RE: Act versus pass (WAS Disp versus App-Which One? ) (slightly OT/rant)

Subject: RE: Act versus pass (WAS Disp versus App-Which One? ) (slightly OT/rant)
From: Melanie Shook <mshook -at- com2001 -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 21 Dec 2000 10:20:21 -0600

Dick Margulis wrote:
<<We acquire our dialect (including vocabulary, diction, grammar, and
pronunciation) primarily between the ages of six and twelve and in the
schoolyard, all good parental intentions notwithstanding. >>

There are many linguistics studies that corroborate this statement. However,
I grew up in an area where people spoke a "non-standard" dialect of English,
but I still spoke standard English (aside from a few quirks in my idiolect).
My mother speaks (almost) standard English, but my father speaks the
regional dialect, and my peers spoke the regional dialect.

I attribute my standard dialect to the fact that I learned to read at a
young age, that I read extensively throughout my childhood, and maybe even
that I watched a lot of television, where "standard" English is the primary
language. But more important than the exposure to standard English was that
I was a good mimic, and that I was aware of the negative social impact of
speaking a non-standard dialect (and had a strong desire to avoid it).

Learning styles, cognitive styles, and social factors have a strong
influence on a person's ability to acquire a second language -- these same
factors probably have an impact on how we acquire our first language
(dialect) as well.

Melanie Shook
mshook -at- COM2001 -dot- com

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