ERIC Number: ED184374
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Feb
The Status of Native Speaker Intuitions in a Polylectal Grammar.
Debose, Charles E.
A study of one speaker's intuitions about and performance in Black English is presented with relation to Saussure's "langue-parole" dichotomy. Native speakers of a language have intuitions about the static synchronic entities although the data of their speaking is variable and panchronic. These entities are in a diglossic relationship to each other. There exist a basilect (concentration of stigmatized forms), an acrolect (the maximum occurrence of prestige variants), and the mesolect (the actual performance). To test this hyposthesis, an intuitive sketch of basilectal Black English syntax is first drawn in traditional linguistic terms. Where discrepancies exist between this synchronic entity and the same person's performance, they are due to avoidance strategies through which some black speakers of English attempt to avoid the stigma attached to certain basilectal forms by replacing them with what their notion of the correct form is. These strategies are represented in the grammar as standardization rules. These rules apply to the output of the basilectal rules in direct proportion to the amount of attention the speaker is paying to his speech. (PMJ)
Descriptors: Black Dialects, Descriptive Linguistics, Diglossia, Grammar, Language Usage, Linguistic Competence, Linguistic Performance, Native Speakers, Social Dialects, Sociolinguistics
Berkeley Linguistics Society, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 ($8.20 for entire Proceedings)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Berkeley Linguistics Society (3rd, Berkeley, CA, February 19-21, 1977).