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:

$34378

Still Needed:

$40622

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:   Lexical Study of ''Alright'' in Immigrant Speech
Author:   Eric Byron
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Language Documentation
Sociolinguistics
Translation

Query:   I work at the Ellis Island Immigration museum, where among other
things I am in charge of the Ellis Island Discography Project. The
Project examines early commercial sound recordings and the various
kinds of interaction that immigrants, whether internal or external, had
with the general population in the United States. We examine the
dynamics from the perspective of both the general public and the
immigrants. The Project was undertaken because we discovered that in
the early years of sound recording technology record companies made
tens of thousands of records about and by people whom the general
United States population considered to be outsiders. These outsiders
primarily included immigrants, people of color and country folk. Most,
but not all, of the recordings humorously played on the eccentricities
and difficulties associated with foreignness.

One of the things we have noticed is that the language relationship that
most of the immigrants had in this country can be characterized as
bilingualism without diglossia. As our database suggests, the lexical
interference one hears on the recordings tends to make perfect sense .
Words that have something to do with outside contact, whether it be a
job, geographical situation, new technology, and salutations with the
average American are more likely to enter into an immigrant language.
My question is what term(s) would one use to define words and
expressions such as “sure” and “all right.” “Alright” appears over and
over again on the recordings as a way for an immigrant to respond
when he/she doesn’t completely understand and really doesn’t want to
answer.

Has anything been written on this subject? Any reading suggestions
would be greatly appreciated.
LL Issue: 23.1263
Date posted: 13-Mar-2012



Back

Sums main page