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zompist bboard :: View topic - Intelligibility between dialect and standard language
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Intelligibility between dialect and standard language
http://www.incatena.org/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=45183
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Author:  Travis B. [ Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:11 pm ]
Post subject:  Intelligibility between dialect and standard language

At my work I work with quite a few Indian and Chinese individuals, who while often having significant foreign accents (which took me a while to get used to - I had significant trouble understanding many of them at first), are otherwise fluent in Standard English, while at the same time having less familiarity with dialectal NAE than the average native English-speaker from here. This has resulted in a natural experiment with regard to how much distance there is between Standard English and dialectal NAE which would not otherwise be possible. In particular, I have found that they have no problem with the NCVS or with l-vocalization, but get readily confused as soon as one starts eliding consonants that are not normally elided in Standard English. (I find myself repeating myself, and them still being confused, and then remembering that I need to add back in certain consonants, after which they understand me without a problem.) And I know that this is a dialectal rather than idiolectal feature because the native English-speakers around here have no problem whatsoever with such elisions and will have them themselves, if not necessarily as frequently as myself. So this makes it clear that non-standard consonantal elisions are a feature that reduce intelligibility vis-a-vis speakers of (albeit accented) Standard English who are unfamiliar with the local dialect. So this makes me wonder whether anyone else here is aware of any similar natural experiments that elucidate the distance between dialect and standard language in one's area.

Author:  zompist [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Intelligibility between dialect and standard language

If you marry a foreigner, you'll get lots of data. :)

My wife is from Peru; she's been here for decades now, but accents can still be difficult for her.

It works in reverse too. Talking with Spanish speakers, some are very easy to understand, some are terrible. Certainly the more standard the speech the better, but it also varies weirdly within her family. (E.g., her parents and one of her aunts I understand fine; her brothers and another of her aunts are difficult.)

Author:  linguoboy [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 9:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Intelligibility between dialect and standard language

Speaking of Spanish accents, I find a similar pattern to what Travis has identified: I have no trouble with lack of distinción or yeísmo, both of which involve the merger of segments. But aspiration of /s/ presents more of a challenge and the hardest dialects of all are Caribbean dialects with widespread and thoroughgoing elision (e.g. "¿Cómo está Usted?" > "¿Có 'tá Uté?").

Author:  ˈd̪ʲɛ.gɔ kɾuˑl̪ [ Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Intelligibility between dialect and standard language

I'm currently taking part in an exchange programme with one of Kievan schools and I was a host for my Ukrainian friend for a week just before our Easter. He's a native speaker of Russian and his vocabulary didn't differ anything from what I've worked with before, but his and his schoolmates' speech was unusually fast for Russian, much faster than how the Kazan' teenagers I met in Malta spoke, so he had to switch to a typical, slow melody of Russian for me to understand him. I also had to start speaking more TV-like register, to sound anything close to the Polish language he learned from a private teacher. This was a funny experience, but I was exhausted after seven days of speaking the way I wouldn't normally.

Author:  M Mira [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Intelligibility between dialect and standard language

Just watched this clip on NCVS and I must say that I can't really nail the accent. The congresswoman's speech especially sounds no different from the broadcaster English to my ears.
Is the Rochester girl's (the 2nd speaker) "dancing" an example of NCVS? That's the only one that sounds clearly "wrong" to me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3noS_0IdrRo

And about l-vocalization: In accents without it, is the tongue supposed to touch the alveolar ridge at the end of words like "ale", "steel" and the name of the letter "L"? Or is that not what it's about?

Author:  Travis B. [ Fri Apr 13, 2018 3:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Intelligibility between dialect and standard language


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