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ERIC Number: ED354717
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992
Pages: 31
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Inequality in Language: Taking for Granted.
Hymes, Dell
Working Papers in Educational Linguistics, v8 n1 p1-30 Spr 1992
Social meaning includes evaluation of languages themselves. Linguists often say all languages are equal. This is true in regard to potential, not true of actual state. All varieties of language share with pidgins and creoles the condition of being the result of a particular history of use, specialization, elaboration, and loss. A conversational narrative from northeastern Philadelphia is analyzed, showing implicit interlocking patterns of a kind pervasive in Native American languages of the Columbia River and found as well in song texts of the Finnish Kalevala tradition. The role of tense alternation is detailed. Such patterning adds to what can be known of universal properties of discourse. It can enhance respect for disregarded languages and varieties, and, for Native American texts, be a form of repatriation. Members of narrative communities can share in such analysis; indeed, much that linguists discover and take for granted can be liberating for those to whom it is unknown. Such knowledge, what can be called "elementary linguistics," should be part of general education. (Author/JL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Pennsylvania (Philadelphia)