Re: [Ltru] rechartering to handle 639-6 (was FW: Anomaly in upcoming registry)

CE Whitehead <> Sun, 19 July 2009 21:02 UTC

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Subject: Re: [Ltru] rechartering to handle 639-6 (was FW: Anomaly in upcoming registry)
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From: "Doug Ewell" <doug at>  

Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 13:07:03 -0600 


Likewise in English, the written form is more or less like the spoken 'standard;' > Um, I don't really, like, agree with that, y'know
Hmm, here are speeches by two fairly educated speakers of U.S. English; you'll note that King's speech uses more metaphor and a bit of repetition because it's targeting a different group of people (granted, King's audience may be more immersed in oral culture than the audience Kennedy is targeting; however I'm not at all sure that's the case); otherwise both speeches use Standard English:


These are simultaneously oral and written texts of course.


I don't have access to spoken texts that are not written here (this is a library--and I'd need to buy earplugs and then transcribe).  


However, I did transcribe my conversation with one of my former high school teachers and was really amazed by his near standard written grammar and by almost the total absence of false starts. My Mom's speech is another example of Standard English spoken discourse I think (except that sometimes she reverts to a Fitchburg accent and sometimes to a Southern one; but she gets all her verb subject agreement right, on the phone, wherever, just as it should be in standard written discourse; there are a few more false starts in her oral talk than in standard written English, not many, that's about it; Goody observed fewer false starts and more embedding in the speech of the literate than in that of illiterate cultures).


I have no final comment on this issue except that I would not immediatey approve any subtag more than Mark's suggested [zyyy] for written content of unknown script.


(If anyone wants to read more on oral verus written language, maybe Deborah Tannen, ed., Spoken and Written Language, as well as Goody's work, are places I'd start.) 




C. E. Whitehead