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True or false?

"The concept of a standard in speech is far more problematic (than is that of written form*) : it is not clear what constitutes spoken Standard English."

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/english/staff/afg/langinweb.doc

*My parentheses.
Comments  
I agree with both propositions.

The concept of spoken "Standard English" is more problematic than written "Standard English" because writing is learned in a conscious process but speech is acquired subconsciously. Moreover, writing lends itself to standardisation more so than speech due to its function - few to many communication - and its artificiality.

What constitutes spoken "Standard English" is not clear because we know so little about speech. However, what constitutes any other dialect or sociolect? Varieties are fuzzy concepts and are best characterised by their differences and by their salient features.

Think of "Standard English" as an ideology instead of a linguistic reality and things start to fall into place.

/km
<Think of "Standard English" as an ideology instead of a linguistic reality and things start to fall into place.>

Good advice. If only many would take it.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.
There seems to be very few who can help define the term "spoken Standard English".
I don't believe that "Standard English" can be satisfactorily defined. Of course we can characterise it, for example, by saying what it isn't, but this isn't really a definition. But then, where does characterisation stop and definition begin?

Common throughout all characterisations is the notion of educatedess. However, we're in the same position once more: What is educatedness?

/km
Well, over here, where the vocabulary (slang notwithstanding), and syntax are rather uniform, it's defined almost completely in terms of pronunciation. Specifically in terms of which features the standard does not contain.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
Really? You don't have linguists "over there"?

/km
KimmReally? You don't have linguists "over there"?/km
it refers to whatever form of english language accepted as as a national norm in an anglophone country.