Standard English Honey and Milroy

  • Created by: tardy
  • Created on: 20-10-18 14:38
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  • Language Issues: Standard English
    • SE: superior variety of English?
      • John Honey (1997): Yes!
        • Attacks idea that 'all languages and all dialects of any language are equally as good'
        • Education: SE is the variety used by teachers, as well as textbooks
        • SE can be used in the most formal and informal of occasions
          • (Honey implies that non-standard forms cannot be used in formal situations)
      • No! Milroy and Milroy (1999) see SE as simply another variety
        • Where's the proof that one variety of English is better than another?
        • SE has way of differentiating between singular and plural second person pronoun ‘you’, but some dialects do (Scouse/ Geordie 'youse', Southern U.S. 'y'all')
    • Prescriptivism = the conscious effort to regulate the language of others
      • A belief in prescriptivism probably stems from belief SE is superior
        • SE: superior variety of English?
          • John Honey (1997): Yes!
            • Attacks idea that 'all languages and all dialects of any language are equally as good'
            • Education: SE is the variety used by teachers, as well as textbooks
            • SE can be used in the most formal and informal of occasions
              • (Honey implies that non-standard forms cannot be used in formal situations)
          • No! Milroy and Milroy (1999) see SE as simply another variety
            • Where's the proof that one variety of English is better than another?
            • SE has way of differentiating between singular and plural second person pronoun ‘you’, but some dialects do (Scouse/ Geordie 'youse', Southern U.S. 'y'all')
    • Descriptivism: Linguists traditionally have described language non-judgementally
      • Prescriptivist writers such as Lynne Truss have criticised linguists for not taking a stance on language 'abuses'
      • The OED (Oxford English Dictionary) records the lexical changes to the English language, but does not pass judgement
    • How is SE reinforced?
      • Style guides, dictionaries and authorities (Simon Hoggart, Lynne Truss)
      • Use in prominent places: broadcasting, newspapers, books, expectation it is used formally
      • Education: SE used in essays: QCA found that 67% of GCSE English exam scripts contained no NSE forms.
        • A 2008 study by Black found that pupils from independent schools were far better at identifying NSE forms than state school pupils.
      • Use by prominent high-status individuals
        • When it's not: BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern was sent £20 by a viewer to correct her 'terrible' northern accent.
    • Examples of NSE
      • Double negatives
      • Got here quick - adverb requires -ly ending
      • More harder - comparative requires only -er ending or adverb 'more'
      • Ain't - verb form
      • Cost ten pound - omits plural -s suffix
      • Subject-verb agreement - we was going out

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