Featured Linguist!

Jost Gippert: Our Featured Linguist!

"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more



Donate Now | Visit the Fund Drive Homepage

Amount Raised:

$34724

Still Needed:

$40276

Can anyone overtake Syntax in the Subfield Challenge ?

Grad School Challenge Leader: University of Washington


Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

What is English? And Why Should We Care?

By: Tim William Machan

To find some answers Tim Machan explores the language's present and past, and looks ahead to its futures among the one and a half billion people who speak it. His search is fascinating and important, for definitions of English have influenced education and law in many countries and helped shape the identities of those who live in them.


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Medical Writing in Early Modern English

Edited by Irma Taavitsainen and Paivi Pahta

This volume provides a new perspective on the evolution of the special language of medicine, based on the electronic corpus of Early Modern English Medical Texts, containing over two million words of medical writing from 1500 to 1700.


Query Details


Query Subject:   American Dialects
Author:   Stan Anonby
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Sociolinguistics
Subject Language(s):  English


Query:   Hello All,

I have a question, which came to my mind while watching the TV show "Home
Improvements". The show is set in Detroit. Once in a while, there are a
group of Caucasian construction people who appear on the show. They talk in
what sounds like to me to be a southern accent. This is obviously supposed
to be very funny. I'm not American, so I don't understand all the nuances
of this. I've got some theories.

1) Uneducated Caucasians in the US talk like Southerners.
2) Caucasians who do manual labor are often Southerners.
3) Americans find it very funny to hear someone talk in a southern dialect
on TV. So "Home Improvements" isn't portraying language as it is actually
spoken by Caucasian construction workers in Detroit. It's just a put-on for
laughs.

I realize it's not too easy to explain why something is funny, but does
anyone want to give it a shot?

Stan Anonby
LL Issue: 16.1402
Date posted: 02-May-2005



Back

Sums main page