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Author Topic: Language and "Pubilect"
extrinsic
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Pubilect: portmanteau of public dialect.

As concerns young people's social speech and thought patterns and translations thereof to written word, researchers distinguish four characteristic categories for differences between young and early adult and later ages' expression distinctions: emotive, connotative, clique, and self-centered.

Emotive concerns, of course, emotional and dramatic emphasis, emotionally charged nonsensical discourse markers, charged intensifiers, charged vocal intonation, and charged elongated words. This one has satisfied my pursuit of why italics emphasis might mark a word or two here and there in young person's writing and writers who emulate young persons' speech and who appeal to like-minded readers. Often, all the former are used at once, for example: He was sooooo wicked. No chance the emphasis could be missed.

Connotative concerns coined and reformatted words, the connotations' contexts signal their unconventional meanings. This explains how words, like mundane, changed from meaning the earthly realm, as opposed to the metaphysical realm, to mean dull. A new coin that emerged circa 1960. Reformatted words include portmanteaus and prefixes and suffixes appended to extant words and abbreviated words and acronyms, like LOL and BFF. -ish word suffixes that hedge incisive speech is another example: bittersweet-ish, commish, cool-ish, happy-ish, though the hyphen is often omitted; portmanteaus: twerk, putdown, downlow, Billary, Brangelina; abbreviated words: email, blog, y'all, alright, alot, error or otherwise.

Clique expression concerns in-group slang that confuses others not in the know, often contradictory to established denotation, often as weapons, putdowns: bad to mean cool, wicked likewise, awesome likewise, heavy, beat, shag, fauxhawk.

Self-centered concerns personal need to stay in touch with peers and be heard by others -- be relevant, at least participate and contribute to a conversation regardless of relevance, quantity, quality, or mannerism. Shock jockery (reformatted word and coin) is an example of expression self-centrism. Non sequitur insertions also is an example.

Nor is any of the above the exclusive domain of youth now or back to the earliest expression, of any age. Plus, the several overlap.

When a narrative concerns youth expression, like young or early adult, such language mannerisms suit a focal agonist's speech and thought mannerisms, stream of consciousness, too. A judicious use of these intimates the age range and state of mind of an agonist, like any language mannerism, any identity criteria. This bewildered and frustrated, even frightened at times, sometimes sarcastic, angry maybe, often "ironic" outward self-confidence coping strategy common to the human condition.

On the other hand, a dearth of these, an overly staid, cultured, sophisticated expression mannerism, signals otherwise. Judicious use thereof might suit a light-touch narrator's voice, though, and other voice applications, like affected speech and thought, empty rhetoric, empty adverbs used as intensifiers. That is literally the cat mouw-mouw.

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Jack Albany
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Silly as it may sound, the distinctive Australian accent is, in part, derived from environmental factors. In particular, the prevalence of flies in our wide brown land. Because of the flies we tend to open our mouths as little as possible, and to breathe through our noses, giving our speech a nasal twang.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Rita Mae Brown's book on writing, Starting from Scratch, includes a nice little discussion on using word choices for characterization - specifically how Anglo-Saxon (mostly single syllable) words versus Latinate (mostly multi-syllable) words as used by characters in dialog, and even in narration, can indicate such things as education level or arrogance (or the lack thereof).

I'd recommend the book for that section alone, but it has more to offer to writers of any level.

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extrinsic
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Not silly at all. Environmental factors influence accents subtly and profoundly. The so-labeled southren drawl of the U.S. southeast is part due to soft surfaces and wide open fields back when. Slow speech and affected pronunciation emphasis eases conversation across the sound-absorbing landscape distances. New England's harder environment surfaces and more so closer social spaces fostered short, sharp speech, eased conversation. The Swedish yodel -- a sing-song rhythm that affects regular conversation accents. People and place very much affect speech.

How to translate an accent to written word!? Judiciously sparse diction and syntax choices and idiom: hard or soft, short or long, sharp or blunt, fast or slow, rhythmic or offbeat. Light on the visual dialect markers, though, like unfamiliar apostrophied contractions. Idiom g'day mate is globally recognizable. A little yaba-daba do ya.

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Jack Albany
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One thing I find interesting: Australia has a slightly larger land area than the USA and yet we have no regional dialects. Yes, we have a much smaller population, but you'd think the general geographic isolation of small groups would be fertile ground for such dialect diversity. Yet there is none, with the exceptions of calling flat disks of potato either potato cakes or scallops, and the fact that in Queensland a carry bag or case is called a 'port', a contraction of portmanteau.
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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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That may have something to do with the diversity (or lack thereof) of the people who settled the different areas of both countries.

I don't know if there were as many immigrants from other places than the British Isles to Australia as there were in the US.

Also, many of the different immigrants to the US moved to distinct parts of the interior and tended to collect in those parts, but has there been as much movement into the Australian interior on the part of her immigrants?

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extrinsic
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Another factor to consider is colonial U.S. immigration spanned the two major English dialect and accent changes of Middle and Modern English. The so-labeled "king's" English, Middle English, pronounced vowel sounds sharper than Modern English's multi-variant vowel sounds.

The Great Vowel Shift prevailed at the end of the Middle English period, circa 1776. Plus, Old English consonant sounds persisted in British region pockets through the colonial era. Each dialect and accent migrated to the U.S. from the British Isles' many culture pockets during sequential waves and from distinct regions.

African migrant contributions have been noteworthy, too, again, like other regions' environments' influences.

Throughout U.S. history, migrants from across the globe brought distinct diction, syntax, dialects, and accents that parts of diffused into selected regions and broader language stalwarts. The trend continues to this day; evermore late migrants influence language alterations. East European influences dominated early to middle twentieth century language and pronuciation shifts. Indian, Asian, and Asia Minor migrants are the latest contributors to U.S. language shifts. Nowadays, every world region is represented in U.S. multiculture region enclaves.

U.S. culture and its dialects and accents are not the proverbial melting pot, never has been, cannot be: a homogeneous, assimilated society culture; rather, is a salmagundi: a heterogeneous salad consisted of distinct, dissimilar, and diverse constituents; no matter how much any one outspoken culture group may wish itself and its facets the dominant "right" and "proper" monoculture for all. If a global and distinct U.S. American myth is extant, it is Individualism and with collectivism admixed; individualized kinship-group language features are a facet thereof.

To me, due to collective Individualism's overt resistance to external change influences, the only point that then matters is whether a regionalism or individualism is apt decorum, understandable and comprehensible for a given target audience's appeals -- spoken or written.

Hereabouts, remnant "king's" English, Middle English, dialects are spoken by a small region's diverse folk and other Atlantic seaboard enclaves from Canada to the Carolinas. Most outsiders cannot comprehend the gamut. I can and can lapse into speaking it due to intense immersion therein. Most English dialects and accents I can emulate and absorb. Otherwise, I am more or less the Unaccented and Unaffected American.

Australia, on the other hand, experienced a later, briefer, and narrower-region immigrant period and embraced multiculturalism later by five decades and less fully -- so far -- than the U.S. Recent rebound denials of multiculturalism notwithstood.

[ April 04, 2018, 02:27 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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walexander
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Actually, say anything is English is a funny statement since the language is Germanic Anglo-Saxon. from Engle (plural) "the Angles," the name of one of the Germanic groups that overran the island, supposedly because Angul, the land they inhabited on the Jutland coast, was shaped like a fish hook.

The U.S. is hardly the start of a diversity of accent, many earlier civilizations absorbed other cultures, languages, and religions and settled into pockets.

W.

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extrinsic
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English did indeed evolve from a dew dozen Germanic tribes, in turn from Gaulic, Romantic, Iberian, Anatolian, and Armenian roots. Later, English dialects diverged. Likewise, eras and milieus' dialects diverged. Key words and syntax are part influences and signals of divergence.

A few key words from present-day youth expression that have diffused throughout English usage: exist intransitive verb use, 1558 coin, reinvigorated; likewise, transitive verb extinction, coined fifteenth century; head intransitive verb use to mean go to, fourteenth century coin, nautical loan word; awesome adjective, 1598 coin, noted above, rare occasion used for transitive verb case, more verb use anticipated. Luke awesomed at off-road xtreme motocross BMX. [Edit added: and decent adjective or adverb to mean a quantity or any behavioral quality other than morally respectable, recent coin, circa 1990-ish.]

Then there's the numeral-use alpha glyph substitutions, 1 for lowercase L, 2 for Z, 3 for E, 5 for S, 8 for B, and numeral 0 for capital O, and vice versas, and other keyboard glyphs, @ for at (originally apiece abbreviation), # for hash (originally meant number, later meant a word space), and $ for S. @1a$: atlas.

Strong password security protocol part prompts these substitutions, too. Readable? Comprehensible? The first law of composition, that is. @la$, isn't, though is an illustration of password security. Minimum eight glyphs, at least one numeral, one capped alpha glyph, and one keyboard glyph mark not a usual punctuation mark (,.-()?!;:"'). w0r1d#@1a$ - a strong password that isn't, really, due to it's a common phrase and an obvious simple substitution cypher.

[ April 06, 2018, 07:15 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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walexander
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Hacker lingo and names = glyph sub.
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Jack Albany
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English is a hodgepodge language beginning with the Celts (central European roots), followed by the migration of the Angles, Jutes, and then the Saxons (Germanic roots), which gave rise to Old English. With the Norman invasion, French became the dominant language of the nobility; which was then imposed on the rest of the population by law, resulting in Middle English.

Just to muddy the waters.

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Reziac
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Sourced: Professor Danesi, who is author of "Cool: The Signs and Meanings of Adolescence," treats kids' slang as a social dialect that he calls "pubilect."

https://www.nytimes.com/1995/10/08/magazine/on-language-kiduage.html

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Jack Albany
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Reziac, I think you are confusing public with pubescent.

But I could be wrong. Ain't the English language a joy?

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Not only is English a hodgepodge, but I've heard it described as
quote:
a polyglot that follows other languages down dark alleys and mugs them for their words
.

English certainly has a large (humongous) vocabulary because of all the words it has acquired over time.

I understand that few (if any) other languages have so many synonyms - which certainly gives English writers a wide field from which to choose their words.

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extrinsic
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Reziac sources Marcel Danesi, semiotics and linguistics anthropologist, the coiner of "pubilect," who defines the word as teenagers' public-social dialect.

A distinction for English, separate from, say, Spanish, is no formal regulatory body oversees, regulates, governs its conventions. The Royal Spanish Academy oversees Spanish language use, for Spain anyway. Similar entities oversee several other Spanish-language countries' Spanish languages. And one hundred forty-two countries out of two hundred six total attempt to regulate their national languages. Classic Latin and Classic Greek languages "died" due to regulatory efforts to stifle the languages' variations, and the grammar "rules" became too burdensome to maintain, teach, and learn. Swedish likewise has a language academy, which the flagship of is the Nobel prizes.

English's lack of formal regulation shows that a culture facet left to a culture's choosing remains vital, appreciable, readable, and comprehensible, despite how much variation [edit: and attempted regulation] transpires. Not so, for example, for Spanish dialects. Spanish Castilians, Andalusians, and Canarians disparage Mexican dialects as incomprehensible, for instance. Never mind each disparages the others, too, for straying from Old Spanish roots, itself a stray from Old Latin.

Wikipedia "List of language regulators"

No wonder the English language's manifold dialects are ever lively and vigorous.

[ April 10, 2018, 11:34 AM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Reziac
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"The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary."

--James D. Nicoll


Hence nothing beats English for sheer profusion and variety. No matter what synonym you require, English can produce it -- or compound, invent, or steal it.

Estimates vary, but a few years back I saw a list of "total number of words in various languages" and English was far in the lead with high of a million words. German came in second with about half that, and Spanish, for comparison, with about a tenth.

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extrinsic
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The English million-word count depends upon "lemmas," their standard dictionary entries, or root words, and minus proper nouns. For examples, verbs' inflected forms: lemma be and its am, is, are, was, were, been, being, be conjugations and unconventional colloquial variants thereof and to have and to get state of being uses.

Also added to word counts, adverbs derived from verbs, and common nouns, and adjective forms, lemma noun effort, for instance, verbs efforted and efforts (colloquialisms), adverbs effortlessly and effortfully, adjectives effortless and effortful, and nouns, again, effortlessness and effortfulness, plus plurals, and unconventional, affected adjective effortive, effortable, and effortible, and interjection and fragment uses. Twelve parts of speech case instances of the lemma. In total, if every lemma word form and most conventional proper nouns were included, English's total word inventory soars to low tens of millions.

Also, individual vocabulary size varies by age, education, function, and use exposure, from a few hundred words for toddlers, low ten thousands for teenagers, up to high ten thousands for late adults, half again as many words for college educated persons of peer age to no-college individuals'; whether a reading, writing, listening, speaking, or focal discourse community vocabulary; and whether and how much and what types an individual reads, writes, listens to, and speaks.

Native German and Spanish, respectively, language users' vocabulary sizes compare to native English users though total German lemmas is half English's inventory and Spanish a tenth. Half or a tenth as many words, equivalent vocabulary sizes across the spectrum.

Then there's grammar or grammars . . . !?

"Without grammar, very little can be conveyed, without vocabulary, nothing can be conveyed." --- David A. Wilkins. Linguistics in Language Teaching. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 111. 1972. Wikipedia. Web.

And teenagers invent when grammar and vocabulary fail.

[ April 10, 2018, 10:31 PM: Message edited by: extrinsic ]

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Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
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Thanks for providing the attribution to my paraphrase, Reziac.
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