Recently, we've been looking at Jodie Foster's Golden Globes speech for a lifetime achievement award. There's lots to say about it, including the complex audience(s) she's addressing, the complex messages, the different kinds of contextual assumptions shared to varying degrees by people in those audiences, the extent to which it was a planned performance, etc. etc.
Of course, there was also lots of discussion of this. Two examples we discussed were Sam Leith's discussion of the use of rhetoric in the speech:
This message is for A Level English Language teachers who might have students who would benefit from a residential course on language meaning and change.
There are still places left on a course Graeme Trousdale and I are running at Villiers Park this December. We'll be looking at how to explore language variation and change, including meaning change, and also at developments in pragmatics which have followed from the work of Grice.
We're excited about our first 'Talk About Language' event at Middlesex this semester.
The speaker is Holly Gilbert, from the British Library, who will be telling us about the Voices of the UK project which aims to open up the BBC Voices recordings for linguistic research. The full title of her talk is:
I says, 'eh! two Ts in settee,' and they'll say, 'Yeah there's two Es as well!'
Opening up the BBC Voices Recordings for Linguistic Research.
The talk is at 9.30am next Tuesday, 6th November, in room CG47, College Building, Hendon Campus. There are directions to the campus here:
The phrase above had been removed. You can hear it though, around 25 seconds into the video. Not sure whether that reflects a spontaneous change he made while talking or whether someone thought they should tidy it up. I found a comment on it here (from 'PorFavor' who described it as 'appalling grammar').
I don't think Cameron should be embarrassed. This is a common error made by standard English speakers. Interestingly, it seems to be a case of 'hypercorrection', where someone 'over-corrects' themselves when speaking in a variety they're not comfortable with (e.g. Spanish speakers adding /h/ before vowels to compensate for the 'absence' of /h/ in Spanish).
Of course, this raises the question of why standard English speakers 'hyper-correct' when using their own first language, leading some linguists, such as Nick Sobin, to the conclusion that 'Prestige English is not a natural language'
The Battle of Ideas is on at the Barbican this weekend (20th-21st October). The Lecture List has announced a competition to win two weekend passes. Feel free to share your thoughts by commenting here. . .