what speech do we like best?

Language Prejudice

We often make snap decisions about character and intelligence based on our language biases.
Decisions that can at times have devasting consequences.

They Speak Really Bad English Down South and in NYC
Southern pride falters in the face of linguistic stereotyping.

Women Talk Too Much!
No, they don't. Rather they don't in every situation.

Talking with Mi Gente
Misunderstandings about dialect can cause problems for students. 

dr. dennis preston discussing a language attitudes exercise with a train passenger videoDennis Preston discusses language attitudes on a train journey.

Detailed Index  


Suggested Reading/Additional Resources

  • Hymes, Dell, ed. 1964. Language in Culture and Society, (New York. A still-useful anthology.
  • Chambers, J.K., Peter Trudgill, and Natalie Schilling-Estes (Eds.). 2004. The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Malden, Mass: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Wolfram, Walt and Natalie Schilling-Estes. 1998. American English: Dialects and Variation. Malden, Mass: Blackwell Publishers.
  • Alim, H. Samy. (in press). "Hip Hop Nation Language." In Ed Finegan & John Rickford (eds.), Language in the USA. New York: Cambridge University Press.
  • Bauman, Zygmunt 1991. Modernity and Ambivalence. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Cutler, Cecilia. 2002. "Crossing Over: White Teenagers, Hip Hop and African American English." Doctoral Dissertation, New York University.
  • Hill,-Jane-H. 1995. Junk Spanish, Covert Racism, and the (Leaky) Boundary between Public and Private Spheres. Pragmatics 5, 197-212.
  • Labov, William. 1980. "Is There a Creole Speech Community?" Theoretical Orientations in Creole Studies, Albert Valdman and Arnold Highfield, eds. Pp. 369-388. New York: Academic Press.
  • Rampton, Ben. 1996. "Language Crossing and Ethnicity in Sociolinguistics." Paper presented at the New Ways of Analyzing Variation conference (NWAV XXV), Las Vegas.

Sponsored by:

National Endowment for the Humanities Hewlett Foundation Ford Foundation   Arthur Vining Davis Foundations Carnegie Corporation

National Endowment
for the Humanities

William and Flora Hewlett


Rosalind P.

Arthur Vining
Davis Foundations

Corporation of New York