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Spoken Language Study

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sylvia scales

on 11 January 2014

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Transcript of Spoken Language Study

Spoken Language Study
January 2014
Obviously the spoken language is not like the written word, but how exactly is it different?
1 Sound:
pronunication of words gives clues about where people come from or what social class they belong to
2 Vocabulary:
the words we use can change depending on whom we are speaking to or what about!
3 Grammar:
this can also give clues to regional origin
e.g. someone from Manchester might add 'me' to the ends of sentences: 'I don't like artichokes, me.'
4 Politeness:
Social manners tells us to be polite to strangers; to listen when others speak and to take turns in conversations.
5 Power:
We can tell by the choice of words or by tone who has the power in speech e.g. 'Sir...' 'Please' 'How dare you?'
6 Set phrases:
In some situations there are particular phrases which we all understand:
'excuse me please'... 'I'm sorry for your loss'... 'Where were you on the night of the...'...'encore'
7 Non-verbal language:
Body language
Tone of voice
can all give additional clues to the verbal content.
What happens when people sound completely different from the way they look? Or when what they say is not at all what we expect? Watch this clip...
These are some of the things spoken language includes that the written doesn't:~
fillers, back-channelling, vague language; repetition, interruption, overlapping speech; slurring of words ‘gonna’, small talk, false starts and turn taking.
Another feature of the spoken word is
Accent and Dialect.
What is accent?
What is dialect?
How do others feel about accents?
Watch this clip.
So Accent is pronunciation usually giving away the speaker's regional identity, whereas Dialect is the choice of individual words which again can be identified with geographical places e.g bap, daps, sneakers, hood, fender, cutlery, wee...
But you can also have a social class accent e.g. in Journey's End the officers except Trotter all went to public school, hence 'rugger' 'chap' 'cheero' 'jolly good' 'rotten show' etc
Your accent can change over time if you move regions and you may even adapt your vocabulary to fit in better!
Remember that you may change the
way you speak at home from the
way you speak at school or around your friends.
Why is this?
Watch this Kevin and Perry sketch...
How do teenagers speak today?
Is Lauren Cooper representative?
just watch the beginning of this clip.
Then there's group language and slang.
Groups have their own language and vocab
sometimes to keep others out sometimes out of the
nature of the job e.g. Who uses these terms?
drip? / glaze?/ skirt/ ram? etc
[Answers on the next slide.]
Do you have any words that you and your friends use that
are particular to your group?

What do these Cockney Rhyming slang expressions mean?
plates of meat? me old china? apples and pears? Barnet Fair?
Khyber Pass????
And if you haven't seen it, this is a good one!
Finally there's your own idiolect:
this is your own way of speaking.
Lauren Cooper has her very own
set of expressions, do you?
nursing or plumbing, baking or window fitting, butchery or textiles, IT or farming
Feet / mate/ stairs / hair/ hmmm!!
What is slang and why is it frowned on?
It is informal and chatty and not always appropriate!
It is casual and often used to sound rebellious or funny or to talk about otherwise taboo subjects like bodily functions, death and sex!
It includes swearing and it goes in and out of fashion.
What words did your parents use when they were your age that either aren't used now or have different meanings?
is your own unique way of speaking; it is affected by
your background, where you've lived, your parents,
where you went to school, your interests, and other
people you have spent time with.
It doesn't stay the same but changes
particularly as you get older and use less slang.
the way you change your language when you're with
different people is called your repertoire.
What are received Pronunciation and Standard English?
Its origins can be traced back to public
schools and universities in the mid 19th
century and was used of this socially
exclusive accent. The speech patterns of the
rich, educated and upper class, loosely the
south-east Midlands came to be associated with
the establishment and gained a unique status
particularly among the middle-classes.
As you can hear in the next clip Lord Reith, first DG
of the BBC believed Standard English along with RP
would be the most widely understood variety of English
and he was conscious that choosing a regional accent
would alienate some listeners.
Listen to this poem by Tom Leonard
and it will give you some reasons why
accents are often perceived negatively.

Over to you now.
Choose one of the possible tasks.
discuss it with your neighbours
and spidergram your ideas.
Some of the aspects to consider are:
your own accent / dialect / repertoire/
different people's attitudes to the way
you speak. Who / what and where are you
influenced by? How and why, has or does
your speech change?
[see document on desktop.]
This next clip is from the Stephen Fry documentary
about language. See what you think.
[on disc number 47]

One of the ways in which spoken language has changed in recent years is the use of text speak. Watch this clip about predictive text!
Full transcript