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Spring 2017
Assignment #4
(due 4/5 as a hard copy at the beginning of class)
Part 1: Language variation
1) Go to the Harvard Dialect Survey: http://dialect.redlog.net and click on the tab
“Maps and Results.” There are 122 links, containing self-report data of U.S. regional
variation. Find one example each of phonetic/phonological variation, morphological
variation, lexical variation, and syntactic variation, and fill out the information in the
following chart:
# The two (or more) variants
(write in both spelling and
IPA for the
of use for
each variant
A summary of their regional
Note: in analyzing the maps, it seems most helpful to look at the “all results” map. You
don’t need to include options of “either,” “I have no word for this,” “other,” etc. Use the
names of regional dialects from the map on Slide 12 of Lecture 15 to summarize their
regional distribution, when possible.
Lexical #


= 70%

= 6%
occurs everywhere, with
the most responses in the NE. The
highest concentration of is
in the Great Lakes dialect.
2) In this audio clip, two multilingual Hong Kong professionals talk about their English
experiences. They are speaking a variety called “Hong Kong English.” This clip and
transcript comes from the 2012 book World Englishes: Implications for international
communication and English language teaching by Andy Kirkpatrick. Listen carefully
to the phonetic characteristics of their language variety:

Note: if it helps you to have the captions turned on, click on the CC icon on the
bottom right of the video.
a. Which of the following is the best representation of his pronunciation of the
word in IPA (at about 60 seconds into the clip)?
A) [bigɪs]
B) [bɪgɪs]
C) [bɪgist]
D) [bɪggɪst]
b. Listen to the man’s pronunciation of the following words. Each
pronunciation makes use of a phonological process. Match his actual
pronunciations to the phonological processes on the right.
Note: some processes are used more than once. If final consonant deletion
and consonant cluster reduction are both occurring, pick (3) instead of (2).
The transcript is provided below and the five words in question are bolded.
Example: = sound substitution (of [l] to [r])
A) 1) sound substitution
B) 2) final consonant deletion
C) 3) consonant cluster reduction
E) KT: Even in primary school? (yeah) You mean teaching that subject in English?
KC: I ahh learned the the subject of English ahh (wow) I think ahh all primary school kids
(ehm) did ahh most primary school kids do nowa nowadays (ehm) so ahh and then I was
switched to a secondary school using English as the medium of instruction (ehm) ahh where
most of the subjects were taught in English (ehm) so that ahh I think that lasted for seven
years until I entered ahh university which ahh is an English-speaking university where most
ahh lectures examinations ahh reading assignments were all in English. Ahh so I f- I recall
that I think the ahh the biggest ahh difficulty for me is really when switching from primary
school setting in which Chinese is the medium of instruction ahh to a secondary school using
English as a medium of instruction. I still remember that was ahh quite a shock actually. I
got a ahh an English speaking ahh ahh class teacher. Ahh the principal was an English ahh
nearly all the lessons ahh were taught in English except perhaps physical education or of
course Chinese. Ahh so I I I think it had taken me maybe two to three years to adjust to that.
(Ehm) yeah so that ahh that wasn’t very pleasant experience, I would say, in ahh in learning
in my learning of English. But I I think eventually ahh I got over that and then has since used
English ahh as the ahh medium of learning in universities in postgraduate work and and now
in in my workplace I think where English is ahh is really used as the bus- the language of
communication with ahh with ahh the ahh s- with the senior management ehm and and a
large number of colleagues (ehm).
3) Why is it a myth that “Black children are verbally deprived”? Use at least three of
Wolfram’s arguments in support of your answer. If this is a myth, why do people
still believe it? Use at least two of Wolfram’s arguments in support of your answer.
Part 2: Language and gender
4) The section “Do men and women speak alike or differently” from Ahearn Ch. 9
begins with Deborah Tannen’s research (which we also watched in class on Mar 29).
This section then presents more recent research that critiques Tannen’s findings.
Summarize the major conclusions from this more recent research.
5) Describe the linguistic features of the “gay voice” that are mentioned in the Fresh Air
podcast. Avoid using direct quotes, but use linguistic terminology (perhaps the IPA)
to describe what David Thorpe and Susan Sankin discuss. What is the relationship
between being gay and speaking with a “gay voice”? Use support from the podcast
to support your claim.
6) At the end of the Fresh Air podcast, speech pathologist Susan Sankin discusses the
phenomena of “upspeak” and “glottal/vocal fry.” What are common language
attitudes about speakers who use these devices? Is Sankin prescriptive or
descriptive, and what is your evidence?

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