Politics and Policy
John Kennedy Is America’s Folksiest Senator. Some People Who Know Him Say It’s An Act.
Touches on differences in the senators accent pre-running vs. post-running/ while democratic vs. republican. Goes into rebranding, 'quotability', being 'folksy' vs. 'educated', "dialing things up a notch for the cameras as most good politicians do"/public persona. Mentions his speech being flat and having faster cadence, then slowing down, 'giving him a distinct vocal style'. [Published on 10-15-2020]
Rep. John Lewis’ Speech at March on Washington 1963Play video
A speech given by Rep. John Lewis at the March on Washington in 1963.
Life of Brian - Latin Lesson - Romans Go Home!Play video
1979's "Life of Brian" comedically depicts the titular main character, played by Graham Chapman, defacing, in Latin, a Roman monument. A Roman centurion, played by John Cleese, stops him and punishes him for his "bad" grammar. The scene is largely a parody of the relationship between English schoolchildren and their teachers. Linguistically, it's interesting as a demonstration of prescriptive norms as well as the representation of different dialects. Cleese's dialect is meant to sound more elevated while Graham Chapman's, who is from Melton Mowbray, north of London, is meant to sound less elevated, which is supposed to add to the comedy. Funnily enough, I think some of Brian's usages correlate with changes that would end up occurring in Latin before it changed into the various Romance languages.
Barack Obama: Your Children Should Learn To Speak SpanishPlay video
This is a short clip of a speech by Obama in which he talks about the importance of raising children that speak multiple languages.
Confederacy: Last Week Tonight with John OliverPlay video
This is a video of John Oliver the host of the show Last Week Tonight. In this video he explains the debate over taking down Confederate monuments in southern states. He makes some really good points about the issues and I think that his use of language helps frame the issue in a way that makes his argument more convincing.
Earl Sweatshirt x MOCAPlay video
Earl Sweatshirt in conversation with his mother, Cheryl Harris.
Joe Wong: Building A Wall Didn't Work For ChinaPlay video
This video describes a linguistic practice from a Chinese comedian called Joe Wong. I think it is very impressive since he does comedy in his second language. This could be categorized into Hong Kong English since his first language is Chinese.
Malayalam and Linguistic Identity
An article about how Malayalam as a language is constantly put in the position of asserting its distinct linguistic identity compared to the other literary Dravidian languages (Tamil, Telegu, and Kannada). Linguistic pride is common throughout India considering its concentrated linguistic diversity. This can be a good thing (in terms of cultural preservation and practice) and a bad thing (in terms of linguistic nationalism). [Published on 04-20-2019]
Forensic linguistics gives victims and the wrongfully convicted the voices they deserve
CW: explicit discussion of sexual assault This article uses critical discourse analysis to look at how language is used in the courtroom, particularly in relation to the accused and the accuser. It highlights the persuasive power of language and how the phrasing of certain statements can have the power to sway a jury or judge's opinions. The author talks about a specific case of sexual assault and describes the language used by the victim to tell her story.
Philadelphia Court Stenographers Misunderstand Black English
A soon to be published study in the journal Language has found that Philadelphia court stenographers often transcribe Black English recordings incorrectly. When presented with Black English grammar and recordings, 27 stenographers were found to make errors in two out of five sentences and could only understand one out of three sentences. The repercussions can be detrimental, as incorrect or deficient transcriptions can lead to unwarranted incriminations. [Published on 01-31-2019]
India’s Hindu nationalists changing Muslim town names
This article discusses the language ideology of a political party in India. The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) is making an effort to change names of towns that have had connections to Muslims in Uttar Pradesh, India to Hindu association names. The latest attempt is of the town of Agra where the Taj Mahal stands, which is trying to be changed to something of Hindu association due to it being the capital of the Mughal Empire for many years in the 17th Century. The language ideology of the BJP nationalist party is that names deriving from Arabic, Persian, or those of Muslim association are anti-Indian and should be restored to Hindu names. [Published on 01-15-2019]
Trump: We speak English here, not SpanishPlay video
In this video, Donald Trump briefly discusses his stance on speaking English, speaking Spanish, and assimilation in the United States. This video is an example of the monoglot ideology.
Language Death- How do languages die?Play video
This in an informational video about language death and language extinction. This video gives several examples of languages that have become extinct, and how languages become dead and/or extinct. He also goes into detail about the different kinds of language death which include, gradual, bottom-to-top, sudden, and radical. To offer a more clear understanding, the video also describes case studies of language death.
Implementation of Hebrew as a Standard Language in pre-1948 Palestine
This article discusses the revernacularization of Hebrew into a standard language in Palestine, and then gives examples of how political and interest groups carried out this implementation at a local level through an examination of the 1930s and 1940s city documents of a small Jewish settlement, Raanana. [Published on 01-01-2008]
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]
#MemeOfTheWeek: Hillary Clinton, Not Quite An Abuela
This article touches on Hillary Clinton. Hillary claimed that she was like the Hispanic communities abuela, in order to win the hearts of the Hispanic community. Mrs. Clinton posted a previous article explaining how Hillary was like your abuela. When recapping her actions I don’t understand how her or her team did not find this offensive. However, there was the backlash from the community expressing how Mrs. Clinton is far from their abuela. In this attempt to relate to the people by making fake promises and outrageous gestures, often times there is a line that is crossed. [Published on 12-26-2017]
Trump's Hispanic Accent
This is another example of Hispandering by none other than our current president, Donald Trump. He gets a laugh out of some of the people in the crowd but the look on Melania Trump's says it all... why Donald, why? It is a short video that not only captures hispandering and a total disregard for offending Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics, but it depicts Trump's belief in what's right and wrong to say in a Presidential Address. [Published on 10-06-2017]
Linguist Jennifer Scalfani’s analysis on Trump’s “unique” use of languagePlay video
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.
President Obama speechPlay video
This is a clip of President Obama talking about how everyone in America except for the Native Americans are from somewhere other than the USA, so we should all understand that we are mostly a nation of immigrants.
Ellen DeGeneres' coming out episodePlay video
In a televised talk show this year host Ellen DeGeneres celebrated the twentieth anniversary of her revelation on national prime time television that she was a lesbian. Forty-two million viewers tuned in to watch Ellen’s sitcom character declare “I am gay”, and this challenging and controversial decision made television history. A media frenzy followed with heated debates on gay rights and lifestyles. Ellen’s difficult and personal decision to reveal her lesbianism led to her sitcom show being cancelled in 1997. By 2004 she returned to television as a talk show host, and since then has earned ten Emmys for excellence in television. By making it acceptable for a public figure to declare a sexual preference, social change has occurred, and since then, gay marriage has become legal in the United States.
Jacqueline Kennedy's political speech Nov. 21, 1963Play video
This film clip showed First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy speaking to a Texas Latino audience on November 21, 1963. Three years earlier in the 1960 Presidential campaign, a young Jack Kennedy and his political team recognized the potential of the Latino voters in the Republican held state of Texas. They decided to utilize Jacqueline Kennedy’s fluency in Spanish and a few months before the vote, she spoke to a Texas Latino crowd, persuading them to support her husband. It worked and Kennedy won the race by carrying Texas. Returning to Texas in 1963, President Kennedy allowed his wife to once again take the stage and speak Spanish, the first time a sitting United States President had honored a Hispanic group. The next day, JFK was assassinated in Dallas Texas.
John Oliver interviews the Dalai LamaPlay video
“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver interviewed the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace laureate and Tibet’s spiritual and political exiled leader. With a hint of investigative journalism, Oliver used his gift of humor to engage the Dalai Lama in broad discussions from conflicts with the Chinese Government to claims that drinking horse milk will cure alcoholism. The interview demonstrated a self-reflective Dalai Lama laughing at labels from the Chinese Government. This televised comedy show provoked the Chinese government so much that they proclaimed the interview to be politically motivated and propaganda for an anti-China separatist movement.
1960 - Jackie Kennedy Spanish AdPlay video
This is a video of Jackie Kennedy doing a campaign ad in 1960 in Spanish. The goal of this video was to connect with the Hispanic voters. I chose this particular video because it shows how Jackie Kennedy used different speech communities to reach a certain group of people. Indexicality plays a role as well because she is indexing the Spanish speaking community.
Vladimir Putin Speaks English for the International Expositions BureauPlay video
This artifact shows Russia´s president Vladimir Putin welcoming the members of the 2013 International Exhibitions Bureau while speaking entirely in English. Putin usually avoids speaking in English even though he is known for knowing enough English to even correct his translators. Speaking English in this welcome video shows his appreciation and respect to the members and guests of the exhibition.
What if Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Had Swapped Genders?
This article is about a play that recreated the debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but with a woman playing Trump, and a man playing Clinton. The actors trained to accurately replicate each candidates speech and gesture, and the project is meant to highlight the ways that similar stylistic gestures are deemed acceptable or not when used by men and women. [Published on 02-28-2017]
Donald Trump: We need to get out 'bad hombres'Play video
This is what Donald Trump said in the third presidential debate in regarding to the issue of immigration. In his speech, he used Spanish word “hombre” to refer to the immigrants that he views as bad people, which has some negative meaning. However, “hombre” in Spanish only means “men” without any negative meanings. This is a good example of mock Spanish as defined by Hill (1998). People can’t understand the meaning without understanding the indirect index of the badness and criminal of Spanish people. It also contains underlying racism which shows that Spanish people have a stereotype of being bad, and in contrast white culture is better than others.
Political Speech ComparisonPlay video
In this clip from "The Daily Show" Trevor Noah compares the speech of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. He comments on the surprise of hearing a politician "speak in full sentences", but also comments on how after listening to Donald Trump for so long a fruitful and complex political discussion is difficult to continue paying attention to.
Chelsea Handler Criticizes First Lady For Having An Accent
This news article/video is about how comedian Chelsea Handler put down First Lady Melania Trump for having an accent. Chelsea Handler stated that she would never have Melania Trump on her show because "she barley speaks English." However, the article quickly points out that the First Lady actually speaks at least five languages, including French, Slovene, Italian, German, and English. This portrays how language ideologies are used in everyday life and how it influences individuals' attitudes, beliefs, opinions and knowledge about language. In linguistic anthropology language ideologies are a set of shared beliefs, such as the appropriate language use or how language should be used by particular groups. Chelsea Handler has a negative attitude towards Melania Trump's accent because in the U.S., there is the idea or belief that powerful leaders in politics should not possess "foreign accents." Chelsea Handler's comment about not wanting Melania Trump on her show portrays the idea that English is the dominant language. In the United States the popular ideology in regards to the English-only Movement is very prevalent in today's society. [Published on 01-24-2017]
Hillary and Her Iconic Pantsuits.Play video
One thing that really stood out when Hillary Clinton was running for president was iconic attire. Orthodoxically, woman who are in or are running for higher professions, such as the Presidency or any other higher office, would be expected to wear clothing such as a dress, a skirt, or a pair of slacks. The pantsuits worn by Clinton, however, during much of the campaign, is heterodoxical to much of what is normally worn by women in these positions. Conventionally, there has been a very negative sentiment towards this style of clothing as it has been received as inappropriately masculine, and there have even been attempts to ban it in certain places. Therefore, her use of this masculine attire during her campaign can be seen as an appeal of increasing power among women.
Trump Relies on Mock Spanish to Talk About Immigration (OPINION)
This blog post is about how non-Spanish speaking white peoples' use of "mock Spanish" is a form of covert racism that is used as an unconsciously strategic effort to silently dominate the folks who are imagined to speak the language, but to do so through attempts at silliness, humor and acting "cool” or "with it". This article is written by a Spanish professor. He discusses how hard it is to talk to white people about mock Spanish, and even cites Jane Hill, but a different paper from the one we read. [Published on 10-20-2016]
Russian Aristocracy Spoke French
Prior to the Decembrist revolt, the Russian aristocracy's principal language was French, not Russian, even within family and personal relationships. Children of aristocrats were forbidden and even punished, for speaking Russian. After the revolt, the aristocracy started speaking Russian, or risk punishment. French continued to be spoken by the aristocracy, but the social situation determined which language, Russian or French, was appropriate. However, the addition of Russian, did result in one set of language rules for men and another to women. [Published on 12-04-2008]
Tim Kaine Speech in SpanishPlay video
Tim Kaine made a campaign speech done entirely in Spanish. The speech was done in Phoenix, AZ and was given to invited Latino groups. This is the first time a vice presidential candidate has given a speech entirely in Spanish.
Hillary Clinton - Southern AccentPlay video
In this clip from an interview with the South Carolina Democratic Chairman, Jaime Harrison, Hillary Clinton accommodates her speech style by speaking with a Southern accent. The accent is a speech style that only appears in speeches with Southern audiences.
Tim Kaine VP speech
TIm Kaine did a VP speech in Miami, in July of 2016. As he gets in to his introduction, he begins speaking in Spanish for a split second, as he greets the diverse crowd. He switches back to english, and switches back through out the speech. Tim Kaine even calls his running mate a "companero de alma" or "soul mates" in the presidential tussle
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]
Donald Trump’s strange speaking style, as explained by linguists
This article has linguists examine Donald Trumps speaking style. It examines his linguistic approach through many different angles and talks about why some people can relate to it more than others. It proves how language and power can play a pivotal role in politics and spreading a message. [Published on 09-26-2016]
Talk “Like a Man”: The Linguistic Styles of Hillary Clinton, 1992-2013
This article examines the changes in Hillary Clinton's linguistic style from the years of 1992-2013. Many people have claimed that she talks "like a man," and this article examines that theory. In the article Jennifer J. Jones proves how Hillary went to more of a masculine linguistic approach to a more feministic approach in 2007. There are many reasons for these changes that are reflected in this article. [Published on 08-17-2016]
Watch the second presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary ClintonPlay video
Certain ideologies have been established without actually speaking, such as handshaking. In the recent debate it was apparent as the candidates met on the debate stage there was no such exchange. Throughout the debate Mr. Trump displayed numerous was to establish power, both through gestures and verbal exchange. Mr. Trump stood throughout and when Senator Clinton was speaking he often stood behind her. This could be interpreted as a stand of power. Mr. Trump interrupted and made comments while Senator Clinton was talking that could have been an attempt to establish power. Mr. Trump’s continued reference to “locker room talk” could appear to be gender based.
"That Mexican Thing"Play video
During the Vice Presidential Debate, Tim Kaine referred to some of the demeaning comments Donald Trump has made in the past, regarding Latinos. In response, Mike Pence said, "Senator, you whipped out that Mexican thing again." Whether Pence meant to be offensive to the Latino community or not, he most certainly was. Recently, Trump has tried to redeem himself with the Latino community, but with his VP referring to Latino issues as a "Mexican thing," it is apparent that Trump is engaging in hispandering.
Perfomativity of language in different speech communitiesPlay video
The video is a speech made by Donald Trump. It is obvious that the different speech communities that Donald Trump are in contribute to his different styles of speaking.
This clip is a president election debate and it’s regarding Latino issue. Both of the candidates are in favor of Latino and against deportation. The debate end with “that what we are trying to do is to united families and not to divide families”. This clip is a really good example of expanding “hispandering”.
Ted Cruz para PresidentePlay video
This video is of a campaign advertisement for Ted Cruz. who was running for president as a Republican. As someone who has been quoted as saying that Spanish speakers live in a "language ghetto", this can be seen as an example of Hispandering. Since the ad is entirely in Spanish, Cruz was trying to gain acceptance and furthermore the vote from those in the Hispanic, Spanish-speaking communities.
Issues of HispanderingPlay video
Comedienne Cristela Alonzo discusses Hispandering in her own experience growing up in South Texas, often referring to political campaigns and gender issues.
Jon Stewart - Thank Donald TrumpPlay video
Jon Stewart mocks the 'inspiration' of new Latino voters for Donald Trump's run for presidency.
Steven Colbert's new wordPlay video
Steven Colbert has a long history of creating his own words. Recently he did a spin on one of his originals by creating, "Trumpiness." Which means to believe in something even if you know it isn't true or if it lacks evidence. Colbert's description describing how Trump supporters know that Trumps comments/statements aren't true, and don't care.
Word association with a personPlay video
Watch as Fox News anchors talk about Bernie Sanders and spend almost forty percent of the conversation about him, trying to fit in the word Socialist as many times as possible to connect the word with this presidential candidate.
How Trump chooses his wordsPlay video
I found this video of Donald Trump quite interesting and relevant. This video clip shows Trumps visit on the Jimmy Kimmel show while giving us a look into “How Donald Trump Answers A Question”. In other words, the author of this clip analyzes Donald Trumps speech and gives viewers a linguistic perspective on Trumps word choice and language. While analyzing Trumps speech, the author of the video, “Nerdwriter1”, takes a look at Trumps word choice, syllable count, word rhythm, sentence structure and more. He then ties his analysis with a study done by the Boston Globe, which diagnosed past Presidential speeches. This video gives reason for cluing into peoples words, especially ones with influence and worldly impact like Donald Trump.
Melania Trump Echoes Michelle Obama in Convention Speech
As the title suggests, presidential hopeful, Donald Trump's wife Melania Trump gave her first major political speech last night. Many found striking similarities between her speech last night and that of First Lady Michelle Obama's earlier DNC speech. These similarities bring up the question of "shared values" or plagiarism. Also notable are factors such as Melania's native language not being English: how did this affect the speech and the way it was received? [Published on 07-18-2016]
Senate Debate over "Ebonics" in SchoolsPlay video
This is a fairly processed montage of the hype mentioned in Labov's article and analyzed in Lippi-Green, Rosina. (2012).
Gulf Between Words and Actions @ CU-Boulder
Very interesting article illustrate a situation where simply using the "right words" isn't enough. [Published on 03-10-2016]
Clinton and Sanders Univision Debate and Hispandering
Hispandering is brought up (with a negative connotation) to Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders during the Univision Democratic Debate in election 2016. [Published on 03-10-2016]
Gender Has/Has Not Been Hijacked by White MiddleClassPlay video
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.
Swing County USA: HispanderingPlay video
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.
Trump DebatePlay video
This is an example of performance, as Donald Trump places an emphasis on the way he delivers his response to Jeb Bush. His delivery and the way he speaks is very aggressive and confident in tone. His style of speech, that is in a very straight forward, relaxed manner, has resulted in his popularity around the country. He tells it as it is and throws the "political correctness" out the door in all of his debates.
Hawaiian Pidgin Recognized As A Language (In Pidgin w/ Subtitles)Play video
This video is of a man speaking Hawaiian Pidgin English. He establishes that Hawaiian Pidgin English is not the Hawaiian language.
Key & Peele - Obama Meet & GreetPlay video
This Key & Peele comedy sketch humorously depicts Obama and the different ways he talks to black and white people after a speech. There's a lot of code switching going on in this sketch. There are a handful funny references in here as well, from rap to slang.
Key & Peele - Obama's Anger Translator - Meet LutherPlay video
In this video clip of Key & Peele, Peele's Obama is a very mild-mannered character who calmly addresses his audience, and Key's Luther interrupts Obama's speech to represent Obama's inner anger.
"I'm sorry, Pope Francis, this America and we speak English!"
Discussion of Pope Franics's use of language prior to his visit to the United States. The Pope chose to use Spanish for the majority of his visit, which some say was his taking on a political stance on the US policy on immigration and an 'English only' country. [Published on 09-18-2015]
Language equality in post-apartheid South AfricaPlay video
College students demonstrate for language equality in Pretoria, South Africa. Students are currently taught in Afrikaans, the language of apartheid-era oppression. This is an example of how language can be used to signify either oppression or equality.
CNN Election CenterPlay video
In this video there are many different types of sociolinguistic artifacts, and in any kind of SNL skit they have to make it more dramatic to bring out the commentary. Yet, within this clip you see many types of tags used within the first few minutes. For example, Donald Trump is the first person to be impersonated, but within the short clip that he is in he shows tags of "Race/Ethnicity, Sexism, Gender, Politics and Policy". And for Hillary Clinton she is showing many of the same character traits as well. Within all of these impersonators they are all trying to benefit themselves in some way that looks appealing to the audience.
Obama Code-Switches at the Voting BoothPlay video
President Obama is interrupted while voting and code-switches while talking to a woman.
Clinton's drawl, Trump's 'yuuge' N.Y. accent and campaign 'code-switching'
The article discusses several politicians' adressee-based style shifting while speaking to different groups of people. Gives an example of monophthongization from Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama using elements of AAE. The article also talks about differences between the styles of Jeb Bush and George W. Bush. [Published on 03-05-2016]
Hillary Clinton "Hispandering" Pummeled On TwitterPlay video
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.
Hillary Clinton and her Evolving AccentPlay video
Hillary Clinton demonstrates styleshifting during her many years in public life.
Rudy Giuliani: Beyoncé’s halftime show was an ‘outrageous’ affront to police
Rudy Giuliani describes Beyonce's halftime show as being inappropriate for the middle american audience of the Super Bowl. He states “This is football, not Hollywood, and I thought it was really outrageous that she used it as a platform to attack police officers who are the people who protect her and protect us, and keep us alive." [Published on 02-08-2016]
code-switching and hispandering
This site has a good audio clip that really delves into the hispandering issue and the code-switching.
President Bill Clinton Grand Jury testimony: Meaning of the word "is"Play video
What do words mean? It depends on how you think about it.
A Politician Walks Into King Taco ... A Look At The Political Term 'Hispandering'
Article regarding "Hispandering" in the current political presidential race. [Published on 12-08-2015]
"English Only" chants at Nevada Democratic caucuses
At the 2016 Nevada Democratic caucus, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta was heckled and booed off stage by a group of alleged Bernie Sanders supporters, who chanted "english only" when she attempted to translate the ballot for the Spanish-speaking caucus participants. Link to tweet from Ms. Huerta: https://twitter.com/DoloresHuerta/status/701184235315400705 [Published on 02-20-2016]
Cultural HegemonyPlay video
A wonderfully concise description of hegemony, with real world examples of things we see in our everyday life that we may overlook. This idea relates to language in how our society favors standard English and those who utilize it.
Quebec’s War on English: Language Politics Intensify in Canadian Province
An interesting insight to the French language regulation in 2013 in Quebec, Canada, and how there is a whole framework in place to try and regulate how business interact with the bilingualism that exists in the community. [Published on 04-08-2013]
The US Supreme Court legally defines our wordsPlay video
The United States Supreme Court defines the word "marriage" in a legal and social context by defining the "Equal Protection" clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution.
Hey, I'm running for President Here!
A New Republic article highlighting the New York accents of presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, with quotes from many linguists suggesting that their accents allow them to construct a positive local authenticity. [Published on 11-14-2015]
If Folks Wanna Pop OffPlay video
This week, Obama said "pop off" in a public address. Responses were...enthusiastic.
The politics of twisted tongues and loopy lingo
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]
Obama's Eulogy of Reverend PinckneyPlay video
This is an excerpt of the eulogy for Reverend Clementa Pinckney delivered by President Obama after the Charleston shooting at the Emanuel AME Church. He makes strategic use of preaching style to establish a rapport and sense of belonging with a black audience in a religious setting.
Tracking Hillary Clinton's use of every American accent east of the Mississippi
A series of clips that demonstrate Hillary Clinton's performance of some varieties of American English, particularly Southern English and Northern Cities English (her native variety) [Published on 05-01-2015]
When Politicians Lose Their Accents
Clip from All Things Considered discussing the way in which politicians, such as those currently running for president, tend to shift accents depending on audience/context. One of the politicians the clip mentions is governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, who has allegedly traded his "Wisconsin twang" for a more standard way of speaking in order to appeal to the nation at large. [Published on 04-18-2015]
Pidgin: The Voice of HawaiiPlay video
An excerpt from the documentary Voices of Hawaii, profiling the accent discrimination case of James Kahakua et al. in the late 1980s, where speakers of accented English were denied jobs as broadcasters for the National Weather Service.
BBC News: Economic success drives language extinction
Research shows that in countries with more successful economies, minority languages are at greater risk of extinction (due to one language dominating political, educational, and economic spheres). [Published on 09-02-2014]
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.
In Walsh, students of Bostonese have found their avatah
A 2013 article on Boston mayor-elect Marty Walsh, who has a pronounced Boston accent. The comments about Boston being "lazy" are unfortunate, as are the interviews with speech coaches.
conflicting definitions of "terrorism"
Describes different definitions of "terrorism" in use by U.S. government agencies, the general U.S. public, and other places.
Do You Speak American: AAE in Ann Arbor, MIPlay video
A clip from the 2004 documentary Do you Speak American that covers the "Black English case," or "King case," in which the parents of African American English-speaking children won a case brought against Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary in Ann Arbor, MI in the late 1970s.
Gingrich links bilingual education and "ghetto"
An NBC news article covering the 2007 remarks made by Newt Gingrich that bilingual speakers in the U.S. need to learn standard English and not the language of the "ghetto."
When Presidents say "Y'all:" The Strange Story of Dialects in America
A 2013 Atlantic interview with Walt Woflram on dialects and politics.
Pronouncing Pakistan and other foreign (a) wordsPlay video
A 2008 segment from The Young Turks on the pronunciation of foregin (a) in Pakistan and other words. I use this with the reading: Hall-Lew, Coppock, and Starr. 2010. Indexing Political Persuasion: Variation in the Iraq vowels.
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.
Language and Politics in Belgium
A 2010 article about the continuing linguistic divide in Belgium (between French and Flemish) that reflects and reinforces a political divide.
NPR: Code-swtiching: Are we all guilty?
A 2010 NPR piece about the criticism of President Obama's "negro dialect," with a broader discussing of both style-shifting and code-switching.
Marriage Rights for Intersex Individuals in Texas
A judge in Texas in 2010 refused to rule on whether trans or intersex individuals had the right to marry (and so be considered to be in "opposite-sex" relationships).
Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas HearingsPlay video
A clip from the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justic Clarence Thomas, which shows Senator Arlen Specter questioning Anita Hill. I use this with the reading: Mendoza-Denton, Norma. 1995. "Pregnant Pauses: Silence and Authority in the Anita Hill-Clarence Thomas Hearings."
NPR: Psychology Behind the Sudden Southern Drawl
A 2006 piece on NPR about Bill Clinton's use of a heavier Southern accent in a moment of anger, with guest Walt Wolfram, who explains the phenomenon of style-shifting.
NPR: Palin's Accent Examined
A 2008 NPR interview with William Labov about Sarah Palin's Alaskan accent.
DEA to hire Ebonics "Translators"
In 2010, The DEA put out a job ad for nine speakers of African American English to serve as translators.
Fair Housing PSAPlay video
PSA highlighting linguistic discrimination.
Linguistic Profiling on 20/20Play video
20/20 feature on racial linguistic profiling and housing discrimination with linguist John Baugh.