Conlangery 133 Language and Identity

Conlangery 133 Language and Identity

Published: 17-11-26

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Transcript

Speaker 1
There more go Ken Lane Kathy Zycie labeled the boat site. Squeel. I miss a joke. Billy the head airport KSD.
Speaker 2
Welcome Dukan Legare the podcast Vectrex truckers like the Jews and the people who create them. I'm George Berley with me down the road with Jake Malloy. Hello. And over in Connecticut we have cable left. Hello. Back for two people back for a second time.
Speaker 3
This is my experiment with trying to troll people to fix and rotate posts and stuff. So today I have Jake and Kay on to talk about language and identity. This
Speaker 4
is a topic that can inform sort of common wording and even incorporating language into storytelling because it's a lot about how people interact with language and how language can identify you by language.
Speaker 5
Obviously like the clearest thing is that language is very much tied to ethnic identity. Right. But race gender sexual orientation gender identity your occupation your social class all kinds of things. Basically any facet of human like group identities can be sort of indexed by language and we're going to explore different ways.
Speaker 6
Yeah. Yeah. Jake you you. You gave us a little bit of an outline to go. I think we're going to just start where you started. So
Speaker 7
I thought one of the most obvious ways that people do it is by kind of naming those groups that you talked about like there. Within one society in one language they are often kind of social groups and those groups have names and by giving them names we kind of you know put them into relationship with each other and and those can vary and in lots of different ways.
Speaker 4
Yeah like definitely this is this is more about.
Speaker 5
So there's there's your group you can name people by sex age race gender identity all those things and we won't get into like necessarily offensive was that to me. But the way that you do call a group does say something about what you think about that group and such. So think about that. So
Speaker 7
I was just going to one of the things that I think is most important about as we get into the various other part is a notion of intersectionality of identity and I so historically in the US that was kind of particular to talking about how gender identity and race identities can interact in ways that may be unexpected from viewing either race or gender separately but then kind of as that word is taken on a broader meaning it's incorporated does it help when you see a person or in this case maybe when you hear a person you may not necessarily going to be just grabbing one category but maybe a few different types of categories of identity at the same time.
Speaker 8
Yeah I think to the cultural prestige. And a lot of things to you. So this is where education is a huge classifier that carries a lot of status. You'll find people using Mord I guess educated and at airports around that dialects and a lot more formal settings to show status. In some cases or because they were brought up by people who are already in that kind of educated social class. And for people who are trying to move into that social class it can be kind of hard in some ways and so that's one way in which those categories can interact. Like for instance I grew up in the rural Midwest and I read a lot of books at a college reading level at a young age. I had never heard those words out loud. And
Speaker 9
I went to college an East Coast and I didn't pronounce some of the words correctly and there was actually a term for that that I discovered which was I hadn't really realized that you know like you know like the book pronunciation was something that people actually noticed. But yeah I think it's it's also that like it you have people who are coming into the area like in a conquest situation and ways of speaking are going to be different.
Speaker 8
Because especially if it's across that lingual you'll have speech speech patterns that the people in the area being conquered have because they're not even speaking their native language as well. So
Speaker 5
the third there's a lot of stuff about power and and prestige and stuff wrapped up in that. I have a similar thing occasionally had words like that. I think the only one I remember is people made fun of me for saying Qaqa phony instead of cacophony. But. But yeah. That's one thing. Of of. CHRISTIE But then at the same time like there can be another side to that of the speaking the prestige variety is not always like accepted in all situations it's accepted in animal situations. But with your own family it may actually feel uncomfortable and or it may even hinder understanding like. So my wife is a very educated Chinese person and she typically with her friends her Chinese friends speak Standard Mandarin. But if she goes back to her hometown which is in the supposedly Mandarin speaking area her parents will not speak in Standard Mandarin and she will not be speaking in the same way that she would to you know Chinese friends from all over China that she does with her parents she will speak in the local variety of Chinese to her parents because that's what they will understand best.
Speaker 5
So it's there's always I think some degree of by dialectal ism though. I mean we're jumping all around the structure now but there's a there's always like this could be figured into storytelling too. Like you're often you'll often see characters you know you could have characters be in between identities and in between situations trying to navigate which you know or well successfully navigating what what variety to use in which situation.
Speaker 10
Yeah. And one more note that I wanted to make about kind of the notion of prestigious that that always has a field to it right. There's always a context that says like this is pretty prestigious to these people. And so you may think that you're being using a prestigious variety of of your language but with a with a different group of people they may not find that prestigious and so there's there are different contexts tax credit.
Speaker 5
You actually had some examples in here we can jump around a little bit. You talked about it under your linguistic politics and policing. Jake like you put in some examples of like there are tests of affiliations shibboleth in different societies and you posted. I mean it's exaggerated for comedy but a couple of key and peele skits about you know Key and Peele are two biracial comedians and they by default talk a lot like white people but they like talking about how you know if there are a bunch of black people together they want to like try to sound more black. Right.
Speaker 11
Right. It's not be quite astounding. I think that's Yeah.
Speaker 9
So did you think two like two of the sketches right. Yeah yeah. It's just I think a lot of like a lot of social commentary too because they think that I was I think I was reading about get out when in the. And the thing that came out very recently about that trip to a the white girlfriends family that goes horribly wrong and turns into a horror story. That's a lot. Yeah it's a lot of different issues at that at the same time. And yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You do a lot of a lot of linguistic commentary and their sketches. They also I think have one and I don't think it's one of the ones here about pronunciation and is like the way names are constructed and you know different pronunciation styles and you're using the same you know 26 letter alphabet. And a lot of that yeah.
Speaker 5
Yeah that's kind of just dialect variation and the and that's you know a lot of what we're talking about is you have people navigating between different dialect groups and there's maybe maybe there's the prestige dialect that may be acceptable informal contacts or all over the place but even like being within your group you want to speak more like your group there's like a concept of sociolinguistics of cold accommodation to where when you have two speakers. They sort of like start to talk more like each other over time and it sort of depends on the Sosi of social role. It sort of depends on the social identities of the two people and to what degree that they accommodate. But like it's just in general people start to talk a little bit more like each other as they're talking to each other I guess sort of to form sort of a rapport while they're talking. I
Speaker 9
think that's mirror neurons as well here. Yeah with that with the empathic stuff in the brain yeah.
Speaker 6
Can we talk a little bit about actually naming groups though because there are a lot. There's there.
Speaker 4
There can be a lot that because first of all there is the name that the group calls itself and then the name that the names that other people put onto the there's names change names of groups change over time and sometimes that reflects changes and changes in social values or changes in how the group is perceived.
Speaker 5
And just giving a name to a group also like just makes society more aware of that group. K coming from the LGBT community I think you could probably speak to that a little bit right because a lot of the recent history of LGBT activism is like just putting names to these different identities right.
Speaker 8
Yeah yeah there's there's a lot of there's a lot of linguistic I think identity formation that happens especially in places on tumblr for example. And it's very much driven by youth who try to find terminologies and ways of using. And I think a combination of like Latin and Greek roots as you know one often will do for a variety of terms to make and to make words for identities that they have. So that that is true as well. But I think it's I think it's even deeper than that it's that there are words that are used but then it's also a sense of like reclaiming words within a community as well. So the word queer for example it started to increase in usage I think about a year or two ago and there were actually a few pieces from older people in the community who still had that used as a slur while being the victims of hate violence and who didn't really feel like that term was appropriate.
Speaker 8
And so there are sometimes I think like age related divides within communities where about a certain age you know it's less likely a lot like a statistical sampling to be considered an okay term than it is among you know like a different demographic and those things also you know they're all normal distributions it's never going to be like everybody who is 65 or older says this everybody under 65 says that and I think I think it's a lot of a lot of that too. It's
Speaker 9
both like the giving of names but the also the just the way that names are used across generations and the ways that they bear or don't bear stigma. Like what you were saying I think about Enger been out of naming us that that's happened a lot in the USA with the names of indigenous tribes and so it's not just like you know like the one group you know what the people who hate use name for you is versus your name for yourselves.
Speaker 8
It's a which group of people the European settlers met first leads to which mean people are looking up on wikipedia which might not actually be the name that you call yourselves and so and sometimes those names can be like really offensive or or like things like anime or or what whatnot.
Speaker 12
Yeah and that happens all over the place. You know the there's a cluster of Native American groups in the Southwest that are all Dinney which demais in Athabascan is is people right.
Speaker 5
But like we have all kinds of different names for them that come from you know other groups or other other peoples names. Yeah.
Speaker 4
So the fact that that can be a powerful thing that could be a big thing and you do need names for people in your con worlds and you need to think about like what. What do they call themselves versus what other people call them. And what does that say about the history of how groups came into contact.
Speaker 11
And I think that also you can kind of take it to additional levels and think what what counts as a group. Right. We we have a group for First Nations or you know indigenous peoples or whatever as a whole group that becomes a name that we put on a bigger chunk that perhaps would be seen in different ways from other people. Right. Maybe a particular group like hoto may not have originally conceived of every person living in the Americas as being in that group or something like that. Right.
Speaker 5
Or you know the notion of having racial groups which racial groups and those types of things yeah that that's that's that's another thing because like race and this is something to consider for con worlds because consider if your con world would even have a concept like race because it's race as we understand it now is something that's sort of come came up. What like 1400's or something. And before that people you know race is separate from ethnicity. And before that people recognize different ethnicities and they recognize that people from different places look different but they didn't like put down those phenotypes and try to classify people by that until people started developing racial theories and you know those racial theories fed into the construction of racism and everything.
Speaker 8
But yeah there's an entire field I think that study is historical taxin especially in classical antiquity. I was actually reading something recently about this. They were looking at one if the hero figures during the Trojan War I think it was Memnon who's described as Ethiopian. And talking about that in terms of the construction of it's not like race didn't exist. I think it's very difficult for people in 2017 to think about and fully understand what was happening in a very different cultural context as far as that was concerned because in that specific case you also have the fact that look if you're culturally Roman during the Roman Empire even if you're not a citizen you are going to be treated differently from someone who has not adopted the Roman culture and the same thing goes with Greece and health and education. So they could hear a Syrian Huse Hellenized you're going to be in a very different job prospects arena then you know like your friend on the street. Yeah.
Speaker 12
Yeah. And the people sort of divided divided people up different and different. That just happens anywhere. But moving back to Jake's point it's like the idea of Native Americans as a coherent group probably happened.
Speaker 5
You know would only have happened after colonization after Europeans came. And then there was something to define Native Americans against or for Europeans to define all of these people. And so calling them whatever they called them and and so that that is an interesting thing.
Speaker 12
Another tidbit Hoque trunk the word wonk means man right or person. But it has also taken on the the meaning of like Native American person. I
Speaker 13
think that might be reflected from reflective of them needing to have terminology to refer to like Native Americans as a group and they just grab like OK this means person. So we'll we'll we'll call Cole Native American people people.
Speaker 9
Yeah yeah yeah. And I think this goes into I think something we were saying you know as we were chatting about this is that identity is also a process of othering so people don't tend to like cluster an identity unless there's something that they aren't right. Where are you now like if you like everyone around you is you know doing something. And I was perfectly content with doing whatever it is that you've been doing for generations. You're probably not going to notice it unless you see that there's a contrast between it and something else. So like let's say that like you live in a city you've never left it but then you go move someplace someplace else where you know people aren't speaking your language or they're speaking a different dialect and you come to know that the speakers of your native language in that area you probably are going to use the language slightly differently because that's also an identity process at this point that it's you know maintaining ones like native like identity linguistically right.
Speaker 5
And that gets into the way people are named to because people who like prefer naming themselves with more universal identities are often actually the people who have more power in this society. There's the old thing you know in social justice circles there's this idea of like a white man gets to be just a human and then a white woman is a woman and then a black woman is a black woman. Right.
Speaker 14
The whole idea of who you consider to be like the default and then those people are usually the more powerful people in society and they often like prefer for people not to like distinguish identities because that child of like hides the way that that different identities shape how people are treated in society.
Speaker 13
That you know that can that can figure into all sorts of power relations and stuff.
Speaker 11
Yeah I think that's a good point. The notion of kind of the the unmarked case right.
Speaker 5
This case right. I think there was. And that's that's with all kinds of identities. I even saw a talk about like dialect variation on the border regions between Scotland and England and talking about how like the English people were more likely to identify themselves as British rather than English whereas the Scottish side it was more common for them to identify themselves as Scottish and not British. And that kind of thing it's another case of this like sort of maybe a bit more power and also more like considered the devil fought within the society and then they prefer that that generic. OK.
Speaker 9
Yeah. Yeah I think I think too it's like there's a even though the con worlds that I have. There's one group that ended up moving to the city of a region that they conquered. And so they are also and the language they had but they're not actually considered to be the same by the people in the region where they came from. So they believe that the Shishi and the Galassi and then you have the men Nashi who would consider themselves to be to be Shishi. But the the reason they're called the Menasha is because it's a slang term for men I see. So it's so I think I think it's also I think really interesting in the border areas you know in thinking about ways like when resistance. People who tend to be on good terms with their neighbours I think are more likely to have positive cultural exchanges with neighbours and not you know make lines in the sand.
Speaker 9
And I think that I think that it's so. So this is slightly out of my depth but I think that in Canada with the silly I have cable quite ancestry where we were in the US they were in Canada and I went in and Quebec.
Speaker 8
There's a lot of very very strong you know traditional adherence to the French language and in France a lot of the slang derives from English because that's something that people are exposed to in the media a lot. And so there is some cultural differences with how people decide to affiliate.
Speaker 4
Oh yeah. That's interesting. Like taking the global language to to get modern slang that's an interesting art. You hear a whole lot of just because of the prestige of a language of English and the the breadth of English. The power of English in media. I think you hear these stories a lot of like artists in France or Belgium or something who prefer to make music and stuff in English. And they often come up with these ideas of like oh English is very expressive and and and things like things like that.
Speaker 12
I prefer creating an English for some reason and I mean a whole lot of it is probably they can make a lot of money selling music to English speakers and also they just have absorbed this like cultural dominance of it. So that's another thing thinking of like a real world example of what you're talking about with the Menasha like that that did you know that happened in colonial territories when in the Spanish Connally's colonization of the Americas descendants of Spanish people were called who were born in the Americas were called QRA Georgious and they were considered like one level beneath they your opinion peons Spaniards right in the social hierarchy and then below them were the various mixed race groups and then you know Indigenous people and Africans below that.
Speaker 5
But so that was the it was like even you know he gave a name to this group and even though it's like the same ethnic group that speaks the same language they got other just because they were like born in the colonies versus born in Europe.
Speaker 12
So there's all there can be a lot of places just there can be just a lot of places where people get. People divide. Identity for good and ill often for ill. But anyway.
Speaker 10
So could we talk some about kind of the more indirect ways that we identify all definitely.
Speaker 6
And that often is more into like dialect you know.
Speaker 10
I mean some people use the term socio Lechter social dialect way to distinguish someone's speech socially conscious. So I mean I guess pretty much any any Chanko language that we have a level of language that we can talk about there are generally ways people distinguish well you know from the fund a logical level to the pragmatic level or you know anywhere. I don't know if anyone wants to talk about anything in particular.
Speaker 6
I mean just in general so like everybody likes to identify action. So that's an accent is just phonology and people don't necessarily like people are aware of X but often like if if they try to imitate accents they did imitate like some key feature of of someone's style of life like you know if someone is trying to imitate a southern accent they often will go from I to ah right. So that's that's an interesting thing of of the you know when people recognise accents and then people imitate or even make fun of accents too. And there's you listed morphological change and I think this actually gives us like. So you give us the example of plural you forms in various dialects of English right Jake.
Speaker 11
But I think maybe Kay wrote that or some way that you got them.
Speaker 15
Yeah I do. I threw in a link to that it was too. It was in Atlas Obscura because they collated all of all of these things together into one place that otherwise on the Internet would be on multiple multiple articles. And also I was looking for something that wasn't paywall.
Speaker 16
So yes it's Yahl unions and use. And yeah it's it's really with everybody's trying to cope with the fact that we now only have one view by making a new plural you and the way that you do it is highly dependent on geography. And so yes. And it's I think it gets into both you know like with people who like I've heard I think I think yens described just dislikes cute people Yahl is the word that I actually have seen. You know people you know educated people and I think this goes back to you know what's the educated preferred way of speaking versus what's the way that like Mark's view is you know like not having received an education or you know whatever it is I'm and Jaala is the one that tends to in academic circles if somebody uses it is is pretty risky and there are pieces by people online who are talking about how you know they're from like South Carolina or they're from Alabama or they're from someplace in the south and how in addition to having to learn how to be a scholar they had to learn how to speak standard American English.
Speaker 15
Because the fact that they were using things like y'all and all of that was actually inhibiting their ability to be taken as seriously as their peers. Which is you know pretty awful and that's I think where it gets into intersectionality a little bit because it's it's often you know it's a geographical region that's often under-resourced. In addition to the fact that you know you're moving to a new city in many cases you're moving in to academia. There might be some class things that work as well.
Speaker 9
And so there are a lot of a lot of things like this.
Speaker 5
There's there's a couple things with y'all in that there's there's a couple of different stigmatized groups that use it. There are Southern American English speakers. And there are black English speakers also use y'all. I think the usage of y'all is a bit different in that those those different dialects but they both use that form and then that becomes an identity identity marker for those groups and can get stem stigmatized by association with those groups. I come from a place where we're all y'all is used. It's like optional for disambiguation mostly it's not. It's
Speaker 12
not necessarily necessary but it's you know fully grammatical chromatic lies you can say all y'all right. It's it's it's it's like nearly fully grammatical ised as just a pronoun. Some people still say you all.
Speaker 5
But anyway that's an interesting thing is that these different solutions to this problem of English has no distinction in in the second person. You get lots of different dialects just making their own solution to this right. And that that could happen anywhere wherever you have some sort of a gap in in in a paradigm or or just something new that speakers need to do that that that will happen spread across different dialects and then y'all is the one that there's sort of a simple Tany is actually stigmatization of it right as you're talking about probably dealing with like the identities of where it originated but on the other hand end of it I'm seeing online that using y'all seems to be like trendy for some people and people are like you know starting to just adopt it like more and more which that's fine with me.
Speaker 9
Yeah. Yeah.
Speaker 12
So it gets it gets into. It's it's one of those things that's that's a little like back and forth.
Speaker 6
But. Yeah. And there are so many things that. So like that's like a morphological thing. There are fun logical things of how people pronounce different things.
Speaker 5
It can get and sometimes it can get in get political so I can think of one example a teacher told me a Chinese teacher told me that there was a period in mainland China where Okay so first some background. So standard Mandarin has a has retroflex. Right. Sure. For sure.
Speaker 4
In many dialects including Southern Chinese and the dialects in Taiwan the the er the the Mandarin dialects in southern China and in Taiwan those merge with suits and and the right the the the the dental fricative and affricates and so for a bit since there were a lot of famous like Taiwanese musicians it became sort of trendy to imitate those accents by merging the the the retroflex into the dentals so pronouncing things the way that they do in Taiwan to a point where at least the teacher told me the Chinese censors cracked down on people imitating a Taiwanese accent on television. So because it became like a political thing at that point. So or at least the Chinese government perceived it as a political thing so like a linguistic identity to become a social like hold back or it can be explicitly political.
Speaker 17
Yeah I think that's important. I also wanted to just like to bring this further than the notion of kind of regional dialects and just like I think the kind of social dialect can exist inside of a situation where people would and none none linguists would imagine that the people are speaking the same dialect or the same but because of their social position like whether you know women birth men or something like that that there's just a different way of speaking that is just like how you know like you're in the same household but because of your position you're going to speak differently. You know it's not a regional issue or a borrowing thing or it's just that's how that society has developed that with like linguistic situation. Right
Speaker 5
. Regional is the easy part but you get into socialists and I mean there are ethnic socialists there are gender socialists. There are class socialists lower class people in New York do not speak the same way as upper class people in New York as Labov famously felt was studying. I mean that was a study of actually people who were serving various classes of people in stores right and finding that they were speaking like their customers. But yeah the words and women don't always talk the same way as men which is that's an interesting thing because then you can get into all sorts of gendered things. And
Speaker 13
if in a patriarchal society if women are speaking differently than men that may not necessarily be stigmatized on its own. The way that women speak sometimes is policed and stigmatized but also it can be more stigmatizing to call too for a man to be speaking the way a woman's story typically speaks right. Or something like that. It's
Speaker 5
like crosscutting is like basically any kind of like discriminatory behavior you see in any social marker you see in language Yeah.
Speaker 15
And I think this is people who are really interested in gender and how it works linguistically. I think I'm pronouncing this person's last name in the ballpark but I can vote on how gender shapes the world I'm describes a lot of this and so there is I think a chapter one chapter definitely focuses on a lot of the social context of gender across a wide sampling of languages and one of the most valuable things about this work in particular is that I cannot focus as a light on non western languages so things outside the Indo-European language family so which I found very useful because I think that it's it's really important but I'm some of the stuff that I can ballpoint into art. Japanese is also the hotel with gender explicit languages because you don't really have a choice gender variable winds were speech patterns tend to cluster around specific speaking styles but then also there are a few.
Speaker 8
I think I'm Inuktitut language is where the terminal consonants like the consonant structures that people use are different depending on their gender and so that's where identity is like literally impacting the way that you form words with your mouth.
Speaker 6
So your gender identity can be grammatical buzzed into the language.
Speaker 9
In some cases yeah yeah yeah. And I think I think that the ticket one's very specifically given in this book because their pronunciation based. So it's it's it's even more intrinsic than most of the grammatical variation that that she's looking at right. But I think even like an English women tend to use more buffering before asking for things or for expressing ideas. So I'm like when I was a lot younger I would often say things like I'm you know it would be a really good idea if you could get around to it. Maybe sometime in the future you know I would I would buffer I would buffer a lie on that at the very extreme form but they have a Chrome extension that people can actually get to see how much is that. That speech that the mediated speech that people are actually putting into like emails to try to make them more direct.
Speaker 9
It's flip you can also flip in the other direction with that because like there's this there's this sweet spot between politeness in register and direct language and not having too much mediated speech. It's really really really hard to get when you're second guessing yourself.
Speaker 5

Yeah I mean I kind of I Am I am very you know sceptical of tools that are intended to help people write better or speak better that because just of the the way that computers work with language is not the way that humans do it but you know that can help people I guess. You know I use SpellCheck that's about all that I'm I I like never use but you know sometimes I hate that that there can be some individual variation in that.

Speaker 13
Obviously when we talk about like dialects like even each dialect is a group of idealists and like some some men can can could do as much you know buffering and stuff is as women which sort of leads into that brings into that idea of you know you might get stimming stigmatized for for for speaking too much like a woman.
Speaker 5
I think it's less likely to happen with that kind of thing just because it's more under the radar whereas like the grammatical ised like things like what Lakota has different particles and the Inuktitut having different consonants in the end those are Bouzar probably more salient than these like pragmatic things that you're mentioning. But it's there's I think the thing for conlang is to be drawing from all of this conversation. First
Speaker 6
one is think about what identities are in your world and the world.
Speaker 13
The identity divisions obviously are ethnic divisions are going to be like something that you're actually working on right. Because I mean you're creating languages you're creating probably creating ethnic groups that speak that but also you know you can think about you know K you have a con world that has different concepts of gender than what we have in our world right yeah. That is something that you have to take into account and talk about. Where are these different gender identities in society. How are they are they recognized and named. And how is someone's gender identity like marked in their.
Speaker 9
And also in translation because they also have that problem too it's like if you're moving between languages with multiple gender identities beyond just binary. But they have different areas in a translated text. How
Speaker 16
do you cross block between everything involved right as they might not even mutually overlap with one another.
Speaker 5
Yeah yeah and there's there's lots of lots of different things so like what identities are you. Indexing there can also be like depending on class hierarchies you know what. What things. I mean we didn't even touch on yet.
Speaker 18
I mean in very very hierarchical societies you can get nuts with stuff you can get like you know if you watch Chinese historical dramas like different like levels of the Pearl Harbor hierarchy have different pronouns different first person pronouns the emperor has his own first person pronoun. Nobody else uses.
Speaker 5
And then there's one for like Imperial officials and then one for concubines. So that it can get really crazy and very like super formal stratified situation. But then even like in normal like you know outside of the halls of power you can still get like things like I mean you want to talk about pronouns even in any language that has formality distinguished in second person pronouns or in any pronouns. There's like this the whole different dance when you're speaking Spanish and choosing between two new stev.
Speaker 14
Right. Like ok. Is it emotional closeness. Is
Speaker 5
it like hierarchy. It's all kinds of things. I know we've talked about that before but ok coming back there's a couple of things. First of all is like what are identities that are indexed and how do people named those identity.
Speaker 4
How do different groups of people name as a second thing is any any part of the language can have variation and any variation can be seized upon to get to distinguish people. Another thing is like people can actually change what variant they use based on these associations that come up like that like associating something with a group can even be like a self fulfilling prophecy an example of that.
Speaker 18
I talked to some people who talked about how so the two variants of Ask ask an X right and ask is currently standard. Both of those variants go back to old English and you for a long time you would hear X in lower class white dialects. Up until fairly recently. But at some point there was a point where X got associated with black dialects and because black people were stigmatized white people moved away from the axis variant. So now it's almost exclusively black people who say X where as before. It wasn't necessarily that distinction.
Speaker 4
So it's like it got associated with them and then other people for fear of being associated with the stigmatized group. You know this is a horrible thing that people do. They moved away from that area.
Speaker 17
Yeah I think that's kind of an interesting situation where like you can have a couple of different things going on one people may just kind of switch in and out depending on context. But then also people may develop kind of they're like natural dialect to shift over time.
Speaker 10
You know even within one person's lifetime and that can definitely be kind of identifying like group identity being the catalyst of making those changes in very specific ways. I have a note that I don't have this verified but apparently Gandi moved from having a more British English to kind of a more Indian sounding English. Later in his life and clearly that you know a shift that shows his affiliation realigning over time that's a different that's a different sort of thing than what what I was talking about. So
Speaker 13
he's he's moving to like AFIRM his group affiliation with India and by adopting more Indian English rather than British English. That's that's interesting. OK so we are coming up on the time that K has to leave right. Yes. OK. Well then I think we're going to wrap up either of you k. I'm going to ask you first do you have any like your final thoughts you want to share with me.
Speaker 15
Identity is really really fun to play with in constructed languages because as you figure out more and more what the parameters that you're working in is you get to be more and more creative about what you actually do linguistically as you're working on a language. You can do all kinds of really thinking so you can have different types of like pronouns even going beyond just you know which lip deadenders you have and how reflective pronouns you can do all kinds of things of formality you can do things with inclusiveness and exclusiveness you can do does all sorts of fun things there you can do fun things with register. You can have different vocabulary terminologies that are coming from you know like the seafaring people we always trade down with the ports that people know or borrowed terminology instead of you know like native words you can do all kinds of like really really really cool and really really fascinating things that can give a conlang a lot of layers of depth and also that if you plan to using creative settings will also help spark a lot of the types of interactions between characters in a setting that are going to seem natural and not you know there are these two people with talking heads who are down by the docks trying to barter for fish.
Speaker 5
So yeah yeah yeah definitely. You know if you can always describe like by the way he pronounced his r's I guess it's a great thing to add in. But you know you have to. You have to be thinking about it. If you're saying Goneril though make sure that the language actually has a lot of guttural consonants like oh we don't like the word gutteral here gutteral I don't know what gutteral means if you describe something as girl so try to try to try to find some other way to describe it that's okay. Jake do you have any any other thoughts. No
Speaker 11
I think that's that's the idea is that pretty much anywhere that you can tweak the language that then they can create some sort of social division. And that I guess the other side of that is that I might call it like social allophones like not not every differences necessarily like socially meaningful I guess right.
Speaker 5
I mean any there's going to be lots of variation. Any particular variation might be seized on but not all of them like there's there's there's you know like people can identify where someone's from even when you mate take a whole lot of markers out and like just identify by intonation but intonation is not always like salient front of mind when people are thinking of it.
Speaker 3
So anyway well with all of that I'm going to say everybody go to work on variation and work on sociolinguistics of your in your world and and and how languages relating to identity. And. I'm going to say happy Connely.
Speaker 2
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Conlangery Podcast/Conlangery 133 Language and Identity (last edited 2017-12-07 11:47:25 by TranscriBot)