Since the dawn of time, people have complained about how ‘young people’ speak. Look in the comments section of any website, especially on an article dealing with language or grammar, and you’ll find ‘purist-and-proud-of-it’ commenters who insist that proper language is necessary for proper comprehension and communication, that the English language as we know it is in a serious state of endangerment. Texting and a lack of grammar instruction in schools are often claimed to be the root of the problem. For some reason grammar, or the perceived lack thereof, incurs the wrath of so many English speakers.
Linguists have a very different view of ‘grammar’, and an even more different view of what is deemed ‘ungrammatical’. This presentation will contrast prescriptive views of language held by most people who have gone through the school system with descriptive views of language held by most linguists. The inevitablity of language change, as well as examples of differing social, geographical and situational norms will be discussed.
In other words, don’t bother correcting your kids’ and grandkids’ grammar and pronunciation. You can’t beat ‘em, but you might be able to join ‘em.
Speaker: Dr. Nicole Rosen
Nicole Rosen’s research interests center around effects of language interactions and specifically, languages and dialects spoken in the Canadian Prairies. Her doctoral thesis was a study of Michif, a Cree-French mixed language spoken primarily in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. She is also very interested in minority French as spoken in Western Canada, for example comparing Métis and non-Métis varieties of French in the region. Most recently, Dr. Rosen has turned to studying dialect differences in Southern Alberta. She has built a Southern Alberta Corpus of English to begin the investigation of social and linguistic factors involved in language variation between rural and urban speakers as well as variation between speakers of different religious and ethnic backgrounds.
Moderator: Tad Mitsui
Date: Thursday, November 28, 2013
Time: Noon - 1:30 PM
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr S
Cost: $11.00 (includes lunch)