Is it easier to teach a language to a dialect speaker?
Thread poster: RafaLee

RafaLee
Australia
Local time: 13:46
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 3, 2004

Is it easier or harder to teach a proper language to a native speaker of a vernacular dialect? (For example, Italian to Sicilian immigrant children in New York)

RafaLee


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Tess Whitty
United States
Local time: 21:46
Member (2004)
English to Swedish
Maybe! Aug 3, 2004

I am not sure. But I am myself born with a very distinct dialect in Swedish and have been both interested in and gifted for learning other languages.

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Martin Linger
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:46
English to German
+ ...
Yes and No Aug 29, 2004

In theory I'd say yes, teaching someone a language of which he or she has some previous knowledge is easier because you can build on this. However, in your particular example it could be quite tricky - simply because Italy is still (140 years after political unification) a country marked by cleavages and especially Sicily is very distinct from the rest of the country. Bear in mind that the Italian standard language derives from Tuscan - a Northern dialect !

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Jeff Allen  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:46
Multiplelanguages
+ ...
teaching standard language to vernacular speakers Oct 12, 2004

I'd suggest you read my Diplome d'Etudes Approfondies (DEA) thesis for more on this. This reminds me that I need to insert the link to it at my publications website (http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs). Go to the section on Minority language linguistics. I invented a new term call Former Lexifier Language Acquisiton (Acquisition de l'ancienne langue lexificatrice) that is related to this question.
Also published in the Working Papers of the Summer Institute of Linguistics in St. Lucia:
http://linguafranka.net/saintluciancreole/workpapers.htm

Just need to put the French version on line. I recently ran it through an MT system to produce a gisted English version of it. Will try to set up those links in the existing entry by end of this week. Some day I need to produce a full MT postedited English version of it.

Jeff Allen
http://www.geocities.com/jeffallenpubs

RafaLee wrote:
Is it easier or harder to teach a proper language to a native speaker of a vernacular dialect? (For example, Italian to Sicilian immigrant children in New York)


[Edited at 2004-10-12 12:26]

[Edited at 2006-01-28 22:21]


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