1. Innovations: All figurative/metaphorical extension
2. Innovations: First 3 compounding, Borrowing: “toilet” borrowed from French
3. Broadening: (no longer used exclusively for running, tennis, etc.)
4. innovation, compounding
5. clipping (from metropolitan)/narrowing;compounding, derivation
6. borrowing (from French); compounding, narrowing (borrowed from Old French originally)
7. acronym, compound; compound, borrowing
8. compounding, compounding, compounding (all narrowing), borrowing (from Spanish)
9. all compounds with semantic narrowing
10. compound; compound; narrowing, narrowing (originally from Greek to Latin peri-metron could be considered derivation with peri-
Chapter 3 | Exercises
If the word represents an innovation, which of the processes discussed above (e.g. compounding, borrowing, etc.) were used to create the word?
Are there cases which seem to involve figurative extension?
- baby’s breath/chalkweed/mist ‘a type of plant, gypsophila’
- bathroom/restroom/washroom/toilet ‘toilet facilities in a public place’
- sneakers/running shoes/tennis shoes/gym shoes/runners ‘athletic shoes as casual footwear’
- earthworm/angleworm/fishing worm/night crawler ‘a type of worm used in fishing’
- metro/underground/subway ‘underground railway system’
- cashier/check‐out/register ‘place where you pay in a store’
- ATM/bank machine/cash machine/guichet ‘machine that performs banking services’
- lowland/low ground/bottom land/savannah ‘land that usually has some standing water with trees or bushes growing on it’
- snap beans/string beans/green beans ‘a type of vegetable with a stringy fiber on the pods’
- beltline/beltway/loop/perimeter ‘a road that encircles a metropolitan area’
1. Innovations: All figurative/metaphorical extension
- chicken ‘afraid’
- zilch ‘nothing’
- buck ‘dollar’
- out to lunch ‘unaware’
- frisk ‘search’
- na mean ‘you know what I mean’
- awesome ‘excellent’
- aite ‘all right’
- stupendous ‘excellent’
- cool ‘excellent’
Slang terms are typically associated with newness/innovativeness. So are well-established words, like “cool” (which has been in the English lexicon for decades), still slang? Terms like “ill” tend to be associated with hip-hop culture, so do we consider this slang or a lexical feature of AAVE? Most of the listed words would be considered informal to some degree, but does this necessarily make them slang? All of these considerations show the ambiguity of the term “slang” itself.
What patterns of merger and distinction do you observe? What other sets of items fall into this general pattern?
Can you identify any correlation between dialect region and the patterns of merger and non‐merger in the speech of those you question?
Many people say merry/Mary/marry the same, but pronounce Murray differently (including people from southeast, west coast, and mid-Atlantic).
Others say merry/Mary/marry/Murray the same, all pronounced like Murray (including people from Philadelphia).
Finally, other speakers pronounce Mary/marry the same, merry differently, and Murray differently (including people from the Northeast).
Identify the type of syntactic variation in the following sentence pairs or sets of sentences according to the categories set forth above. For example, a sentence pair such as The Rams beat/The Rams beat the Cowboys would be classified as type 2 in this classification, since the variation relates to whether or not the verb beat takes an object. In your description of each difference, be as specific as possible about the variation you observe.
- Did ever a stray animal come to your house?/Did a stray animal ever come to your house?
- Some people makes soap from pig fat/Some people make soap from pig fat.
- They started to running/They started a‐running/They started running.
- There’s six people in our family/There’re six people in our family.
- They made him out the liar/They made him out to be the liar.
- We once in a while will have a party/We will have a party once in a while/Once in a while we will have a party.
- The dog ugly/The dog’s ugly.
- The man béen met him/The man met him a long time ago.
Can you think of language‐use conventions that might be included under this rubric?
Are there differences in politeness conventions, address forms, directness, literalness, and so forth that might account for the perception that Southerners are more polite than Northerners?
Think of concrete examples of language usages that might be a reflection of regional and cultural differences in norms for interacting with strangers and friends.
To what extent do you think that the notion that Southerners are more polite than Northerners is a valid interpretation of differences in language‐use conventions?
Politeness conventions: saying hi to people (including strangers) in public, asking strangers how they are doing (e.g. in a customer service situation)
Address forms: using ma’am and sir to strangers, parents, and other adults; calling close friends of the family Miss and Mr. + first name.
Directness: “softening the blow” with phrases such as “Bless his heart” or “I’m just saying” or ”I love her to death, but” + an insult or criticism.
Literalness: honesty is valued to a certain extent; however, “fish stories” (i.e. an exaggerated story, e.g., every time you tell a story about the fish you caught, the fish gets bigger and bigger) are accepted.
Many areas in which the above examples differ between the North and South can cause misperceptions about “Southern politeness” or “Northern rudeness.” For example, politeness conventions within a customer service are an area in which pragmatics may differ. A Southern waitress might ask, “How are y’all doing today?” or “Hey, sweetie,” while a Northern waiter might forego any sort of greeting ritual altogether, opting instead for “Yeah?” or “What do you want?” Neither of these are necessarily more or less polite than the other, but rather a matter of regional/social tradition. Nonetheless, a Northerner might consider the Southern waitress overly friendly or even flirty, whereas a Southerner might consider the Northern waiter to be uninviting or cold.
What kinds of language use tend to go along with the behaviors that have bothered you?
In what ways might language‐use conventions contribute to your impression?
What is different about the conventions of your cultural/dialectal group compared to those of the other group?
Are there aspects of your perception that, upon further reflection, might simply be related to how you interpret the language routines of other cultural groups rather than the intentions of the speakers?
Are there aspects related to what you expect of certain social groups versus what individual speakers actually do?