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How do names for and ideas about language varieties reflect, reproduce, or produce divisions, hierarchies, or relationships between people? When considering language varieties, you can think both about names for languages (i.e. English versus Kiswahili, etc.) as well as names for types of varities–such as creole, pidgin, dialect, and so on.
For your essay, use information and data from the provided readings and the lectures about linguistic diversity. In your essay, be sure to use evidence from at least THREE of the provided sources (attatched below).
Use this provided thesis, if possible, or a similar variation: Language varieties in multilingual communities
often produce linguistic hierarchies based on social class which reflect social
divisions and/or discrimination against language varieties.
Potential argumentive points and corresponding evidence:
– Differences in the range of roles that languages play lead people to believe that languages which do not fulfill a wide range of functions are incapable of doing so, leading to language discrimination. Furthermore, Language variety does not correlate with intelligence or competence (Refer to “Some Languages are Just Not Good Enough”, Harlow AND “They Speak Really Bad English Down South and in New York City”, Preston), and “Language Diversity and argument summaries.pptx”.
– Language discrimination and
segregation becomes distinguished as a result of the enforcement of teaching
only “standard” English in public or private schools. (i.e. The federal enforcement of teaching only
“standard” English in public or private schools reflects linguistic
discrimination against Lumbee/Pidgin/Cherokee and leads to social divisions in multilingual communities via
segregation. Refer to Voices of North Carolina: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAGG3LnEVvI) and Pidgin: The Voice of Hawaii (upload in progress). – Multilingual communities produce many language varieties
(i.e Kekopey Ranch) & Linguistic exogamy results in extensive multilingualism. The language variants produced can be perceived as either
superior or inferior and create barriers between social classes. (Refer to evidence from Gilmore, Perry. 2016. Kisisi (Our
Language): The Story of Colin and Sadiki. Wiley Blackwell) (focus on pages 49-79 (134-220 in the pdf)). Also refer to “Language functions c.pptx” and “Language Varieties and Change c.pptx”. – Some languages, such as African American Language, varies by region (geographical), social class, age, and gender via style shifting/code switching. Ethno-racial identity also creates language variety. (https://oraal.uoregon.edu/)
– Distinguishing “language” from “dialect” “creole” or
“pidgin” is a political/cultural distinction, not linguistic.
– Language varieties in multilingual communities often
produces linguistic hierarchies based on social class.
– Language creates diverse social relationships, identities, and statuses. – Languages are self-regulating systems when speakers desire
to either be understood or understand another variety.
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