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"Regional dialects are structurally or expressively inferior to the standard language."

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<You've handed out the language as being the standard, therefore all variations must be inferior. >

Is something standard for a reason? Yes. At base, Standard English is the one we use to communicate with the largest amount of speakers throughout the many English speaking countries. Some peole consider that variant to be superior in ability to express oneself and in structural make up. The question is simple. The answer is for you to decide.
AnonymousIs something standard for a reason? Yes. At base, Standard English is the one we use to communicate with the largest amount of speakers throughout the many English speaking countries. Some peole consider that variant to be superior in ability to express oneself and in structural make up. The question is simple. The answer is for you to decide.

I was commenting on how the question is constructed, not on the status of the English Language. Did I happen to miss where the question specifically asked about English. I'm looking, but....nope nothing.

Maybe you didn't hear me from up there on that high horse...

I SAID, "NOPE, NOTHING".

The answer stands.
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Crux_online
AnonymousDo you agree with this comment?

"Regional dialects are structurally or expressively inferior to the standard language."

The question is meaningless. You've handed out the language as being the standard, therefore all variations must be inferior. Not because they are empirically inferior, but because their inferiority is established as the premise of the question

I believe that your argument that the question is meaningless is based on an equivocation. The phrase "standard language" needs to be taken as a whole to mean something like "the variety of the language that foreigners learn" and not to be taken as implying that the variety of the language referred to is the "standard" to which the others must be compared.

Crux has a point, though: "regional dialects" is also slightly tendentious; and perhaps too wide a term.

Could we put it this way:

"Is there a case where dialect A is structurally and expressively inferior to dialect B?"

MrP
I think there are a couple things that will tend to muddle any real discussion of the subject:

1. Mr P points out the tendentious leanings of the question. Is there a specific dialect or language that is not-quite-so-transparently being insinuated into the fabric of the question? Are we talking about urban slang (or any slang for that matter)? Are we talking about the strong Spanish influence on the use of double negatives throughout the US, but especially in the south? Are we talking about English at all?

2. Paco demonstrates admirably (if somewhat coarsely) how the complexities of English usage can be a deeply frustrating experience for the ESL learner. English is paradoxically highly structured and wildly chaotic. The grammar of English is fairly well defined and offers a solid scaffold for ESL learners. The vocabulary of English is chaotic and regulated only by whether the speaker's audience is receptive to the vocabulary used. "Yo, whaddup, G.?" might be perfectly fine on the block, may not be received well in the board room.

All of this makes for a very contentious issue worthy of the Controversial Subjects forum and in order to discuss it like adults we may want establish some definitions and agree upon some rules of engagement. Let's make good use of examples and remain even-toned while discussing them; approach it academically with good debate and discussion.

Linguists have been grumbling over this very topic for over 100 years. If grumbling is all that will be accomplished, let's just move the discussion to the Controversial Subjects forum and be done with the whole affair.

C
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<"Is there a case where dialect A is structurally and expressively inferior to dialect B?">

OK, let's focus on two dialects. Is the dialect known by many as Standard English, which was originally based on the London and East Midlands dialects and is now taught in schools world wide, condidered by many to be expressively and structurally superior to, say, the Lancashire dialect from the north of England?
< "Yo, whaddup, G.?" might be perfectly fine on the block, may not be received well in the board room.>

As with "may I formally welcome everyone from IBM to this meetuing" when used on the block. So what's your point?
<Let's make good use of examples and remain even-toned while discussing them; approach it academically with good debate and discussion.>

Good idea. You first?

<<Maybe you didn't hear me from up there on that high horse...>>

Emotion: stick out tongue
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Why not register, Anon?

Your posts will then appear on the boards much sooner.

(Well, except in the moderated forums.)

MrP
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