The Linguistic Evolution of 'Like' 'They', used in a singular sense, clinches Word of 2016... With the guts of 10 weeks left to go before we usher in 2017, the American Dialect Society’s annual meeting has just made an early grab for defining the ‘Word of the Year’ for 2016.
The Washington DC gathering of more than 200 of the top linguists in America saw the pronoun ‘they’, used in a singular sense rather than its prescriptive plural, win in a landslide vote, beating off other contenders like ‘on fleek’ and ‘yasss’. The singular they, which has crept into many style guides in English-language newspapers around the Anglophonic world, is already a regularly heard phenomenon in spoken word. As an example of its usage, the American Dialect Society suggested “Everyone wants their cat to succeed,” as opposed to the traditionally correct “Everyone wants his or her cat to succeed.” 'They': the singular pronoun that could solve sexism – but is it grammatically correct? Who's 'they'? The rise of the gender-neutral singular pronoun.
In its 26th annual words of the year vote, the American Dialect Society (ADS) has plumped for the word "they" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun.
The choice has thrown light on the English language's lack of such a pronoun other than "it". Convention has it that using "they" as a singular form of address is grammatically incorrect. "If the English language had been properly organised… there would be a word which meant both he and she," AA Milne once wrote. The ADS drew attention to the word's use for people who identify as "non-binary" in gender, something increasingly accepted by editors and linguists. "In the past year, new expressions of gender identity have generated a deal of discussion and singular 'they' has become a particularly significant element of that conversation," said Ben Zimmer, a language columnist for the Wall Street Journal. So is "they" the answer to Milne's problem?
Where else is the term commonly used? Truly Trending: An Interview about Intensifiers. William Blake, Geoffrey Chaucer.
Sali Tagliamonte is a linguist at the University of Toronto, where she studies language variation and change. Her latest book, Teen Talk: The Language of Adolescents, was published in June. I called Tagliamonte because I’d noticed more and more people using the word truly. All of a sudden it seemed to be everywhere: in work e-mails and movie reviews, in headlines, on Twitter, on Twitter, and on Twitter. 'Southern' accents replacing dialects, language app finds. Image copyright Thinkstock Distinctive regional accents appear to have declined since the 1950s with more people now sounding like "southerners", researchers have concluded.
Results from 30,000 users of the English Dialects app have been analysed by developers at Cambridge University. People from 4,000 locations answered questions about the pronunciation of words such as "scone". Initial results showed more people now speak with accents similar to those in London and the south-east of England.
More news from Cambridgeshire. BBC Radio 4 - Word of Mouth, Young Women as Linguistic Innovators. Lingua Obscura: Young Women's Language Patterns at the Forefront of Linguistic Change. Linguists observe that it is often the more marginalized groups in society that seem to effect language change over time, not the high-status networks where all the social capital and power reside.
Consider young women’s language patterns and speech. By merely speaking, young women can invite negative reactions, comments, and suggestions to change the way they naturally talk if they want to be taken seriously. Chi Luu is a peripatetic linguist who speaks Australian English and studies dead languages. Every two weeks, she’ll uncover curious stories about language from around the globe for Lingua Obscura. Children put an accent on Milton Keynes. Conversation in Milton Keynes about accent, dialect and attitudes to language. - BBC Voices - Accents and dialects.
TheAccentThatDareNotSpeakItsName. Estuary_English.pdf. Mobility, Meritocracy and Dialect Levelling (Kerswill 2001) Accent on common ground as Miliband takes on Russell Brand's estuary twang. If there’s a man who knows what “mockney” Miliband is going through right now, it’s Steve McClaren.
The former England football manager’s faux Dutch accent in an interview recorded while in charge of FC Twente is one of the most hilarious examples of how we pick up accents depending on context – and whether we’re trying to be liked or accepted. But it’s actually rather common. Joey Barton, the footballer, put on a French accent at a press conference in Marseille. And Oprah Winfrey has been criticised for copying the accents of her guests, adopting previously unheard southern vowels. Most of us will have experienced it, lessening or emphasising our regional accents or slang depending on the social situation. So for linguistic psychologists, it’s no surprise to see Miliband swap his bland north London speech for an estuary twang during his interview with Russell Brand, complete with street-style hand gestures. The phenomenon is called communication accommodation theory.
Linguists are like, ‘Get used to it!’ In recent months, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has used it; musician Buddy Guy has used it; Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson used it in grand jury testimony, as did his victim Michael Brown’s friend Dorian Johnson.
A friend used it in an instant message chat to me, describing her attitude toward her sick boyfriend: “i’m like STAY OVER THERE.” It’s called the “quotative like,” and over the last 25 years, it’s become one of our language’s most popular methods of talking about talking. The use of “I’m like” or “he was like” to introduce a quote, a thought, or a feeling has spread through English worldwide, from Jamaica to New Zealand. One American dialect has rapidly adopted an even less by-the-book variation. Stephen Fry on Room 101 - 2/3. Stephen Fry on Room 101 - 3/3. Youtube. ChangingSoundsOfEnglish Coggle A3. Radio 4 Word 4 Word - London and the world. Dialect - English varieties of the British Isles. Introduction This guide is written for students who are following GCE Advanced level (AS and A2) syllabuses in English Language.
This resource may also be of general interest to language students on university degree courses, trainee teachers and anyone with a general interest in language science. Please look at the contents page for a full list of specific guides on this site. Back to top The Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA) has made this a subject for examination within a general area of study described as Language and Social Contexts. In preparing this topic area candidates should study: the variety of regional forms in terms of accent, lexis and grammar; the social functions that dialects perform; the relationship between dialects and Standard English; historical and contemporary changes, where appropriate.
The unstoppable march of the upward inflection. Is 'singular they' grammatically correct? @HaggardHawks explains all ...