October 1st, 2007


linguistics study

Hey everyone,

I had a question about studies in linguistics. I think.

I want to do something on the linguistical side of literature. I want to analyze a writer's letters to different political figures, but I was wondering how I could link linguistics into this idea. This is for a very open ended self project.

I was thinking along the lines of looking at his word choice, but I feel that's very superficial, and I was hoping to get down into something more linguistical...

the only linguistics I've truly studied so far is phonetics. Which doesn't really serve me here because it's all written.

Am I even thinking in the right direction?

Thanks for any help/guidance you can provide :)

For Linguistics Students!

I need help.

I am doing a quantitative study of copula deletion for my Sociolinguistics class. It's specifically about a region in the Caribbean, and basically, I'm having a little bit of an anxiety attack because I've only done coded, variationist socioling stuff with phonological variables. Has anyone done any projects/analyses on syntactic variables? How did you code? For tense? For aspect? What software did you use?

Also English isn't my first language so its a little bit of an added worry. Oh well. Thats just me whining.

Any help would be fantastic.



One Nation, One Language?

Now, I realize this topic has already been covered here and on Language Log, but I was thinking about another aspect of this while watching a program on CNN today devoted to this very topic: Should the United States be "English only?" The program displayed a statistic that in 1965, 48% of those polled believed people should be allowed to vote in any language and 48% thought they shouldn't and should only vote in English (I'm aware those don't add up— that's all the information that was given on the program). They then mentioned a more recent poll (perhaps this year) that reported 41% of those polled believed people should be able to vote if they don't speak English and 53% (IIRC) that people should vote only in English. The thing that got me thinking was the two guests on the program: one was a Latino journalist whose first language was (by my guess) not English, and the other was Congressman Tom Tancredo, a Republican from Colorado. The congressman mentioned in passing that he was not bilingual. I started to wonder if a poll like the one shown on the program has ever been accompanied by a question asking whether or not those polled were bilingual. Anyone know of such a poll?