NewsHour: English as an Official LanguagePlay video
A 2007 segment from NewsHour with Carmen Fought and someone from U.S English debating the proposal to make English the official language of the United States.
Discussion of increasing popularity of British vernacular in American English.
This website "translates" any web page into a variety of "dialects:" Redneck, Jive, Cockney, Elmer Fudd, Swedish Chef, Moron, Pig Latin, and Hacker.
Diction Coach: Singin' in the RainPlay video
A scene from the 1952 musical Singin' in the Rain, with a diction coach working on a particularly tense short-a before nasals
A short quiz that identifies your American accent, using criteria like low-back merger, pin-pen merger, and the Mary-merry-marry distinction.
Landover Baptist Church's post that promotes the stigmatization of how some gay men speak.
How to speak with an American AccentPlay video
A commercial advertising accent reduction services designed to enhance speakers' American accents.
KFC Double DownPlay video
A 2010 Kentucky Fried Chicken commercial where men speaking with (synthesized) higher mean pitch are "masculinized" by eating the Double Down sandwich.
Generic Names for Soft Drinks(Enlarge image)
Map created in 2004 showing the distribution of pop, soda, and coke in the United States.
Fair Housing PSAPlay video
PSA highlighting linguistic discrimination.
Eddie Izzard on Being BilingualPlay video
Eddie Izzard stand-up about British English vs. American English and the tendency of monolingualism in native English speakers.