Language Myths

Overview

The media are ruining English"; "Some languages are harder than others"; "Children can't speak or write properly anymore." Such pieces of "cultural wisdom" are often expressed in newspapers and on radio and television. Rarely is there a response from experts in the fields of language and language development. In this book Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill have invited nineteen respected linguists from all over the world to address these "language myths"—showing that they vary from the misconceived to the downright ...

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Overview

The media are ruining English"; "Some languages are harder than others"; "Children can't speak or write properly anymore." Such pieces of "cultural wisdom" are often expressed in newspapers and on radio and television. Rarely is there a response from experts in the fields of language and language development. In this book Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill have invited nineteen respected linguists from all over the world to address these "language myths"—showing that they vary from the misconceived to the downright wrong. With essays ranging from "Women Talk Too Much" and "In the Appalachians They Speak Like Shakespeare" to "Italian Is Beautiful, German Is Ugly" and "They Speak Really Bad English Down South and in New York City," Language Myths is a collection that is wide-ranging, entertaining, and authoritative.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140260236
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/28/1999
  • Pages: 208
  • Sales rank: 340,771
  • Product dimensions: 4.94 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.52 (d)

Meet the Author

Laurie Bauer is a Reader in Linguistics at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and the author of many books and articles on word formation, international varieties of English, and language change in current English.
Peter Trudgill is professor of English linguistics at Fribourg, Switzerland. An author of many books and articles on sociolinguistics and dialectology, he has carried out linguistic fieldwork in most countries.

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Table of Contents

A Note on the Contributors

Introduction

Myth 1: The Meanings of Words Should Not be Allowed to Vary or Change: Peter Trudgill
Myth 2: Some Languages Are Just Not Good Enough: Ray Harlow
Myth 3: The Media Are Ruining English: Jean Aitchison
Myth 4: French is a Logical Language: Anthony Lodge
Myth 5: English Spelling is Kattastroffik: Edward Carney
Myth 6: Women Talk Too Much: Janet Holmes
Myth 7: Some Languages Are Harder than Others: Lars-Gunnar Andersson
Myth 8: Children Can't Speak or Write Properly Any More: James Milroy
Myth 9: In the Appalachians They Speak like Shakespeare: Michael Montgomery
Myth 10: Some Languages Have No Grammar: Winifred Bauer
Myth 11: Italian is Beautiful, German is Ugly: Howard Giles and Nancy Niedzielski
Myth 12: Bad Grammar is Slovenly: Leslie Milroy
Myth 13: Black Children are Verbally Deprived: Walt Wolfram
Myth 14: Double Negatives Are Illogical: Jenny Cheshire
Myth 15: TV Makes People Sound the Same: J. K. Chambers
Myth 16: You Shouldn't Say "It Is Me" because "Me" is Accusative: Laurie Bauer
Myth 17: They Speak Really Bad English Down South and in New York City: Dennis R. Preston
Myth 18: Some Languages Are Spoken More Quickly than Others: Peter Roach
Myth 19: Aborigines Speak a Primitive Lanugage: Nicholas Evans
Myth 20: Everyone Has an Accent Except Me: John H. Esling
Myth 21: America is Ruining the English Language: John Algeo

Index

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