Communities of Practice

Rethinking Grammar: How We Talk

We as people judge the way that others speak, we assume intelligence based on the way that people speak. African American Vernacular tends to be associated with not being very smart [Published on 10-21-2015]

Workplace Norms Conveyed Through Rap

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The Office is a popular show on NBC from which we can apply linguistic concepts to. In this short clip Dwight and Michael compose a rap for new members of the office that have relocated from another geographical area. This rap is used to introduce the new hires to the social workplace norms that typically take place at Dunder Mifflin. Dwight and Michael utilize rap and rhyming to make the song seem more comical and appealing to the individuals they have never met before. They also try hard to make their office seem "cool" and "inviting."

Posted by Sydney Chappell on June 30, 2018

Tags:
Style-shifting;
Communities of Practice;
Hip Hop Nation;
Slang

Patterns behind color names around the world

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Berlin and Kay did a study in 1969 comparing the ways people of different native languages recognized and categorized colors. Some, like russian had words for as many as 12 color categories, while some had as few as 4. They came up with the hypothesis that they are derived in a certain order across languages, Black and white, red, green/yellow, blue, brown, then the rest. There are criticisms in this study as the sample size was small and all participants, while native speakers of a variety of languages, were bilingual english speakers. Sometimes words for color categories can come as a noun resembling the color, eg tree sap-like, ocean like. We also do this in english to describe more specific colors like the entire pantone spectrum; seafoam green, lava orange, blood red. Upon review the same researchers re-checked their methodology with more languages including unwritten ones, and a larger sample size.

Posted by Andrew Hutchens on June 29, 2018

Tags:
Language Shift;
Communities of Practice;
Linguistic Relativity

How Language Shapes the Way We Think

Here is a video link to cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky explaining how language shapes the way we think on Ted Talks. The video explains how people map out space in their minds and languages to keep them oriented. English speaker would say "right", "left", "behind", "in front", etc., while the Aboriginal community would use cardinal directions to describe the location or directionality whenever they need to. It also talks about the grammatical gender in many different ways. Language can make us have deep effects on what we see, such as color and visualization. [Published on 04-11-2018]

Speech Communities and Ideology from "The Breakfast Club"

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This video shows how each family is their own speech community and that each speech community has their own language ideology. The parents and the children have certain ways to talking to each other that seem normal and necessary in the situation. Also, the teachers are their own speech community with their own language ideology based around how they talk to the students as we can interpret from the line "you see us as you want to see us".

Posted by Harlan Shoemaker on June 17, 2018

Tags:
Ideology;
Performativity;
Youth;
Communities of Practice;
Education

Communities of Practice, Ideology, Spanglish -Code switching.

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Spanglish is becoming normal behavior in Latino communities' speeches. This humor video shows real examples that are very similar to what happens at my restaurant Cielito Lindo -Mexican restaurant- every day. Many phrases mixing linguistic patterns happens such as "Fui a Walmart a comprar unos shoes pero estaban sold out"

Posted by Reidel Rodriguez Ruedas on May 11, 2018

Tags:
Spanglish;
Code-switching;
Communities of Practice

South African Rugby Slang

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In the video, Welsh players try to find and dissect the meaning behind the slang and colloquialisms of the South African language and rugby terms for various things. The reason behind this is due to the terms being unique to South African community and rugby community. These terms are special to the rugby group and the known meaning only known to the South African country as seen throughout the length of the video

Posted by Caleb Moore on May 11, 2018

Tags:
Communities of Practice;
Slang

White man speaking Nigerian pidgin English

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This artifact present a white men in Nigeria bounding with Nigerian people and using a language easy for them to understand.

Posted by Bekang on May 10, 2018

Tags:
Ideology;
Language Shift;
Communities of Practice

"Dangerous" Teenage Texting Slang

This article covers a viewpoint of parents on slang used over text by teenagers. The article provides lists of acronyms to provide insight in what teens are saying and ways for parents to "decode". It is interesting to see that communication has adapted so much to the point where an older generation needs a "decoding" list in order to understand conversations of younger generations. It also shows the difference in speech communities between two sets of age groups. [Published on 06-12-2017]

Posted by Deonne Rodriguez on May 3, 2018

Tags:
Youth;
Communities of Practice;
Internet Language;
Slang

Chancletas

This meme highlights the multifunctionality of a word within and across various languages. It also displays the importance of context when using a word as well as how a word can index both cultural identity and community membership.

The Meaning of "Za": Pizza or Lasagna?

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This video is an SNL sketch in which two courtroom attorneys argue over the meaning of a specific word used by the defendant. This argument revolves around the question: Does "Za" mean pizza or lasagna? Because the two attorneys have differing language ideologies and are a part of different speech communities, they interpret the word "Za" differently and therefore each believe the defendant belongs to their speech community and uses "Za" the way it means to them. This video also plays on linguistic indexicality, which is the way in which language references or points us to certain aspects of the world; in this case the pronunciation of "Za" pointed one attorney towards lasagna and the other towards pizza.

Posted by Bridgette Befort on March 4, 2018

Tags:
Indexicality;
Communities of Practice;
Slang

Why Chinese people cannot speak proper English

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In this video, the speaker who is a Chinese American explains why Chinese people cannot speak proper English. Because how Chinese people learn English, and how "sound-like" translations influence on the way Chinese people learning English.

Posted by Jin Han on December 14, 2017

Tags:
Ideology;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice

Cooking Glossary

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This video defines common cooking terms used in kitchens and recipes. Many French phrases are used intermittently with English. Additionally, some culinary terms can mean other things in English. For example, 'pat' can be used to reference an amount of butter, but is typically a verb.

Posted by Jozsef Szucs on December 11, 2017

Tags:
Code-switching;
Communities of Practice

NBA Rising Stars Try to Pronounce "Giannis Antetokounmpo"

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This video shows NBA players trying to pronounce a name they are not familiar with. It presents some funny language barriers and interesting takes on speech community.

Posted by B. Stein on December 10, 2017

Tags:
Accent;
Communities of Practice

The Kardashians' Language

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In this video (at around time 1:25), Millie Bobby Brown talks about the particular way the Kardashians speak, including slang terms that are used by the family members and viewers of their show.

Posted by Andrea Sodergren on December 7, 2017

Tags:
Indexicality;
Communities of Practice;
Slang

Things Not to Say to Women at Work

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This video challenges language used in ways that specifically applies to women. This video produced by the BBC discusses common phrases, words and topics that specifically target and apply to women in the workplace that portray sexist ideologies. The women in the video confront these, explain why they are inappropriate, and in some cases offer alternate ways to frame these discussions.

Posted by Chelsea on December 7, 2017

Tags:
Power;
Femininity;
Gender;
Communities of Practice;
Sexism

Spanish Words "White" People Can't Say

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A comedic take on "white" people trying to pronounce Spanish words and their struggle in the performance of a basic Spanish lexicon—even in words that share a striking spelling resemblance to its English cognate. Some noteworthy examples appear when the participants are asked to pronounce “refrigerador” and “negar,” with some subjects showing visible apprehension to merely attempt the latter.

Ta-Nehisi Coates on words that don't belong to everyone

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This clip specifically looks at uses of language and the contexts and ideologies surrounding them that create speech communities. Ta-Nehisi Coates implies certain terms from particular speech communities and cultures cannot be used by outsiders appropriately.

Posted by Haley Bajorek on December 7, 2017

Tags:
Ideology;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice

Arabic Speakers Are Offering To Help Correct News Anchors Who Mistakenly Say 'Potatoes Are The Greatest'

Ironically, aloo doesn't even mean potatoes in Arabic, that's the Urdu term. So as the article is trying to correct people mispronouncing the word, it doesn't mention a very important fact and it just assumes that it's in Arabic.

Posted by Austen Aiman on December 6, 2017

Tags:
Standard Language Ideology;
Communities of Practice

A Conversation with Native Americans on Race

This video details the issue(s) surrounding Native peoples on former indigenous lands and current U.S. territory. It mentions blood quantum, a measure of genetic pedigree which determines native-ness, actual indigenous regulation which determines native-ness, and linguistic terms for tribes such Anglo-American term “Apache” vs the actual indigenous word referring the tribe among other topics.

Posted by Haroun Said on December 5, 2017

Tags:
Power;
American Indian;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice

Bernie Sanders' accent, explained

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This video breaks down Bernie Sanders’ accent. It explains how his accent is very unique in the way that it reflects his social class, the area and time where he grew up and his ethnicity. The video explains how Sanders’ accent reflects the dominant New York/Jewish/Middle Class accent of the 1950’s while also explaining how this accent is decreasing in more recent generations

Posted by Julia Nordhem on December 4, 2017

Tags:
New York City English;
Jewish;
Accent;
Communities of Practice

Why Linguists are Fascinated by the American Jewish Accent

This article discusses the American Jewish accent, what it sounds like, and its origins. It discusses how the American Jewish accent is derived from Yiddish, Hebrew, and the languages of prominent Jewish communities, and is common in Jewish people across America.

Posted by Sarah DeBauche on November 28, 2017

Tags:
New York City English;
Jewish;
Accent;
Communities of Practice;
Multilingualism

When You're Latino & You Suck At Spanish

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This video depicts a young Latina woman who struggles to fit into a bilingual speech community. Her peers code switch between English and Spanish, expect her to do the same, and tease her when she cannot.

Posted by Stefanie Weiland on November 20, 2017

Tags:
Indexicality;
Spanish;
Code-switching;
Communities of Practice

Linguist Jennifer Scalfani’s analysis on Trump’s “unique” use of language

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This video is about Jennifer Scalfani, a linguist at Georgetown University, who analyzed Donald Trump’s “unique” use of language that he uses as the President of the United States. His language is unique in a way that it is different than the language that other Presidents spoke in the past. He uses much more simple vocabulary and grammar, jumps from one topic to another, involves a variety of hand gestures, and uses an expression at the end of the phrase to emphasize his message. Scalfani analyzed how Trump’s unique use of language is a representation of how language can create a brand, construct an identity that is recognizable, and create an authentic persona.

How the triplet flow took over rap

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Although the usage of triplets (i.e. the “Migos” flow) has become very popular as of late, and is currently heard on just about every rap track that hits the Billboard 100, the usage of triplets in rap is not something new. It has its roots in Midwestern and Southern rap communities in the 80s onward. In rap, a triplet is essentially like setting your verse to 3/4 time - three beats per bar rather than 4. In rap, it can be used as a sort of verbal trick - it could slow down a song by throwing off the expected rhythm our brain is expecting to hear or even speed it up. Listening to verses in triplets can also make the rappers’ flow feel cleaner. Lyrically, the songs can be flexible or rigid, allowing a diverse range of rap styles to be done over the beat.

19 Words Your Kids Use, Explained

An article from 2014 explaining several key slang words and phrases that youth were using at the time, many of which seem relevant today including “bae” and “shade.” The article further displays how language continues to evolve, as the words people use as youths can make their ways into their adult speech and thus possibly garner mass acceptance across a community of speech or practice. [Published on 10-07-2014]

Posted by Jeremy Pafford on October 7, 2017

Tags:
Indexicality;
Youth;
Communities of Practice;
Slang;
Lexicon

Hold Up! Time for an Explanatory Comma

This episode from NPR's Code Switch podcast reminds me of Bell's discussion of audience design. Code Switch is a podcast by journalists of color where they discuss race and identity. Sometimes, the topics they discuss are out of context for those who have different socialization. In the episode below, they talk about having to use what they call an "Explanatory comma" in order to accommodate the different backgrounds of their listeners. [Published on 12-14-2016]

Posted by Becca Sanchelli on June 29, 2017

Tags:
Code-switching;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice

People Around the World Try an American Accent

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In this video, a handful of people from all over the world attempt their best shot at an American accent. Some are good while others, not so good. However, the portrayal of American stereotypes is extremely evident throughout the attempts at an accent. This shows how the language ideologies and styles of multiple American communities can ultimately create many "speech Communities".

Die Antwoord's Evil Boy: A Dynamic Crossroad of Language, Culture, and Rap in South Africa

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Die Antwoord is a controversial rap group from Cape Town, South Africa fronted by Ninja Yolandi Vi$$er. Speaking from a post-apartheid perspective, this group offers an underrepresented view of young, lower-middle class, white Afrikaans - a subculture known as "Zef." Historically, Zef has been considered a derogatory term describing someone who was white, poor, and "trashy." However, Die Antwoord and others have looked to transform this into a self-reflective, somewhat satirical, parody that Ninja described as being "apocalyptic debris that we’ve stuck together." In this music video, they display their unique code-switching between Afrikaans and English, as well as Xhosa - the Bantu language of the Xhosa people. Adding to their mixed-bag controversial nature, is the relationship of the Afrikaans languages’ association with apartheid. Through dynamic language and visual use, this video reflects the complex sociocultural and sociolinguistic interactions that occur in this region. The lyrical narrative told is a statement on the clash between traditional tribal circumcision rituals, and the modern subcultures that seem to offer an alternative path to "manhood." This can be heard in the verse by the guest rapper Wanga, sung in his native tongue: "Mamelapa umnqunduwakho! (listen here, you fucking asshole) Andifuni ukuyaehlatini! (I don't want to go to the bush with you) Sukubammba incanca yam! (don't touch my penis) Andi so stabani! (I’m not a gay) Incanca yam yeyamantobi! (this penis is for the girls) Incanca yam iclean! (my penis is clean) Incanca yam inamandla! (my penis is strong) Ndiyinkwekwe enkulu! (I am a big boy) Angi funi ukuba yeendota! (don't want to be a man) Evil boy 4 life! yebo! (yes) Evil boy 4 life!" Through the use of polyglossic code-switching, performativity, sociocultural and racial integration, and a revamping of contextual meanings, Die Antwoord is doing its part to redefine what it means to be young and Zef in South Africa, and what a socioculturally- and sociolinguistically-complex rebellion sounds like.

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.

Massive Online Community Collaboration: Reddit's "Place" Experiment

Reddit did an experiment on April 1st 2017 involving a blank canvas where users of the popular forum site could collaborate within a structure of only a few rules. The rules were simple, take a pixel of any color out of 16 choices, and place it on the blank canvas, then wait 5 minutes before placing another, single pixel. The experiment was literally titled "Place.” The experiment itself was not a linguistic one, but due to the nature of open forum as well as the Reddit community structure, we see a manifestation of linguistic practice on a grand scale. Place was only open for seventy-two hours, and the limit of one pixel every five minutes per user meant that people had to come together en mass to create the grand masterpiece that ultimately ensued. What we see is a massive community of practice coming together to discuss, and make decisions based upon both shared, and conflicting ideologies as to what should be done to the canvas. A war between the color red, and the color blue began, until green swooped in as well, and collaborators had to decide whether or not to cover the canvas in one color, or allow the art that other collaborative groups were creating to maintain its existence. Not to mention the shear existence of an artistic rendering in Place means massive collaboration within other forums had to exist first, no one person could possibly make a complex rendering come to fruition without the help of many, possibly hundreds of other people. Therefore, communication was rampant, and for seventy-two hours people who would typically avoid each other, or otherwise attempt to rip each other apart, as is the nature of the Internet, came together to put aside ideology for a moment in order to create something beautiful. [Published on 04-16-2017]

Barack Obama - Code Switcher

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Code switching is a large part of a public figures publicity arsenal. Being able to switch mannerisms, linguistic traits, and other factors of a depiction of self is incredibly important in the formulation of a diverse and accepting group of constituents. Being able to maintain all the code switching when prompted is also necessary for maintaining those groups, because being able to appear like you know exactly what they’re experiencing shows commitment and understanding. Barack Obama was known through various examples to show his ability to code switch based on the community he was visiting, whether it be rural North Carolina church, or USA basketball locker rooms. In this clip, we see his interactions with various players, male and female, and the coaching staffs. Take note how he changes the way he speaks based on their perceived race and whether they are a coach or a player. In addition, the status of the individuals he is addressing changes the way he speaks. For example, the way he talks to LeBron James (superstar) and Anthony Davis (rookie at the time) are different, even though they are both power forwards for the USA Men’s basketball team. Furthermore, in his recounting of the story about Joe Biden’s daughter, we see his use of different speech techniques with a coach who is white when compared to interactions with a black player. Finally, the handshake at the beginning of the video with Kevin Durant is a great example of an on the fly code switch.

Posted by Ben Orlowski on May 8, 2017

Tags:
Code-switching;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice;
Slang

British People Attempting Their Best American Accent

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This is titled "British People Attempting Their Best American Accent," which really encapsulates the main point of the video. Essentially, aside from a handful of outliers, the attempts at accents reflected stereotypes that some British people tend to think Americans hold. 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 New York Jewish Accent

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The idea of the Jewish-American accent highlights the ways in which language associates with a specific group of people and can sometimes be used as a way to stereotype a group of people. Generally, the Jewish accent is tied with the Brooklyn/New York accent, as the boroughs of New York are a big place for Jewish populations. Especially in mainstream media, like “Seinfeld” and “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” have perpetuated the idea of the New Yorker Jew. The idea of code-switching and mixing languages is also prominent in the accent, as Jewish people are more likely to use Yiddish words in their everyday language. In the first media, Larry David amps up his Jewish slang and emphasizes his accent/Yiddish knowledge even more to make the other man know that he is Jewish. In the second video about Bernie Sanders, his accent is in part tied to his Judaism, as well as his hometown. Certain words and phrases, along with the accent, are sometimes tied almost to a learned part of language in Jewish families, especially in more religious households. (For another video of interest, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waeXBCUkuL8 [from 3:06])

At UMass lecture, Stanford professor tackles prejudice against African-American English in courtrooms

A woman’s testimony in court is accused of being “unintelligible” because she speaks a different dialect of English, specifically African American English. The slang terms or speech patterns that she uses do not sound grammatically correct to the courtroom, but back home, it is normal speech. Rickford interestingly notes in the article that since interpreters for foreign languages are used in the courtroom, we should also use those resources of dialects of English that are not as easily interpreted by conventional speakers of the language.

Teen Slang: What's, like, so wrong with like?

This article is about the use of 'like' and other fillers and the way it is deemed inappropriate. It is commonly used among teens as a way of 'belonging', and is used in certain contexts. The article also goes on to say that someone might not like the use of fillers because they are not part of the speech community it's used in. [Published on 09-28-2010]

Posted by Beth Westerman on March 8, 2017

Tags:
Ideology;
Communities of Practice;
Slang

African American Sign Language Different from whites

The article goes over how even today there is a difference in signing between blacks and whites. Some of the African American signs may be different and the way they express signs in stories varies. This difference can create a barrier when signing to a group of African Americans and to a group of white signers. Throughout history and even through the English Only period, many African Americans switched to the way whites sign in order to “fit in.” [Published on 09-17-2012]

Language and culture

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This video shows the experience of three young people who have traveled to different places around the world. Their experiences show us how language shapes the perception and understanding of people. It is also shown that language is under major influence of culture and the ideology of different regions.

Plan Now to Avoid Post - Brexit Languages Crisis

There is a focus right now on the education system of the UK, with areas most at risk being language performance. If a crisis was to emerge in language performance from the UK split areas of official practice; such as trade, could be jeopardized. There are plans as of right now to push and ensure the emphasis on particularly language skills to ensure the enhancement post Brexit. This plan includes residency and a national plan to better primary education to even the post graduate level. With the quality of education slipping in the UK as it is, and a nation wide crisis within the linguistics field, the Brexit could only worsen the matter with children potentially receiving a lacking education. The goal of these reforms and education plan is to ensure a quality education to students at all levels, and hopefully encourage the emergence of language skill teachers and even linguistics majors. [Published on 10-16-2016]

Woman kicked out of Quebec hospital for speaking english

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Two reporters from the Sun News discuss the Quebec French language ideologies that have begun spurring discrimination towards other linguistic communities within the region.

Posted by Sarah Patton on October 16, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Standard Language Ideology;
French;
Communities of Practice

Black Folks Slang

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This video is a tutorial on several slang words used by people in the black community. The video explains what these words mean in English and gives examples of the slang words used in a sentence in order to understand the context of them. This video is shows the use of African American English and speech communities.

Posted by Chrissy McLeod on October 14, 2016

Tags:
African American English;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice;
Slang

Stunning animated game helps teach endangered Aboriginal language

In recent times there has been a resurgence for Australians to get in touch with their families native languages, possibly noticing that once their family members die off, there is no one left to speak it. With this game being released, it's hopes are to draw enough attention to Merra, by interactively engaging players with words, and icons to keep the language alive. There are only a handful of people in the world that speak Merra, and the creator related with his own native Indigenous language being almost lost within his family as well. Hopefully this game takes off and is successful enough to spur other similar games that bring attention to Indigenous Australian languages globally. [Published on 10-06-2016]

Do You Speak American?

Scholar and author, John G. Fought, focuses on how different dialect uses around the country affect the pronunciation of words and formation of speech patterns. Fought explains how the history of the United States has shaped language and has helped develop speech communities into what they are today. The media's role in what is considered "American" in regard to language is also described by Fought, touching on its key part in influencing specific dialect in different regions.

Posted by Samantha Blaesing on October 11, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Southern English;
Perceptual Dialectology;
Communities of Practice

The performativity of different speech communities

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The video is a speech made by Donald Trump who used to be a host of a famous TV show but is now a candidate for president. It would be difficult to connect the image of a host with a candidate of president. It is obvious that the different speech communities that Donald Trump is a part of contribute to the different styles of speaking.

Posted by Jingshu Zhao on October 5, 2016

Tags:
Performativity;
Style-shifting;
Communities of Practice

He is Mi and I am Yu

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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.

Sh%t Southern Women Say, Episode 1

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This comical satire highlights common phrases and slang frequently used by southern women. These iconic sayings can also index their southern roots.

Posted by Allison Maxfield on October 4, 2016

Tags:
Indexicality;
Womens Language;
Communities of Practice;
Slang

Japanese Gendered Language: How to Talk Like a Girl or Boy

This article discusses gendered language in Japanese, which includes the origin of "feminine language" (which started off as a form of "vulgar" language that schoolgirls were using) and how gendered language can be used as a form of self-identity or as a way to rebel against the strict standards of Japanese language. In the language ideology of Japanese, there have historically been opinions on who can use what type of language and how, but this article demonstrates that these ideologies are changing today. [Published on 02-05-2014]

Posted by Alex Parnell on October 4, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Gender;
Womens Language;
Communities of Practice

Perfomativity of language in different speech communities

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The video is a speech made by Donald Trump. Trump used to be a host in a famous show. It would be difficult to connect the image of a host with a candidate of president. It is obvious that the different speech communities that Donald Trump are in contribute to the different styles of speaking.

The Differences Between Latin American Spanish and Spanish in Spain

This article, by Alex Hammond, gives a historical background on how Spanish came to be different all throughout South America, Central America, and Spain through segregated colonialism and practices of differing phrases and words. [Published on 02-06-2012]

Posted by Sarah Patton on September 29, 2016

Tags:
Spanish;
Language Shift;
Variation;
Communities of Practice

Why Linguists are Fascinated by the American Jewish Accent

In this article, the various features of what is commonly thought of as the American Jewish accent are detailed. This accent is most commonly associated with comedians such as Mel Brooks, Larry David, and Don Rickles. The accent, while not as common as it used to be, is still recognizable to listeners by the word order and intonation it borrows from Yiddish, as well as its "sing-songy" quality. [Published on 09-26-2016]

The Specialized Language of Sports

This is a link to a blog post describing the specialized language of sports. This post highlights the various terminology used in a variety of sports. The author describes some of his favorite terms in both American sports as well as terms used in European countries. He likes these terms for the actual sound the words make when uttered. Tags: Community of practice, British, French, Portuguese, Italian, Slang, semantics [Published on 08-11-2010]

Posted by Emily Blessing on September 26, 2016

Tags:
English;
French;
Communities of Practice;
Slang;
Semantics

Who is really “American”?

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People from North, South and Central America discuss the use of the term “American” as an identifier by people from the United States. "Americans" have a linguistic ideology about what it means to be one and seem to ignore the fact that it excludes people from all other regions in the Americas.

“Things You Do Online That’d Be Creepy In Real Life”

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This video draws attention to how social media has gone further than just coining new slang terms; it has created a new language with entirely different governing rules. It points out the significant differences in styles of communication between face-to-face contact and social media interactions. The most striking examples are the performative declarations that would seem strange if spoken in front of a live audience. Here we see just how easily we take for granted this major shift in our everyday life.

Posted by Allison Maxfield on September 26, 2016

Tags:
Performativity;
Style-shifting;
Communities of Practice;
Internet Language;
Slang

New Slanf Added to Australian Dictionary

This article covers the addition of modern Australian slang to their national dictionary. The content added includes modern words and phrases commonly used by the various Australian native dialects and their definitions. As a lot of Australian saying and slang are uncommon and foreign to other English speakers, this addition to the Australian dictionary can provide definitions for their otherwise unfamiliar sayings. [Published on 08-24-2016]

Posted by Missy Mirenzi on September 22, 2016

Tags:
Indexicality;
Language Shift;
Communities of Practice

How WSJ Used an Algorithm to Analyze ‘Hamilton’ the Musical

Joel Eastwood and Erik Hinton wrote an algorithm to analyze the different types of rhymes used in the tony Award Winning Broadway Musical "Hamilton", and reveal their Hip-Hop influences. [Published on 06-06-2016]

Twitch Speak the Language of Twitch Chat

This short article attempts to delve into the appeal of twitch.tv's brand of emoji language and how it has developed into its own language community that spans multiple continents. [Published on 08-08-2014]

Posted by Robb Woodward on July 29, 2016

Tags:
Youth;
Communities of Practice;
Internet Language;
Slang

Use of AAE in Marketing: Jet Blue Example

Jet Blue utilized the term "fleek" in their marketing, which arose from "Black twitter" and is typically considered African American English. It backfires and is deemed as inauthentic, and lots call into question whether it is "professional". This relates to language ideologies; we have certain expectations of who should be speaking in what way, as well as shared ideologies within a particular community of practice. [Published on 02-23-2015]

Posted by Brandiss Drummer on July 27, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Communities of Practice

Speech community or community practice/ code switching and the big bang theory

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This is a great example of a group of people who are speaking English but the are speaking a jargon that they only know and those that are in their field or have the same interests shear known as Community practice. code-switching within their speech community.

Posted by Erin Patterson on July 27, 2016

Tags:
English;
Communities of Practice

How to Speak Hip

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This is the intro to a 13 part "album" instructing listeners on how to speak and understand "hip" language. Those who want to appear "cool" to this subculture that includes hipsters, juvenile delinquents, jazz musicians, etc.

The Foreigner's Guide to Irish Accents

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Video shows how tightly a language can be held to a very small geographic region, even when in close proximity to others of a different dialect.

Bacon Bowl

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The Bacon Bowl commercial shows how knowledge about certain language communities and indexicality are used to make sales. The female host uses rhymes within her cheerfully delivered presentation, common staples of similarly-styled "As Seen on TV" commercials that index friendly and familiar qualities to appeal to a stereotypical mom or grandma audience. In addition, the host emphasizes diet and portions, along with rather specific cooking terms like "crisp up evenly" and "cut of bacon", and serves up an "I heart bacon bowl" pin as a free gift, further intending to index a generally female, family-oriented language community.

Posted by Jill Vesta on July 24, 2016

Tags:
Indexicality;
Womens Language;
Communities of Practice

The Language of Twins

This article provides a good overview of language acquisition among twins and the possible development of “cryptophasia,” or a secret language. The article points out that, when they are young, twins spend a great deal of time with each other and reinforce each other’s language mistakes, thus creating a unique form of communication. They are, in a sense, their own community of practice. [Published on 08-24-2011]

Posted by James Hall on July 20, 2016

Tags:
Acquisition;
Youth;
Communities of Practice

What Do Deaf People Think of the Show, "Switched at Birth"?

In this thread, we see a few responses to the question, "What do deaf people think about the show, "Switched at Birth"?" The show is a teenage drama sitcom which portrays many deaf and hard-of-hearing characters alongside hearing characters. The show features characters whose first language is ASL, some who learned later in life and some who are just learning. The first piece on the thread, written by Spencer Horelik is a pretty detailed response to the question. I thought his comments on a hearing actress playing the show's main character, a Deaf teen to be very interesting. [Published on 02-14-2015]

Posted by Erika Huff on July 20, 2016

Tags:
American Sign Language;
Youth;
Communities of Practice

The Language of Pokémon

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This short video illustrates how Pokémon trading card game (TCG) players comprise a community of practice with its own unique vocabulary. The community has millions of members and, arguably, has created its own culture and rituals reflected in the words that it uses.

Posted by James Hall on July 18, 2016

Tags:
Youth;
Communities of Practice;
Internet Language

Key & Peele: Meegan, Come Back

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We all know the comedians Key and Peele, but what most people don't know is that Peele has a popular "Meegan" skit, where he portrays himself as a woman. He has also voiced several female characters, one of them on the cartoon show "Bob's Burgers." This video is an example of not only how a stereotypical woman would act, but also how she might sound.

Posted by Caroline Wright on March 28, 2016

Tags:
Crossing;
Gender;
Womens Language;
Communities of Practice

Swing County USA: Hispandering

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This video talks about Hispandering in the United States. It details moments on the campaign trail where Presidential candidates, Democratic and Republican, engage in Hispandering. Many of the candidates refer back to their parents and their experiences as immigrants.

Language in prison: Solitary linguistic confinement

This article describes the importance of language and communication for human health and sanity. The effects of non communication and language between human beings is extremely detrimental to a persons sanity. They come to the conclusion that human interaction is a basic human right, just as necessary as food or water, but that it is not treated as such in prisons across the world. [Published on 04-16-2013]

Posted by Ainise Havili on March 8, 2016

Tags:
Power;
Communities of Practice;
Contact;
Slang

The 5 Big Advantages to Learning Multiple Languages

This website gives you the 5 biggest reasons why learning a another language besides your own is definitely in your best interest. From the brain power to, the language structure of each language, all reasons are perfectly applicable.

Posted by Ainise Havili on March 8, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Communities of Practice;
Multilingualism

Why these UK school kids love learning languages

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This group of students talk about why they feel it is important to learn a different language.These students are amazing in the sense that they seem so grown up and ready to take on the world, and language is one very powerful tool to help them do just that!

"Do I Sound Gay?" A Documentary about Gay Speech

This is a documentary about the speech of gay men and how they view their language not only in terms of their own identity, but also in terms of how they are portrayed in society. [Published on 09-07-2014]

Posted by Caroline Wright on March 8, 2016

Tags:
Gay Mens Language;
Sexual Orientation;
Communities of Practice;
Stigma

Does Not Speaking Spanish Make You Less Latino? Pero Like Ep.4

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This article discusses speech communities and how the language you speak does or does not define your culture. In this example, the video is discussing if not speaking Spanish makes you less Latino.

Posted by Courtney Dickerson on March 7, 2016

Tags:
Change;
Language Shift;
Youth;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice;
Education;
Stigma

Boise State linguists preserve endangered languages

This article gives perspective from a linguists point of view when discussing endangered languages. There are so many languages that people speak in our world and so many of them are going extinct. As the author discusses in the article, these cultures are not dead and their languages should be preserved as much as they can. [Published on 02-16-2016]

Posted by Courtney Dickerson on March 7, 2016

Tags:
Communities of Practice;
Education;
Globalization

How to understand the differences between British and American English

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The video does a great job at comparing words and the differences in meanings they can portray whether being interpreted from someone from the U.S OR U.K. It shows the power of the interpretation of language and how it can cause an interaction to be positive or negative. It shows the importance of linguistic relativity and the social context individuals are a part of.

10 Surprising Ways to Offend People in Other Countries

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The video explores how the use of body language can mean one thing to a culture and a completely different thing to another. It provides good evidence to show that language can be communicated in other ways than verbal cues. It also shows the importance of the environment and the socialization process.

If Asians said the Stuff White People Say

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The video is a complete spoof but it does a great job of identifying how the Asian population can be categorized into one giant category. It illustrated linguistic discrimination and shows how the social context you live in cam influence a cultures way of thought.

Posted by Steven Goldstein on March 6, 2016

Tags:
Ideology;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice;
Linguistic Relativity

Community where husbands and wives speak a different language

In this article, there is a community in Nigeria where men and women speak different languages. Men and women that have the same parents, raised in the same house, have different words that describes the same object. [Published on 03-16-2013]

Posted by Zana Pascoe on March 6, 2016

Tags:
Gender;
Communities of Practice;
Multilingualism

Rather Be ASL Cover Music Video

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A teacher, Brittany Adams, creates her own version of popular music videos using American Sign Language (ASL) as a way to connect with her students and make learning enjoyable and fun, as well as raise awareness in hopes that others will want to learn ASL as a way to communicate.

How American accents are changing

A detailed map of how American accents are changing.

This Starbucks barista learned sign language to communicate with her deaf customer

A Starbucks barista learned ASL to connect with a customer. This article mentions the idea of the hearing community reaching out to the deaf community. This relates to speech communities, showing that there are different speech communities separated by the language barrier. [Published on 02-22-2016]

Posted by Samuel Schmidgall on March 5, 2016

Tags:
American Sign Language;
Acquisition;
Communities of Practice

Hillary Clinton "Hispandering" Pummeled On Twitter

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A news reporter talks about Hillary Clinton and her "Washington games." He mentions that now because of the internet, she is no longer able to continue the same political approach as she has in the past. He also calls her out on her calm that she is just like the Latinos abuela, and how far off she really is with this claim.

Tense Present: Democracy, English and the Wars Over Usage

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]

Garrard McClendon on Black English - Ebonics

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Garrad McClendon addresses the dangers of the African American language. Although he believes the African American language is beautiful, he feels strongly that the African Americans in the US need to learn how to code-switch. They need to learn when it is appropriate to talk in slang and when it is necessary to code-switch to "proper" English. Garrad also addresses the issues that teachers need to become more aggressive in correcting children's language at a young age and not be afraid of doing so. The children's future is dependent on being taught proper English and being correct when they don't use it.

Linguistic- Code Switching

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This video gives the breakdown of code-switching in America. It talks about all the different types of English that exist in US. It also addresses why and individual partitakes in this linguistic practice; a word translation doesn't come to mind so they revert to the word in another language, or they are purposely excluding others from understanding. Code Switching if referred to different terms depending on the language mixture; Spanglish, Chinglish, etc.

Posted by Meaghan Kuhlmann on February 21, 2016

Tags:
Code-switching;
Merger;
Race,Ethnicity;
Communities of Practice;
Multilingualism

How Code-Switching Explains The World

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.

Posted by Meaghan Kuhlmann on February 21, 2016

Tags:
American English;
Code-switching;
Language Shift;
Communities of Practice

"Pick-Up Artist"

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This artifact is showing how different people communicate on a daily basis, and how each person has a different way of showing how the communicate. With this skit, most of it exaggerated for comical effect. But this is showing the diversity of people and there language through a simple conversation in group settings. In this skit there is gender rolls being played of femininity and masculinity, while showing the differences within the women's language. And how this "Art of the Pick-Up" class is teaching women how to properly express themselves.

Washington Redskins NBA Commercial

In this advertisement created by the National Congress of American Indians, the narrator takes the viewer through a number of "names" for Native Americans in the United States, including tribal names and other words that could be used to define the communities, before ending with an appeal that Native Americans would never describe themselves as "redskins." [Published on 06-10-2014]

Debunking Whorfianism

This powerful message about identifying with Veganism principles shows a correlation between the discrimination of diversity in relation to language and Whorfianism. Marla Rose supports some core ideas from John McWhorter's book "The Language Hoax: Why the World Looks the Same in Any Language". [Published on 02-11-2015]

Posted by Tricia Roberson on February 5, 2016

Tags:
Communities of Practice;
Linguistic Relativity

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

Gang Girls on Geraldo

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A clip from Geraldo with a panel of self-identified "gangster girls." Citation: Mendoza-Denton, Norma. 2008. Homegirls.

Chola Make-up Tutorial

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A YouTube make-up tutorial from a self-identified Chola, uploaded in 2009. I use this with the reading: Mendoza-Denton, Norma. Gang Girls and Makeup.