What are the arguments ????

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dduck

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tdol said:
While I recognise variations of English as acceptable, when something becomes incomprehensible to the wider speech community, it is not going to help its speakers greatly.

Don't misunderstand me! I'd never heard the term Ebonics until Will mentioned it. I personally have no opinion on the subject, and I've never encountered it in real life. However, if linguistics is a science then Ebonics like any other language deserves some study.

I can't ever imagine teaching it.
Iain
 

Tdol

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Some argue that it should have equal status. From a linguistic perspective, this makes sense, but from an educational perspective I am less sure. ;-)
 
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Will

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I agree that ebonics should be studied because it is important as a variant of English (mildly important, but important nonetheless). Though I don't think that it should be taught in a classroom setting at any level of education. Most of it is vulgar and lewd, and therefore not something that I feel should be taught.
 

Tdol

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Users should also be encouraged to acquire other ways of using English so that they can be integrated into the wider community professionally. Any excessively restricted form of speech and writing will restrict a person's access to opportunity. ;-)
 

RonBee

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tdol said:
While I recognise variations of English as acceptable, when something becomes incomprehensible to the wider speech community, it is not going to help its speakers greatly.

That is the whole point of some languages--to be incomprehensible to nonspeakers. Of course, as you noted, if a person knows only that insular language that person is at a disadvantage in the wider speech community.
 

Tdol

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If being incomprehensible is all you have, then you're in trouble. If you have it as something you can use when you want, then that is very different and, IMO, rather desirable. ;-)
 

DarK AngeL

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prescriptive approach to a language tries to enforce a standard language and sees other dialects,forms of language as incorrect.
But descriptive approach,sees language as it is. it does't judge the language as good or bad.
 
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pljames

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prescriptive approach to a language tries to enforce a standard language and sees other dialects,forms of language as incorrect.
But descriptive approach,sees language as it is. it does't judge the language as good or bad


:?: Can you describe the difference between prescriptive language and descriptive. I am favoring descriptive.
Paul/pljames:)
 

Tdol

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As an example, let's look at 'if I was you'. A prescriptive grammarian would say it is wrong because we should use he subjunctive there and it should be 'if I were you'.
A descriptive grammarian would say that many, if not the majority, of native speakers say 'if I was', so it is acceptable and correct. Also, given that many say 'if I were you', the descriptive grammarian would accept that both forms can be used.
If you took it a bit further, you'd see tht 'were' is more common than 'was' in formal language, so the descriptive grammarian might suggest that, while both are fine in most usage, the subjunctive might be preferable in formal usage.
;-)
 

drhatch

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TDOL's reply is vacuous. Prescriptive rules can only be justified by appeal to descriptive accuracy. Rules do not come from any god. Nor do English speakers have to listen to 'experts' in an official Academy
 

Tdol

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The absence of an academy does not stop there being many prescriptivists. Nor do many of these refer to descriptive accuracy- I was merely stating what they are not supporting their views. In an extreme case, those who claim that the correct form is 'it is I' are not making any reference whatsoever to a description, but simply applying their understanding of a rule, one they believe carries greater authority that the vast majority of native users. I was not upholding their vews, just describing them.
 
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drhatch

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Unless some grammarian has a direct line to the god of language, prescriptive 'rules' can only be based on descriptive research on usage – though such research will always unfinished. And prescriptivist rules are no more than analytical constructs – at best
 

Tdol

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And frequently on less than that- the rule about not splitting infinitives because Latin one-word infinitives don't split come to mind. ;-)
 
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