ERIC Number: ED335905
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Some Notes on Dialect in Recent English Literature.
Most studies of dialects in English-language literature have focused on works of the nineteenth century or earlier. However, modern literature can expand the scope of dialectological investigation. In John Salinger's "Catcher in the Rye," use of non-standard dialect forms occurs when the author uses an unusually informal register modelled on a spoken style. However, certain non-standard constructions in the book are highly divergent, some more characteristic of non-native varieties of English and others of middle-aged or elderly working-class speakers in areas other than that of the main character. If Salinger's assumptions about the occurrence of these forms in speech are correct, this suggests new areas of dialect study or the need for new research methodology. In Clive James'"Falling Towards England," the interest is not in what usage may or may not occur, but on how a writer may seriously misperceive and thus misrepresent features of a dialect with which he has only a limited acquaintance. In this case, the misperception appears to result from mediation through the system of the author's own dialect. These instances illustrate the potential for further dialect study using contemporary English literature. (MSE)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Catcher in the Rye; Falling Towards England (James)
Note: In: CUHK Papers in Linguistics, No. 2. p105-110, Aug 1990; see FL 019 373.