LINGUIST List 7.1089

Wed Jul 31 1996

Disc: Non-standard grammar

Editor for this issue: T. Daniel Seely <dseelyemunix.emich.edu>


Directory

  1. curt fredric woolhiser, Re: Non-standard

Message 1: Re: Non-standard

Date: Wed, 24 Jul 1996 13:26:00 CDT
From: curt fredric woolhiser <cfwoolhisermail.utexas.edu>
Subject: Re: Non-standard
Re: vol-7-806

>From: <AM.Henryulst.ac.uk>
>Subject: Non-standard grammar
>
>It is a commonly held view among linguists that, linguistically, all
>language varieties are of equal value, and 'standard' languages are no
>'better' than non-standard; however, I wonder if we really 'practise
>what we preach' in this regard. For example, does anyone encourage
>students to submit work in non-standard English, or non-standard
>varieties of other languages? Has anyone tried to get their
>institution to uphold the rights of speakers of non-standard varieties
>not to be penalised for submitting work including aspects of the
>grammar of these varieties? It seems to me that many students are
>penalised for using 'non-standard' grammar - an issue which often gets
>confused with being able to write in a clear style, produce good
>argumentation etc, which is of course quite different. Any views?
>
>

Returning to the question that launched last month's discussion on the use
of non-standard language varieties in academic settings, I know of at least
one possible precedent in the English-speaking world. According to Alasdair
Allan (in a 1995 article, "Scots spellin -- Ettlin efter the quantum lowp",
English World-Wide 16:1 61-103), thanks to the intercession of a Prof.
Lyall he was permitted by the Senate of Glasgow University to submit his
doctoral examinations and dissertation in Scots. Admittedly, Scots is a
somewhat special case, since it does have a literary tradition and there
have been some attempts at codification (not to mention the fact that many
would deny that it is a variety of English at all!). I'd be interested to
know if there are any similar examples from other language areas.

========================================
Curt F. Woolhiser
Dept. of Slavic Languages
University of Texas
Austin, TX 78713-7217
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue