Socioeconomic Status

MSNBC's Thomas Roberts Busts Out His Baltimore Accent

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In this video, a Maryland-born reporter gives an example of "Baltimorese," an accent of English found among many white working-class individuals in the Baltimore metropolitan area. This video also gives an example of language prejudice, as the reporter from Maryland expresses his own dislike for the accent, and the two other reporters mock the accent to some extent. Given that Baltimorese is a working-class accent, this prejudice against the language is likely a proxy for some prejudice against working class people.

Posted by Aidan Malanoski on February 28, 2018

Tags:
Baltimore English;
Socioeconomic Status;
Accent;
Stigma;
o fronting

The trouble with Trump's word choices

This is an opinion article on the interruption of President Trump's word choices. During the Presidential race, Trump used trouble words when referring to a community, based on their race or language. This article points out the various examples of Trump using trouble wording then explains how offensive he was being. [Published on 10-20-2016]

Ideologies and stereotypes of southern english

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Musician performs song explaining ideologies and stereotypes associated with the southern accent and the feelings some speakers have about it.

Posted by Andrew Clark on December 15, 2017

Tags:
Standard Language Ideology;
Southern English;
Socioeconomic Status

The Game-Spanglish

This is a song the is by the rapper, The Game, and the song is titled "Spanglish". Growing up in Compton, California, The Game was subjected to many interactions with gang members and other individuals; this includes many hispanics. I found it interesting that this song includes a good amount of mock spanish, which i relevant to our final paper. In the song, Game switch back and forth between spanish to english and describes his life growing up in Compton along with the love for his city. [Published on 07-25-2017]

Posted by Parker Johnson on July 25, 2017

Tags:
Spanish;
Mock Spanish;
Socioeconomic Status;
Slang

Racism In America (Satire)

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As we have thoroughly discussed Mock Spanish, along with language, race, ethnicity, the following YouTube video is a humorous play on racism in America. The Hispanic housemaid is faced with her racist boss as she's assumed to be a thief, an idiot, and not know English, simply because she is not a white American. It also highlights the tendencies to classify someone as not as intelligent simply because they do not fit the stereotype for where we are from. Again, this is a humorous spin on real life happenings that occur, many of which are oblivious to us.

Posted by Paa Imbeah on June 27, 2017

Tags:
Spanish;
Mock Spanish;
Race,Ethnicity;
Socioeconomic Status

Kroll Show - Rich Dicks - Dunch

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In this Kroll Show skit, Rich Dicks, Drunch, the two men, Wendy and Aspen, embellish their “rich” lifestyle by the purchasing a restaurant. They get the name of their restaurant by combining “dinner” and “lunch.” Customers who are are in the same socioeconomic community as them elongate words and use a higher pitched tone resulting in intonation after a statement. Additionally, they insert “r” in several words, like in Liam Nersen(Neeson),  carsh (cash), and hur (here), resulting in a /ar/, /ʌr/ or a hooked schwa sound. To differentiate the socioeconomic status between the characters, the chef in the skit does not follow the same language performance as Wendy and Aspen.

Outsiders' Views of English Speakers

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This video is one point of view of how non-native English speakers view English. The main point of the video was the focus on how English speakers are perceived based on gender roles, accents, and the cultural views of English speakers. The intonation from both the male and female actor show the gender roles of language. The girl tends to be speaking softly and gently while the boy is a little bit more outgoing in his speech. When they start to argue again the roles come into play with the girl's voice going higher in pitch and sharper in tone. The classic American type of accent is also prevalent in the blurry sentences that are spoken by either actors. The scene also played what one might call a normative view on American dinners between couples; low light, soft talking, homemade meal and then an argument. All of this just screamed stereotypical America.

Changing a National Language

This photo was taken in Chisinau, Moldova. The one on the left says, “Our Language” and the word Romania is handwritten below. The photo on the left says “I am Moldovan! I speak Moldovan!” Right now, Moldova is in a deep debate about the national language because of its several prevalent ethnic groups. Many people resent Russia and want the language eradicated, however there is still a significant number of Russian speakers. In addition, the recent change of the national language from Russian to Moldovan has sparked an entirely new challenge. Many want to be associated with Romania, become westernized, and speak Romanian. They argue that Moldovan and Romanian are simply dialectal differences. Others want to stay a part of Eastern Europe and retain their own specific national identity as Moldovan or Russian. The government recently changed all street signs, websites, and college classes to Moldovan, despite a large percentage of people unable to speak the language. Many people now associate Russian speakers with “the enemy” or of a lower status. This has alienated the non-Moldovan speakers and has caused immense political unrest.

Mitchell on Manners

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This is the first of a four part series exploring linguistic interactions surrounding manners and their culturally-defined meanings. The program describes how cultural norms determine what is considered polite or rude, such as what questions you can ask another person and how you should address people who are older or younger than you. Manners in Western Europe are explained to be standards set by the ruling and higher class members of society who sought to further establish their superiority over the lower classes, who couldn't afford eight different knives for a singular meal. The discussants also speak about a possible delineation between "etiquette" and "manners." The later portions of the program discuss expectations of social interaction, such as not constantly looking at one's phone while accompanied by another person and to ensure that there are no awkward pauses during a conversation.

Do You Speak American?

This is an article and analytical piece by Robert MacNeil, an employee of PBS since the 1980s. He talks about how moving to America and adopting American grammatical policies in order to work for television. [Published on 2005]

Why the DEA's embrace of Ebonics is lost in translation

There are many people who are upset that the DEA are hiring on individuals who are fluent in AAVE or Ebonics because they see this form of language as “broken” or a “bastardization of English.” What people don’t understand is that the DEA is doing this because it is important to have people who understand these vernaculars because of the discriminatory treatment of blacks in the criminal justice system. They want to better understand and present these types of people in their native language because of the constant misunderstandings of their words when law enforcement is involved. It is important for the DEA to have people on their teams who understand this time of vernacular so there is not discrimination or misunderstandings. [Published on 08-25-2010]

Posted by Mycal Scott on March 15, 2017

Tags:
African American English;
Socioeconomic Status

My Fair Lady - Why Can't The English?

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This song called "Why can't the English?" from the movie My Fair Lady. In this song Henry Higgins starts the song off by singing: "Look at her, a prisoner of the gutter, Condemned by every syllable she utters By right she should be taken out and hung, For the cold-blooded murder of the English tongue." referring to Hepburn. With this, followed by a lot of remarks that are similar in nature, he is implying very strongly that there is a Standard English language that should be spoken by all English people, and if anyone doesn't, "by right" they could be hung. He says most people are never "taught" and instead learn other stigmatized varieties of English and refers to these as murderers of the English tongue. He is in this way implying that there is a legitimate use of proper English language, and that is the standard variety that he speaks. therefore considering himself as a "better Englishman", and more educated, in this way making a social class distinction between him and the others. He is also implying that there should be unity of the nation as mentioned by Bourdieu in "The Production and Reproduction of Legitimate Language". Higgins refers to the English speaking people of England as Englishmen, but also mentions that non-standard speaking varieties are "painful to your ears" and is afraid they will never be able to get "one common language".

New Girl - Schmidt & Winston Crack Scene

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In this scene, Schmidt tries to help Winston stay true to himself, and Winston suggests they can do this by getting cocaine. Schmidt tries to accommodate Winston by going to a rougher neighborhood. Schmidt tries to fit into the situation at hand, albeit often unsuccessfully, but his linguistic style-shifting is most apparent as he tries to get the "drug dealer's" attention.

Posted by Logan Bannister on March 5, 2017

Tags:
Accommodation;
Style-shifting;
Race,Ethnicity;
Socioeconomic Status

Why Do People In Old Movies Talk Weird?

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The history of the transatlantic accent.

Posted by Nicole Niesen on February 28, 2017

Tags:
American English;
British English;
Socioeconomic Status;
Accent

President Obama's Anger Translator

President Obama gets an anger translator. This video is comedic twist to a typical presidential speech.

Karen from Will and Grace speaks in Mock Spanish

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In this clip from the sitcom Will and Grace, Karen speaks to her Hispanic maid/nanny in pseudo- Spanish on the phone. She uses terms like “store-o” in order to seem like she is speaking with Spanish endings. Karen then goes on to ask her friend will how to pronounce something in Spanish, and then continues to just say the English words. She even goes so far as to use Spanish words for “thank you” and “goodbye” but in the wrong context. She uses Spanish not as an actual way to communicate with a native Spanish speaker, but rather to as a way to completely disregard the syntax and morphology of another language.

Posted by Danielle Gibosn on October 15, 2016

Tags:
Standard Language Ideology;
Spanish;
Mock Spanish;
Socioeconomic Status

Mock Spanish in Scrubs

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Dr. Kelso uses mock spanish to belittle the idea of the nurses wanting a raise.

Posted by BreAnna Engeman on July 27, 2016

Tags:
Mock Spanish;
Gender;
Womens Language;
Race,Ethnicity;
Socioeconomic Status

Unapologetically Southern

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In this video, Chad Prather, a man who identifies himself as a Southern Gentleman. "Rants" in defense of his southern "accent" or dialect. Here we can see a man defending his own way of communication against attacks (in the form of social media messages and comments) from people who hold the language ideology that his accent proves that he is not intelligent.

Gender Has/Has Not Been Hijacked by White MiddleClass

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Portion of a very interesting debate at the Oxford Union regarding whether feminism has been hijacked by "white middle class" women. Engages so many topics,including race, poverty, feminism/gender politics.

Posted by Scott Russell on March 10, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Gender;
Socioeconomic Status;
Politics and Policy;
Sexism

The Ebonics Controversy in my Backyard

This article talks about Ebonics and Code-Switching, It explains what happened when the Ebonics controversy broke out.

Hooked on Ebonics

The article dives into several important concepts as they relate to the understanding of Ebonics. The author explains that there are rules and variety within Ebonics that demonstrate its value as a variety of English. The author also addresses that Ebonics is not just "a black thing" and that many whites, Hispanics and Asian Americans all engage in AAVE.

Nigerian Pidgin English accepted as unofficial second language

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A news story with examples of spoken NPE as well as cultural context for the shift in perception of the Creole Language.

Be Free

Rapper J. Cole uses his words to express the danger of African Americans and the struggle that they go through. He uses his words as symbols and powerful words to paint the picture of the pain.

Bernie Sanders' Accent

A description of Bernie Sanders' accent. Includes brief discussions of vowel-raising and vocalization of r in New York City English, as well as of terminal t enunciation, which is linked to Jewish dialects of English. The decline in New York City English usage over time and its usage as linked to socioeconomic status are also discussed (compare with Labov, William. 1972. Language in the Inner City.; and Mathers, Patrick-André. 2012. The social stratification of /r/ in New York City: Labov's department store study revisited). [Published on 02-18-2016]

Baltimore Barbie

An SNL skit profiling "Sturdy Barbie," a contender for the new line of Barbies with a working-class, Baltimore accent and persona. [Published on 02-08-2016]

Posted by Kara Becker on February 10, 2016

Tags:
Baltimore English;
Socioeconomic Status

Middle-Class Black Families, in Low Income Neighborhoods

An article on racial disparities in the U.S. and how the white middle-class tend to live in safer and wealthier neighborhoods than blacks of the same income and social class. Also white middle-class families have higher average net worth than black middle-class families. This data is mentioned in the 2015 paper by Britt, Erica, and Tracy Weldon on AAE in the middle-class. [Published on 06-24-2015]

Posted by Ellery Sloane-Barton on November 16, 2015

Tags:
African American English;
Race,Ethnicity;
Socioeconomic Status

Extremely British

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A satirical trailer mocking the apparent incomprehensibility of UK English varieties, notably, those featured in crime dramas for US viewers (possibly aiming toward Cockney). A claim by a film critic, "Extremely British" and USA Today reports, "I don't think I heard a single consonant." Intro ling, intro phonetics classes loved it.

Posted by Andrea Kortenhoven on October 30, 2015

Tags:
Indexicality;
Cockney English;
Variation;
Socioeconomic Status;
Slang

Problems with Labov's Department Store Study

This comic plays with a potential problem in Labov's department store RA study.

Thug Kitchen: Literary Blackface

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"Now, the Hollywood couple behind online blog turned vegan cookbook are in the limelight for a clumsily adopted, expletive-charged “thug” persona reminiscent of hypermasculine Black men. Thug is a heavily loaded word and while it is not explicitly synonymous with African Americans, it recently adopted new meaning and performs as a colloquial version of the n word. Did I mention the founders of Thug Kitchen are white? Yes, white. The authors kept their identities anonymous for quite some time." -http://www.forharriet.com/2014/10/dear-creators-of-thug-kitchen-stop.html#axzz3S8EWrMRn

Posted by Katie Farr on February 18, 2015

Tags:
Power;
Race,Ethnicity;
Socioeconomic Status;
Stigma

Baltimore Accent Discussion: Crabs for Christmas

An NPR tidbit about a Christmas musical that takes its charm from its use of the Baltimore accent. There's some nice discussion of what is indexed by the variety. [Published on 12-24-2014]

Posted by Allesandra Geffen on December 24, 2014

Tags:
Baltimore English;
Socioeconomic Status;
o fronting

Using the Vernacular to Teach the Standard

Text from a 1998 talk by linguist John Rickford, which presents data on the failure of schools to teach SAE when they ignore the vernacular, and demonstrates how a knowledge of the grammar of AAE is important for teaching speakers of it. Factors in class. [Published on 03-25-1998]

"This is her, right?" "This is me, right?"

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Catherine Tate as teen Londoner Lauren, performing the quotative "this is + SPEAKER" among other features associated with urban young Londoners of low socio-economic class.

Posted by Amelia Wolf on December 1, 2014

Tags:
Youth;
Socioeconomic Status;
Slang

Black South African English 2

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This variety of Black South African English is notable (especially in comparison to the BSAE speaking security guard) for its more Cultivated style--which makes sense in context because the advertisement is for a South African university and therefore indicative of a higher socioeconomic class and exposure to the standard.

Posted by Manon Gilmore on November 12, 2014

Tags:
South African English;
Race,Ethnicity;
Socioeconomic Status

Australian Zoo Tour with Steve Irwin

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Steve Irwin's Australian English is considered "broad."

Posted by Kara Becker on November 11, 2014

Tags:
Australian English;
Socioeconomic Status

Julia Gillard's voice

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A discussion of Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard's speech, which has been criticized as sounding too "broad" or lower-class.

Posted by Kara Becker on November 10, 2014

Tags:
Australian English;
Socioeconomic Status;
Stigma

Estuary English

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A young man living in Portland, Oregon who uses a variety of southeastern British English that some scholars refer to as Estuary English.

Posted by Kara Becker on November 10, 2014

Tags:
British English;
Estuary English;
Socioeconomic Status

NY TImes: Quality of words, not quantity, is crucial to language skills

Recent research debunks the notion that the so-called "word gap" between poor and affluent American children is related to the quantity of words young children hear at home. Instead, it's the quality of linguistic interaction that plays a role. [Published on 10-16-2014]

Posted by Kara Becker on October 17, 2014

Tags:
Acquisition;
Socioeconomic Status

Stereotypes of Variation within a Creole (TCE)

A non-Linguist self reflects on attending her "prestige" secondary school in Trinidad, noting auditory intonational and lexical differences that marks these girls. They also tend to speak closer to the (acrolectal) "Standard," marked as the more educated (prestige) style of discourse. [Published on 07-19-2010]

Posted by Genevieve Medow-Jenkins on October 3, 2014

Tags:
Socioeconomic Status;
Communities of Practice;
Pitch

Is Learning a Foreign Language Really Worth It?

This is a Freakonomics podcast on the economic worth of learning a foreign language, addressing the "return on investment" of language learning (or, will all of those hours you spent in Spanish class really help you financially in the future?). Of particular interest are sections from 0:58-4:00, which poses the question to be addressed in the podcast, and has a few nice examples of ideologies about language learning and bilingualism from (probably wealthy, upperclass) kids, and 13:10-18:23, which reveals the actual monetary value of language learning. It is important to note that this podcast is mainly from the perspective of a native English speaker learning a foreign language, although native speakers of other languages learning English are mentioned towards the end.

Posted by Helen Seay on September 9, 2014

Tags:
Ideology;
Socioeconomic Status;
Education;
Acquisition

American Tongues: New Orleans

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A clip from the documentary American Tongues featuring speakers of New Orleans English, who discuss being judged for sounding uneducated. "If you keep your mouth shut you'd be perfect."

Posted by Kara Becker on September 1, 2014

Tags:
New Orleans English;
Socioeconomic Status;
Stigma

American Tongues: Linguistic Insecurity

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A clip from the documentary American Tongues profiling speakers with linguistic insecurity, including a speaker from Brooklyn who takes accent reduction classes to reduce her New York City accent.

American Tongues: Tough Guy from Boston's North End

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An excerpt from the documentary American Tongues profiling speakers from the North End of Boston.

Dark-skinned and plus-sized: the real Rachel Jeantel story

Report on how the defence lawyer in trial of Trayvon Martin's killer tried to make Martin's girlfriend's testimony sound less convincing by discrediting her and her non-standard English.

Academics "Talk Posh" to Protect Their Careers

A 2013 sociology study in Britain found that academics play down their regional accents for fear of judgment as well as career roadblocks.

Posted by Kara Becker on April 4, 2013

Tags:
British English;
Socioeconomic Status;
Accent

Michael Caine: An Accent that Broke Class Barriers

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A 2009 Times Talks interview with actor Michael Caine, who is a native speaker of Cockney English

SNL: Superfans

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The Saturday Night Live skit "Superfans," which spoofs working-class male Chicagoans and their Northern Cities Shifts.

Jeff Foxworthy's "redneck" definitions

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Jeff Foxworthy provides Rachel Ray with some "redneck" definitions and illustrates his Southern dialect - he's from Atlanta, Georgia.

(r) in New York City English

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The classic graph from Labov (1966) showing stratification by socioeconomic class and speaker style for coda r vocalization in New York City English