LINGUIST List 3.681

Fri 11 Sep 1992

Qs: Sociolinguistics; Is this a language?

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  1. Jon Aske, Question about sociolinguistics textbooks, etc.
  2. , Is this a language?

Message 1: Question about sociolinguistics textbooks, etc.

Date: Tue, 8 Sep 92 13:55:29 EDTQuestion about sociolinguistics textbooks, etc.
From: Jon Aske <jaskeabacus.bates.edu>
Subject: Question about sociolinguistics textbooks, etc.

I have been entrusted to teach two sociolinguistics courses in
the Spring, one "culture-oriented" (in an anthropology
department) and one "society-oriented" (in a political science
department) (i.e. meither one will be "linguistics-oriented," or
have any linguistics majors.)

Since I am not a sociolinguist and don't have much experience
teaching such courses, I would very much appreciate hearing from
people with more experience about textbooks and other readings
they have found useful in similar circumstances, and other such
things.

In theory Fasold's two volumes on sociolinguistics, The
Sociolinguistics of Language and The Sociolinguistics of Society
would be idoneous for the respective courses. In practice,
however, I find these two books unsatisfactory, among other
reasons because they are a bit too much linguist(ics)-oriented.

In the past I used an anthology of articles when I taught a course
that was a combination of the two courses I have to teach now,
but that did not prove to be idoneous, among other reasons because
copyright laws are taken very seriously around here (unlike other
places I've been).

Any suggestions? Please e-mail to me and I will summarize the
results to the list.

Thanks a lot.

Jon Aske
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Message 2: Is this a language?

Date: Tue, 08 Sep 92 17:35 CDT
From: <>
Subject: Is this a language?

A few days ago, I got a call from a hypnotist's office. They have a patient
who appears to speak a foreign language under hypnosis, and asked for help
in identifying the language.

They sent me a tape of the patient, which I transcribed. The following is
a sample of it: (E=epsilon; ch, sh have usual English values)

Etahasiyamochata hashhatEnsiyot hamachisana {sobbing sounds}
hatasEkEtEbubushanda ashabanda omonakasihashibadi indahata {pause}
mahachEsEtEhEku bahasinda ashofotositaya batikayabatanya mankas.

{Word boundaries are impressionistic}

I suspect that this is glossolalia of the sort used in various Pentecostal
and Holiness denominations. Two bits of evidence seem consistent with what
I have heard about glossolalia -- the syllable structure is very simple
(only CV and CVC) and the inventory of sounds is a subset of that of the
speaker's native language (English, in this case).

But can anyone suggest a way to establish this with more
certainty? Or can anyone suggest a reference on glossolalia? Or
does anyone recognize this as an actual language?

Thanks,
Aaron Broadwell
Modern Languages, University of Oklahoma
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