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Linguistic Dialect Differences Essay

2257 words - 10 pages

Distinctively diverse dialects are not necessarily a negative attribute of a community, but such distinguishing language does set a particular region or group of people apart from others. Differences in dialects include pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, and the most easily recognizable from area to area: common expressions. Through a simple interview research project I hope to examine first hand how individuals’ speech patterns differentiate based on origin/regional differences as well as age/generational differences. This interview process will examine each individual’s response to common words and/or expressions, such as the new limited access road or a carbonated drink. The pressing issue and interest in analyzing what seems like a unique attribute of a group of individuals actually pertains to the fact that certain dialects are inhibiting individuals and/or specific geographic areas from succeeding in the professional work world. The purpose of this research is to identify to whom is affected, based on what determining factors, and subsequently what would be a possible solution to equalizing the playing field. For my own research I have chosen to interview seven people whom I think encompass a variety of education level, age, and place of origin. I figured the grouping of my grandmother, mother, and sister, from Maryland and Pennsylvania, would do a good job of showing the differences and changes over the time period of three generations within our family. I also chose three University of Georgia students, but made sure they were born and raised in very geographically different environments, such as California, Illinois, and Georgia. Lastly I interviewed my middle school teacher who taught in Maryland, but grew up in Wisconsin for a different interpretation of linguistic diversity. My research will begin with acquiring answers for the expression questions, and then comparing the results based on regional differences, in addition to inner family discrepancies, and pronunciation distinctions.
Although the principle of linguistic relativity states that all dialects are equally effective as methods of communication, it is a social rather than linguistic judgment that causes us to rank particular dialects as better or worse (University of Georgia). In terms of linguistic diversity, the field of sociolinguistics examines language in its social context based on the idea that in no language does everyone talk just like everyone else (University of Georgia). Linguistic diversity encompasses the act of varying speech in different contexts through the use of style shifts and diglossia. Style shifts simply means varying ones speech during different social contexts (University of Georgia). Diglossia applies to the variation of the same language in forms of high and low or formal and informal based on situations like official writing versus ordinary conversations with friends (University of Georgia). Similarly, geographical and regional differences...

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