My sister has an speech impediment:

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dulcinea
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My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by dulcinea » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:35 pm

instead of pronouncing THE as DI, she says DE, which sounds flat and harsh and provincial.
How may I correct her, besides pointing out the=di careful pronunciation used by newsreaders?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

jbuck919
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 3:43 pm

My first thought is that the Pope is another adult who pronounces "the" like "de." Do you want to fix his speech because he has a typical thick German accent that belies his otherwise remarkable linguistic prowess? :?

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dulcinea
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by dulcinea » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:00 pm

jbuck919 wrote:My first thought is that the Pope is another adult who pronounces "the" like "de." Do you want to fix his speech because he has a typical thick German accent that belies his otherwise remarkable linguistic prowess? :?
My sister's English isn't that good, nor is her Spanish. She regularly mixes them up, using English nouns with Spanish syntax and verbs, something that embarrasses me:
Hoy comemos fried chicken y mashed potatoes con gravy en KFC. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

John F
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by John F » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:10 pm

Actually, "the" is pronounced "thuh" in idiomatic English except when given emphasis, when it's pronounced "thee." How you'd spell "thuh" idiomatically in Spanish I've no idea.
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:17 pm

dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:My first thought is that the Pope is another adult who pronounces "the" like "de." Do you want to fix his speech because he has a typical thick German accent that belies his otherwise remarkable linguistic prowess? :?
My sister's English isn't that good, nor is her Spanish. She regularly mixes them up, using English nouns with Spanish syntax and verbs, something that embarrasses me:
Hoy comemos fried chicken y mashed potatoes con gravy en KFC. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
That's a terrible example, because how else would one describe a selection of KFC offerings? The translation would be more trouble than it's worth. You also wouldn't ask me to state that last night at an Italian restaurant I had little strings coal worker's style (spaghetti a la carbonara).

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

dulcinea
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by dulcinea » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:15 pm

jbuck919 wrote:
dulcinea wrote:
jbuck919 wrote:My first thought is that the Pope is another adult who pronounces "the" like "de." Do you want to fix his speech because he has a typical thick German accent that belies his otherwise remarkable linguistic prowess? :?
My sister's English isn't that good, nor is her Spanish. She regularly mixes them up, using English nouns with Spanish syntax and verbs, something that embarrasses me:
Hoy comemos fried chicken y mashed potatoes con gravy en KFC. :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:
That's a terrible example, because how else would one describe a selection of KFC offerings? The translation would be more trouble than it's worth. You also wouldn't ask me to state that last night at an Italian restaurant I had little strings coal worker's style (spaghetti a la carbonara).
One book I always carry in my big purse is a MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S dictionary of English and Spanish because I do not want to give the impression that I am an ignoramus who doesn't know that AVOCADO is AGUACATE and BUTTERMILK is SUERO DE LECHE. Remember that tourist guide in Ponce who could not do his job adequately because he had no command either of English or of Spanish?
Let every thing that has breath praise the Lord! Alleluya!

jbuck919
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:23 pm

dulcinea wrote:One book I always carry in my big purse is a MERRIAM-WEBSTER'S dictionary of English and Spanish because I do not want to give the impression that I am an ignoramus who doesn't know that AVOCADO is AGUACATE and BUTTERMILK is SUERO DE LECHE. Remember that tourist guide in Ponce who could not do his job adequately because he had no command either of English or of Spanish?
Believe me, you do not give the impression that you are an ignoramus--very much the opposite, and that goes double for knowing your two languages in depth. Educated bilingualism is something I have always envied.

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Wallingford
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by Wallingford » Sat Dec 15, 2012 11:17 pm

Consider yourselves lucky.....I've spent the past 3 years wondering how I can delicately explain to the relations I live with the fact that the proper conjugation isn't "you was" or "we was."
If I could tell my mom and dad
That the things we never had
Never mattered we were always ok
Getting ready for Christmas day
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Holden Fourth
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by Holden Fourth » Sun Dec 16, 2012 3:31 am

If your sister is articulate then who cares how she pronounces her words? People will judge you as provincial before you even speak and what's wrong with being provincial?

dulcinea
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by dulcinea » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:36 am

Holden Fourth wrote:If your sister is articulate then who cares how she pronounces her words? People will judge you as provincial before you even speak and what's wrong with being provincial?
An infallible way to start on the wrong foot with me is to ask whether I would prefer a Spanish speaker when the facts are that I have lived in this furschlugginer Reich for 31 yrs, 6 months and 15 days, and the yahoos who pretend to be fluent Sp speakers are always so ignorant that they translate CALL BACK as LLAMAR PARA ATRA'S instead of DEVOLVER LA LLAMADA.
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jbuck919
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:29 am

Wallingford wrote:Consider yourselves lucky.....I've spent the past 3 years wondering how I can delicately explain to the relations I live with the fact that the proper conjugation isn't "you was" or "we was."
I am blessed that my high-school-educated mother (the only one in her or any previous generation to do that) is the only one in her family who has always used proper grammar, partly because she knew it was important to me even as a child. Her relatives (the still living ones are around here), like your family, tend to talk like litigants on Judge Judy.

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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by RebLem » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:35 pm

Wallingford wrote:Consider yourselves lucky.....I've spent the past 3 years wondering how I can delicately explain to the relations I live with the fact that the proper conjugation isn't "you was" or "we was."
I used to cringe, but say nothing, whenever my father said, "I seen..."
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dulcinea
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by dulcinea » Sun Dec 16, 2012 7:45 pm

A particularly irritating habit of my sister is to--very frequently--say SO instead of CONQUE. She forgets that, in Spanish, SO is used to emphasize an insulting name: !SO CERDO! !SO PERRO! !SO VACA!=YOU PIG! YOU DOG! YOU COW!
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by Mark Harwood » Mon Dec 17, 2012 2:28 am

Wallingford wrote:Consider yourselves lucky.....I've spent the past 3 years wondering how I can delicately explain to the relations I live with the fact that the proper conjugation isn't "you was" or "we was."
If the meaning was clear, why care what the "proper conjugation" is when the conversation was in the vernacular?
"I did it for the music."
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:53 am

Mark Harwood wrote:
Wallingford wrote:Consider yourselves lucky.....I've spent the past 3 years wondering how I can delicately explain to the relations I live with the fact that the proper conjugation isn't "you was" or "we was."
If the meaning was clear, why care what the "proper conjugation" is when the conversation was in the vernacular?
People of even average education speak grammatically even in informal contexts unless they are code switching. I'll bet Wallingford's relatives also say "Me and her went to the movies." Whether it is politically correct to point it out or not, these things in white American culture are a sign of poor education and identification with the lower class if not the low life.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

John F
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by John F » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:50 am

There is not just one grammar of English, but quite a few. "You was" and "We was" is correct in the grammar the speaker is using, as are "you be" and "we be" in African-American English. That grammar is part of a dialect associated with "inferiors" in social class and particularly race, whereas "standard English" such as we speak is the grammar of the top dogs.

That said, most people need to speak the standard dialect of their language in order to succeed in life. A rock star or football player can speak as he likes, as the economic value of his talent outweighs the disadvantages of dialect, but of course they're exceptions.
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 4:57 pm

John F wrote:There is not just one grammar of English, but quite a few. "You was" and "We was" is correct in the grammar the speaker is using, as are "you be" and "we be" in African-American English.
I purposely limited myself to white English to avoid the far more complicated issue of the non-standard features of African-American English. (You are also bandying around the term "dialect" rather loosely. Nothing we have mentioned so far qualifies as that. Gullah, which you can look up if you don't already know about it, is a dialect.) White people who violate the rules of standard English are speaking ungrammatically, period, i.e., they are not completely successful in utilizing their native language, a fact that would also show up in their writing and to equal detriment. That is why they are incessantly taught from the time they enter school to speak correctly. White pupils are taught that it is wrong to say "we was" and "me and him," while black pupils are taught that it is necessary in general company to say "he is" instead of "he be" in order to succeed in the greater society. Typically, black people code switch in private company, while properly educated white people don't revert to "her and me ain't happy" when they go home again. The difference may not seem fair and may make some people uncomfortable (it does me, a little), but it is a definite and not necessarily undesirable distinction.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by John F » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:17 pm

Trust me, I know what a dialect is. My father wrote the book on it.

Image

Sez Wikipedia, "One usage refers to a variety of a language that is a characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as social class." And race. The dialect called African-American Vernacular English has some distinctive and consistent syntax rules, such as verb conjugation, that set it apart from standard American ("honky") English. Also a lexicon which speakers of standard American English may think of as slang but is established common usage in AAVE. See the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_Am ... ar_English
Last edited by John F on Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:19 pm

John F wrote:Trust me, I know what a dialect is. My father wrote the book on it.

http://www.amazon.com/Dialectology-Intr ... is+dialect

Sez Wikipedia, "One usage refers to a variety of a language....
All right, I'll buy that. Here is the other usage:

"The other usage refers to a language socially subordinate to a regional or national standard language, often historically cognate to the standard, but not a variety of it or in any other sense derived from it. This more precise usage enables one to distinguish between varieties of a language, such as the French spoken in Nice, France, and local languages distinct from the superordinate language, e.g. Nissart, the traditional native Romance language of Nice, known in French as Niçard."

English does not really have much in the way of dialects according to this definition (I don't know about nearly incomprehensible Scots English, whether that's a dialect or just far-out pronunciation). Dialects by the stricter definition hover at the edge of mutual unintelligibility. We lack the experience of Germans and Italians in this respect. And actually, I was wrong because Gullah is considered a creole rather than a dialect of English.

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by John F » Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:52 pm

English has loads of dialects, not just between nations but within them. In England, my father worked for a year as a field researcher for the Survey of English Dialects - his bailiwick was Norfolk - interviewing elderly rural residents who had never been far from home. According to Wikipedia, "The Norfolk dialect, also known as Broad Norfolk, is a dialect that was once, and to a great extent still is, spoken by those living in the county of Norfolk in England. It employs distinctively unique pronunciations, especially of vowels; and consistent grammatical forms that differ markedly from standard English."

The definition I quoted is what language professionals such as my father mean "most often" (Wikipedia) when they speak of dialect. The secondary definition you quote is not "stricter," it refers to a somewhat different and considerably rarer linguistic phenomenon which is also called a dialect. Neither definition contradicts the other.

As for Scottish English, read it and weep:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_English
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:17 pm

John F wrote:English has loads of dialects, not just between nations but within them. In England, my father worked for a year as a field researcher for the Survey of English Dialects - his bailiwick was Norfolk - interviewing elderly rural residents who had never been far from home. According to Wikipedia, "The Norfolk dialect, also known as Broad Norfolk, is a dialect that was once, and to a great extent still is, spoken by those living in the county of Norfolk in England. It employs distinctively unique pronunciations, especially of vowels; and consistent grammatical forms that differ markedly from standard English."

The definition I quoted is what language professionals such as my father mean "most often" (Wikipedia) when they speak of dialect. The secondary definition you quote is not "stricter," it refers to a somewhat different and considerably rarer linguistic phenomenon which is also called a dialect. Neither definition contradicts the other.

As for Scottish English, read it and weep:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_English
That's all very informative--thanks. I suspected the situation with Scottish was complicated. I know that some movies made there have to be subtitled for US audiences. I was about to put my foot further into my mouth by stating that we don't have dialect intelligibility problems in the US, when I remembered this (advance to 1:00):


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach

Mark Harwood
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by Mark Harwood » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:25 am

Speech impediment:

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dict ... impediment

Who would mistake this for a difference in pronunciation?
"I did it for the music."
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John F
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by John F » Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:38 am

jbuck919 wrote:I suspected the situation with Scottish was complicated. I know that some movies made there have to be subtitled for US audiences.
If you watched as much English football (aka soccer) as I do, you'd have the intelligibility problem every week with the managers' press conferences. We've got all kinds - Received (aka standard), Midlands, Yorkshire, Scots, and not least Cockney. Pronunciation aside, they use words that English viewers may understand but are literally (literally) foreign to us Yanks. I love it!
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by Mark Harwood » Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:16 pm

See you, John, ye're brand new, so y'are. Dinnae fash yersel' wi' them crabbit golks.
"I did it for the music."
Ken Colyer

John F
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by John F » Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:05 pm

Actually, during the family's year abroad when we lived in Leeds, I picked up a bit of a Yorkshire accent just from being surrounded by it. Like glottal stops in place of consonants as in cu' of tea.
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Mark Harwood
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by Mark Harwood » Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:58 am

In Yorkshire, my adopted county, glo'al stops generally replace a "t". It's painful to hear actors try to reproduce it, when it comes naturally to you. I hope no-one thinks it's a speech impediment.
English dialects are a source of pride, and there are several distinct ones in Yorkshire. I grew up in West Yorkshire, not far from Leeds, but to me the Leeds accent is particularly drab and unmusical. Some family are from a part of Lancashire where the accent is a joy to hear.

Many years ago I was watching a Western. The accents were some kind of American. It occurred to me that the real accents of the time would be closer to those of the persons' origins: English West Country & East Anglian, Irish, German; a realistic soundtrack might sound quite odd to us.
"I did it for the music."
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John F
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by John F » Wed Dec 19, 2012 2:51 am

Mark Harwood wrote:I grew up in West Yorkshire, not far from Leeds, but to me the Leeds accent is particularly drab and unmusical.
To you, perhaps, but I've always enjoyed Alan Bennett's accent when he's not talking posh. For those who've no idea what we're talking about:



Here's a bit of a TV series on the varieties of English:

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Mark Harwood
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by Mark Harwood » Wed Dec 19, 2012 4:03 am

The first clip there is authentic Leeds. The second is unfamiliar to me, but certainly not as strong an accent or dialect as some. Them as reckons Yorkshire talk in't right in't nobbut a a'p'orth anyroads.
"I did it for the music."
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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by Mark Harwood » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:59 am

Back to the OP. During her teacher training my wife Carol was advised to take elocution lessons. Her tutor thought her strong accent was a problem.
And yes, there are mutually unintelligible dialects in Britain. Even within England, a Cornishman and a Geordie will have to make an effort. It goes way beyond accent. In Cumbria they even count differently.
In Scotland you can find some way-out variants on English. I can hear some of that and have no idea what's being said.
"I did it for the music."
Ken Colyer

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Re: My sister has an speech impediment:

Post by jbuck919 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:38 am

Mark Harwood wrote: Many years ago I was watching a Western. The accents were some kind of American. It occurred to me that the real accents of the time would be closer to those of the persons' origins: English West Country & East Anglian, Irish, German; a realistic soundtrack might sound quite odd to us.
It's also pretty inauthentic when films about the colonial period or the American Revolution use the same differentiation in accent of the two sides as obtains in the present day. Apparently American pronunciation was much closer to British right into the early 19th century. That helps explain why the British navy had trouble differentiating Brits and Yanks when they boarded US ships in search of "their" sailors.

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