• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11

Encyclopedia of Linguistics, ethnicity and language.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Robert D. King Department of Linguistics University of Texas Austin, Texas 78712 Encyclopedia of Linguistics (To be published on-line by Macmillan) ETHNICITY AND LANGUAGE The words "ethnicity" and "ethnic" were in common use at the end of the 20th century in contexts so widely disparate that no common definition will suffice to unite the variety of meanings. We speak of "ethnic studies," of "ethnic groups" and "ethnic neighborhoods," of "ethnic and racial groups," of "ethnic revivals," and of "ethnic cleansing"--a euphemism for genocide that came into use in the 1990s when certain countries tried to drive minority "ethnicities" from their territory through terror and murder. In the 2000 census of the United States, although the Census Bureau of the United States used traditional categories of "race" such as White, Black, Asian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, Other, and Multiracial in gathering census data, any of these might equally well be regarded as "ethnic" classifications in today's language usage. It is unclear where ethnicity leaves off and race begins. "Hispanic," in the 2000 census, was stipulated by the Census Bureau as "may be of any race"--which indicates the extent to which "race" and "ethnicity" overlap in contemporary discourse. Ultimately, as we use the word today, ethnicity is not a matter of strict definition. It is a matter of identity: you are what you say you are and what other people think you are. We find it convenient in certain contexts to use the phrase "ethnic group" for a wide variety of minorities in America and other countries: Irish-Americans, Italian-Americans, Asian-Americans, immigrant South Asians and their children, Native Americans, African-Americans, Roma (Gypsies) in the many countries where they live, French-Canadians in Canada and in Maine, Kurds in Turkey, Basques in Spain and France. In recent years advocates of the interests of gay and Deaf communities in America have argued for the benefits of using the term "ethnic" in referring to these groups. ...read more.

Middle

monophthongs /e: o:/ in place of diphthongs [ej ow] in the vowels of words like face, take and goat, soak; (5) replacement of the fricatives /� ?/ by stops and affricates (thin [�In] pronounced as tin [tIn] or tthin [t�In]); (6) retention of vowel distinctions before /r/ (so that the vocalic nuclei of words such as bird, learn, beard, turn, [|] in American English, are contrastive); (7) neutralization of the opposition between /�/ and /I/ before nasals (pin and pen are homonyms, as in much of southeastern American English). Syntactically there is the occurrence of reflexive pronouns in sentences such as: "And it's himself that told me ..." and "... they were paying no attention to anything at all as long as themselves were well." Then there is the curious matter of the "after perfect": "I'm after doing it already," "She understands; she's after havin' children herself," and "They seemed pretty cool, for what they were after goin' through" (in place of standard "I've done it," "She understands; she's had children herself," and "They seemed pretty cool after all they had gone through"). As above in the case of the stereotypical "Jewish-American accent" most Americans of Irish descent have long since accommodated their speech to General American, and none of these Irish-English traits remain in the way they talk. But some of the "Irishness" would be apt to persist for several generations, especially in areas of big cities such as Boston, New York, and Chicago where the Irish have been resident for a long time and where in many cases the population has been steadily replenished by immigration from Ireland. To the extent that Irish-English speech patterns do persist they make for what can be called an "Irish ethnic accent." African-American Vernacular English (AAVE) has been the most intensively studied ethnic dialect of English. (The terminology is not settled. What is here called AAVE is variously referred to as Black English, African-American English, and Ebonics.) ...read more.

Conclusion

The celebrated counterexample to this is the role of the Hebrew language in the maintenance of Jewish ethnicity. Hebrew was traditionally the language of the Jewish people; however, it had become extinct as their spoken language by the beginning of the Common Era. It was maintained as the language of ritual, of prayer, and of disputation among rabbis. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE Jews were dispersed throughout the then-known world. Nevertheless, they preserved their identity, their Otherness, their distinctive ethnicity. The Hebrew language, which was reborn as a spoken language in Palestine in the nineteenth century, was part of the glue which held Jewish ethnicity together through almost 2,000 years of diaspora. To paraphrase the great linguist Edward Sapir, we should never make the mistake of confusing a language with a dictionary and a grammar. Both the effect and the affect of language go well beyond words and rules of grammar. Language touches us in the deep places of our being--in our identity, in our sense of where we belong. One of the most sensitive of these places is our ethnicity. In ethnicity begins the true study of language as a badge of identity. ROBERT D. KING Further Reading Chiswick, Barry R., editor. Immigration, Language and Ethnicity: Canada and the United States. Washington D.C.: AEI Press, 1992 Dow, James R., editor. Language and Ethnicity. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: J. Benjamins Publishers, 1991 Fishman, Joshua A. Language and Ethnicity in Minority Sociolinguistic Perspective. Clevedon, Avon, England; Philadelphia: Multilingual Matters, Ltd., 1989 Gleason, Phillip. Speaking of Diversity: Language and Ethnicity in Twentieth Century America. Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992 Haarman, Harold. Language in Ethnicity: A View of Basic Ecological Relations. Berlin; New York: Mouton de Gruyter, 1986 Lourie, Margaret A. and Nancy Faires Conklin, editors. A Pluralistic Nation: The Language Issue in the United States. Rowley, Mass.: Newbury House Publishers, 1978 Shukla, Hira Lal. Language, Ethnicity and History: Dimensions in Anthropological Linguistics. New Delhi, India: B.R. Publishing Corporation, 1985 Van Horne, Winston A., editor. Ethnicity and Language. Milwaukee: University of Wisconsin System, Institute on Race and Ethnicity, 1987 Ethnicity and Language 11 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    PORTNOY'S COMPLAINT CRITICISM

    3 star(s)

    Wildly in the first moment I cover my head, expecting an explosion of glass, a burst of flames-disaster, you see, is never far from my mind.

  2. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    About my life and what I'm looking for I recently joined Match.com but it wasn't until I submitted my profile and logged on that I realised you men do a much better job of describing yourselves and stating what you expect form the site.

  1. Why the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588.

    He had no experience at war or sea, but was a noble with a high status at that time. Finally, the Spanish Armada set sail from Lisbon, Portugal on May 28th. On June 19th, the armada arrived at Corunna to pick up food and drink supplies.

  2. The Dutch Attack on Landguard Fort - 2nd July 1667

    Removing the markers left the Dutch with no other alternative way to reach the fort. The sea attack was useless as damage could be done if the Dutch could get at least 200 yards close to the fort but this was no possible.

  1. The Sociolinguistics of Contemporary Spanish.

    Examples of suffixation in I.T: Chatear/Conversar; Piratear/Sabotear/Hackear; Buscador; Cifrar; Microprogramaci�n. These are merely a few examples of suffixation creating verbs and nouns. (b)Compounding. This is the mechanism whereby two words are joined to produce a new tem that is usually easily identifiable from the meaning of the two words separately.

  2. An investigation into the similarities and differences between written social interactions through the new ...

    She studied a total of 2185 transmissions. The results showed that few abbreviations, acronyms and emoticons were used, the spelling was reasonably good and contractions were not common. In her article entitled 'The Web Not the Death of Language', Kristen Philipkoski draws a conclusion to the study made by Naomi S.

  1. 'Henry V is a study in what it means to be king' to what ...

    Shakespeare also adds to Henry's fantastic Kingly image through his experience of his past days in his youth, although the Dolphin ridicules Henry with this fact, Henry tells us that he does not regret those earlier days 'And we understand him well, how he comes o'er us with our wilder days, not measuring what use we made of them.

  2. Social setting in "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind

    the most impossible positions and combinations: grand-father with virgin, odd-jobber with lawyer's spouse, apprentice with nun, Jesuit with freemason's wife - all topsy-turvy, just as opportunity presented." (Suskind p. 247 Suskind again uses parallel structure to emphasize the juxtaposition of individuals from different social classes and ages which the breakdown in the social hierarchy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work