Languagehas transformed over a generation and what we speak today might notbe the original English as our forefathers spoke. The originalnatives of the United States are the red Indians but today the USA iffull of different races that speak what is called today as StandardEnglish. Wardhaugh (2006) in his book Introduction to Sociolinguistdetail the various changes that exist and how they came to be. Hisobservation in linguistic does conform to today language. Peoplespeak English, yes you can understand them, but you will notice somegrammatical, phonological and lexical items used differently fromwhat you are used to. To support this theory or evidence put forwardby Wardhaugh I chose three concept to discuss and give theirimplication in linguistic today and how they relate to Wardhaughobservation, these are:-
Ifyou travel more often or attend social events where people ofdifferent social classes meet, you will notice that there are adifferent variety of Languages, in this case, English (Wardhaugh,2006). Thus giving rise to two forms of dialects as noted byWardhaugh, the social dialect and regional dialect.
Socialdialect arises dues to those variant differences in speech associatedwith different classes of people or social groups. Wardhaugh givesan example of two major social dialects in found in Cities such asDetroit and New York the likes of American vernacular English andBritish Public School dialect. These two English are different ingrammar and pronunciation tones.
Regionaldialect arises from geographical segmentation of people settlements. When people stay in a particular place over a century, assuming youare comparing two groups of people of the same ethnicity but havelived in isolation, you will notice some differences in choices andforms of words pronunciation and syntax. Such varieties are definedas regional dialects. In determining a characteristic of dialect, aresearcher will seek to answer a question like what past tense dopeople prefer to drink, the choice of words to name objects examplelift and elevator and do people pronounce some characters in wordslike r in car or cart (Wardhaugh, 2016).
Thereis no doubt that the most spoken common language in the USA isEnglish, but we do have different dialects varieties from the north,southern and midland US. In the North, South and Midland these wordsare used to mean same species of worm, angleworm, fish worm andfishing worm respectively (Olson et al., 2010). The word choice isdifferently irrespective of the people talking about the same type ofworm. Consequently, in pronunciation, the north will pronounce auntas (ahnt), the South ant (aunt) and Midland as ant (aunt). Finally,the use of syntax is also different, for example about stomachsickness, the various syntax will be used “Sick to the stomach,sick at the stomach and sick in the stomach” from North, South andMidland respectively (Olson et al.,2010). My observations completelysupport the Wardhaugh observations
Ahot topic it has been in the field of sociolinguistics by scholars.It has been noted that men and women use of language differs in topicchoice, words, intonations, grammar phonology as wells as body signsthat accompany speech (Wardhaugh, 2006). Genderlect becomes morepronounced as people mature. The world today has been dominated by aman and everything written or spoken favored man. To illustrate thisI will use the use of master and mistress, the use of masterdetonates superiority while mistress has a less favorable meaning(Wardhaugh, 2006). When we move to the topics and word of choiceswomen will discuss emotional stories about themselves as victimswhile men will discuss factual things like football or baseball. Menspeeches are full of domination and interactions while women areattentive to others trying to establish a connection with the storygiven (Wardhaugh, 2016). Women use more often adoration adjectiveslike cute, sweet, adorable charming and the likes more often as mendo. The society also expects that female sound should be high pitchand soprano like while men should be tenor and bass (Wardhaugh,2016).
Let’sbegin with our homes the voices and intonations used by our parents. If you have been keen, you will realize that your father`s voiceshave always been authoritative compared to your mother who is alwayssweet and soothing (Okeke, 2012). In the word choice, how often doesyour mother use the words “I love you” compared to your dad? Youwill notice that your mother uses it more openly and often comparedto your father. Even when parents are fighting or having an argument,your mother will try to air the grievances to you if you are thegirl, she will approach you easily than she would approach her sonwhile the father will not even share anything. If you are lucky, theonly words you might come to hear from your father are everythingrelationship has it fights, this is normal don’t worry. Even atschool, it is not different girls will talk about the new guy theyprobably met or their break ups and how they were hurt while boyswill be challenging each other to games or superiority complexstories( Okeke, 2012).
Finally,ethnolect, arise a result of cultural or race (Wardhaugh, 2006).Wardhaugh believes that our ethnicity or races determine the kind ofEnglish we speak. He states how some local tribes encourage speakingwhile others are conservative in their speeches, how others havemixed English with their indigenous words too and also how aparticular community would prefer to use some words to refer to someobjects. Those differences are what create ethnolect. Wardhaughbelieves ethnolect survives because communities still want topreserve linguistic boundaries. Just like the other two conceptshere there are lexical differences, phonological differences,grammars differences and conservative style of speaking.
Toillustrate how ethnolect is manifested in English I will use theAfrican American vernacular, Chicano English and British English. Inthe choice of words, African American will use words like “can youdig it” “Mama” while to mean the same respectively British orStandard English would use the phrase like “can you understand”and “mom or mummy” respectively ( Holfman & Walker, 2010).Someone using the Chicano English will have both of Spanish, Mexicanand Standard English words mixed up. It is not difficult to hearwords like “she is my mamasita” out of a Mexican In StandardEnglish the meaning would be “she is my beautiful girlfriend”(Holfman & Walker, 2010). So you find people while still speakingEnglish they have incorporated their mother tongues wordings.
Tome, the observations made by Wardhaugh conform and confirm theobservations and finding of the world today in speaking English. TheEnglish that you will hear being spoken by your classmates will havedifferences in pronunciation verbal use and even tone variation. Whenwe come to the concept of gender, we are all in agreement that thedifferences are clear as day and night, and there is no questionabout it. It is difficult for those who had just one vernacular tolearn a new language without carrying over some words thus today wehave so many varieties of English in the USA and the world at large.All these concepts and observation were held by Wardhaugh, and theyconfirm my observations.
Hoffman,M., & Walker, J. (2010). Ethnolects and the city: Ethnicorientation and linguistic variation in Toronto English. LangVar Change,22(01),37-67. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0954394509990238
IntroducingLanguage and Dialogue. (2011). LD,1(1),1-3. http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/ld.1.1.01wei
Okeke,F. (2012). Genderlect and Language Use i n a Dynamic World. AFRREVLALIGENS,3(1),1-13. Retrieved fromhttp://afrrevjo.net/journals/laligens/Vol_1_no_3_art_1_OkekeFI.pdf
Olson,K., Mielke, J., Sanicas-Daguman, J., Pebley, C., & Paterson, H.(2010). The phonetic status of the (inter)dental approximant. JournalOf The International Phonetic Association,40(02),199-215. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0025100309990296
Wardhaugh, R.(2006). AnIntroduction to (5th ed.). Retrieved fromhttp://home.lu.lv/~pva/Sociolingvistika/1006648_82038_wardhaugh_r_an_introduction_to_sociolinguistics.pd