Dear linguists and other lovers of the English language:

My new online survey of world English varieties is now available online at
http://www.ling.cam.ac.uk/survey/.
This survey differs from my previous Harvard and UWM surveys in a few important ways:
1. It maps the responses using the google maps engine, which allowsfor
interactive manipulation of the maps: zooming in, moving across the globe,
and so on.
2. It has a more manageable number of questions (31).
3. The questions are designed to be relevant to speakers of Englishworldwide, not just in the United States.
Currently the maps plot 50,000 responses from the United States, but once I
have sufficient responses from the rest of the world I will generate new maps.
I hope you will consider taking the survey and asking your friends and students to as well.
Thanks,
Bert Vaux
University of Cambridge
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Currently the maps plot 50,000 responses from the United States, but once I have sufficient responses from the rest of the world I will generate new maps.

Are the maps unavailable / secret? Or is a look at them strictly reserved to mother-tongue speakers?
3. The questions are designed to be relevant to speakers of English worldwide, not just in the United States.

Designed badly, then, in my view. Most of the questions seem to relate to purely American linguistic oddities. I do hope the author will consider a similar geographical survey of quirks in British English - "What is your normal greeting on meeting an acquaintance? Hello, Na'then, Eyup" or "Does your pronunciation of 'scone' (a variety of bun) rhyme with 'gone' or 'stone' or 'boon'?"
Noel
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3. The questions are designed to be relevant to speakers of English worldwide, not just in the United States.

Designed badly, then, in my view. Most of the questions seem to relate to purely American linguistic oddities. I do ... Hello, Na'then, Eyup" or "Does your pronunciation of 'scone' (a variety of bun) rhyme with 'gone' or 'stone' or 'boon'?"

Not entirely fair, I think - e.g. the "alley" question includes ginnel and snicket. But no distinction is made between British regional and social dialects e.g. the "dinner" question, nor any allowance for social context e.g. the "public lavatory" question (the same person may use "loo" or "toilet" or "gents" etc depending on whom he is addressing and on what occasion).
Alan Jones
Designed badly, then, in my view. Most of the questions ... variety of bun) rhyme with 'gone' or 'stone' or 'boon'?"

Not entirely fair, I think - e.g. the "alley" question includes ginnel and snicket. But no distinction is made between ... same person may use "loo" or "toilet" or "gents" etc depending on whom he is addressing and on what occasion).

The fallacy is in the subject line - this is noth to do with dialects.
John Briggs
Designed badly, then, in my view. Most of the questions ... variety of bun) rhyme with 'gone' or 'stone' or 'boon'?"

Not entirely fair, I think - e.g. the "alley" question includes ginnel and snicket. But no distinction is made between ... same person may use "loo" or "toilet" or "gents" etc depending on whom he is addressing and on what occasion).

He's got two ways for you to deal with that sort of circumstance: the Comments field is a place for you to add information that isn't included in the answers as they stand, and this iteration of the survey has been changed from "Choose one answer only" to "Mark all that apply".
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Dear linguists and other lovers of the English language: My new online survey of world English varieties is now available ... will consider taking the survey and asking your friends and students to as well. Thanks, Bert Vaux University of Cambridge

Are you at all concerned that, although you appear to be getting a rather broad regional response, you are nevertheless relying on the participation of a rather narrowly defined socio-economic group (i.e. on-line computer users who either frequent newsgroups or have been referred to your survey by those who do frequent newsgroups)? I would think that such a narrowly defined group of respondents could not necessarily be relied upon to provide an accurate representation of the regions in which they may have formed their speech habits.

alan
(Email Removed) schrieb:
Dear linguists and other lovers of the English language: My new online survey of world English varieties is now available online at http://www.ling.cam.ac.uk/survey/.

In was prepared to participate in this test but was unable to do so because of a major fault with this survey - in order to participatee youn have to enter a postcode - however in the Republic of Ireland, where I was born and grew up, postcodes are not used except in the cities of Dublin and Cork.
Of course the designers of this survey may not be interested in input from people of Irish origin (the currrent population of the republic is under 4 million - a minute percentage of the number of native english speakers), but since this group has provided a disproportionately high number of leading writers of English I would regard this as being a bit shortsighted.
All in all a badly designed survey - badly designed since it doesn't allow all speakers of English to participate.
BTW Ireland isn't the only English-speaking country not to use post codes - as far as I can see they are rare to non-existent in the West Indies, another area where native English speakers are not unknown.

Einde O'Callaghan
Dear linguists and other lovers of the English language: My new online survey of world English varieties is now available online at http://www.ling.cam.ac.uk/survey/.

Does anyone call a traffic circle a jug handle? Even though both are common in New Jersey, they're very different.
If you are inclined to email me
for some reason, remove NOPSAM :-)
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