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    #1

    Unhappy How to start writing about my dialect?

    Hi,, I'm a bedouin guy from Jordan. I want to write about my dialect and I don't know how to begin and what to begin with!! I am not also strong enough at english,, thanks.
    Last edited by Shahir; 08-Oct-2012 at 15:32. Reason: mistake

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    #2

    Re: How to start writing about my dialect?

    What are the distinct features of your dialect- pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, etc. In other words, how is it different from the mainstream language?

  1. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: How to start writing about my dialect?

    Will your spelling system be adequate to represent your dialect? That is a big problem with English. English is already not written as it is spoken. But I find the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) extremely difficult to use with any speed.

    Also, with English, it is difficult to represent a dialect without seeming to be condescending.

    For my own dialect I felt that I had to create my own spelling system -- something I call "Artok Ruy'n" (Our Talk Writing) -- which I plan to soon discuss on on UsingEnglish.com

    Frank

  2. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: How to start writing about my dialect?

    A few other thoughts...

    I believe that you will require what, when I studied linguistics I learned to call, a "corpus" i.e. a "body" of recorded examples of your dialect. Many years ago I set about to write (in Artok Ruy'n) such a corpus for my dialect. I still have it --about 200 pages, and it would be enough to start.
    Perhaps you may find that recording your dialect orally may be the only way to proceed, but I think that you may find it more difficult later to work with it and discuss it.
    Finally, the matter of "register" (formality, if you will) becomes very important, and I believe that all spoken languages have it. Probably you dialect is much more varied in its registers than is the "standard language". Which register will you discuss? Or will you discuss the range of them?
    I, personally, found linguistics to be the hardest science that I ever studied.

  3. 5jj's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: How to start writing about my dialect?

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahir View Post
    I am not also strong enough at english,, thanks.
    If you feel that you are not strong at English, then why not write your own language - at least at first?

    Whichever language you choose to write in, think about the features Tdol mentioned - vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation. Some of the differences a writer on English dialects might note are:

    Vocabulary: In standard BrE, some people worship in a church. In many Scottish varieties of English, that building is a kirk.

    Grammar:
    In standard BrE, modal verbs cannot operate together. In some Scottish varieties of English, constructions such as will can and might could are possible.

    Pronunciation: The standard BrE pronunciation of the sound often spelt ow/ou (as in 'house') is as a dipthong, /aʊ/. It is a pure vowel /u:/ in many Scottish varieties of English.

  4. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: How to start writing about my dialect?

    Shahir, are you still there?

    You can see that some of us would like to help you, but it would be good if you told us that you still were there.

    Frank

  5. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: How to start writing about my dialect?

    It's a shame that Shahir seems to have so quickly disappeared because I believe that there is interest in this thread.

    Maybe we could keep him here in spirit, sort of like a fantasy student.

    Shahir, you should also decide upon one or more "informants". That's the term I learned long ago for the person whose speech one used for study. Way back then, I also learned that each person had his own "idiolect", as opposed to his "dialect". I suspect that an old, uneducated woman might give you the most extreme version of your dialect. Men, I believe, have, over history, been more prone to show signs of a world further away from the home.

    Where I live, I know of such a woman that I would use for the study of my dialect.

  6. Frank Antonson's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: How to start writing about my dialect?

    Maybe I should take over as Shahir, I seem to be talking to myself. But....

    It occurred to me that I should perhaps take my own advice and begin once again to record a dialect. My mother-in-law has just moved in with us instead of staying at a nursing home. She is almost 93 years old and not in good health. Our house is such that one can hear just about everything that goes on from anywhere in the house. Grace offers a good example of a dialect that comes from about 50 miles east of here. It is not my dialect, but I find it interesting.
    When Grace speaks with her friends on the telephone, she speaks the dialect almost purely. If there is interest here, I could show how I would go about writing samples of it.

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