Re: My version

From: Francesco Brighenti
Message: 63190
Date: 2009-02-19

--- In, "Arnaud Fournet"
<fournet.arnaud@...> wrote:

> Let's try another [definition of 'dialect']:
> 1a. A regional or social variety of a language distinguished by
> pronunciation, grammar, or vocabulary, especially a variety of
> speech differing from the standard literary language or speech
> pattern of the culture in which it exists: Cockney is a dialect of
> English.

A very broad definition. If one holds that all varieties of
speech "differing from the standard literary language or speech
pattern of the culture in which it exists" must be
called 'dialects', then also the ungrammatical slangs used by the
youth throughout the world should be regarded as 'dialects'.

> b. A variety of language that with other varieties constitutes a
> single language of which no single variety is standard: the
> dialects of Ancient Greek.

Epiphenomenally, this is precisely the situation I have been
striving to describe with reference to the early developmental
phases of Italian dialects, at a time when there was still no
Standard Italian. Of course, if some or all of the varieties of
early Romance spoken in Italy in the eraly Medieval period are to be
considered "a single language", nothing prevents one to consider the
early linguistic stages of some Gallo-Italian dialects and those of
some Occitan dialects as another "single language", at least in the
epoch concerned. No 'detached cells', but many 'cell overlappings'.

> For your own enlightment, midgetuccio mio :
> Usage note :
> In many dialects [I add : of American English that is to say],
> people use as in place of that in sentences like <We are not sure
> as we want to go> or <It's not certain as he left>. This
> construction is not sufficiently well established to be used in
> writing.

Along with other constructions exemplified in the same dictionary
entry (<Them as thinks they can whup me jest come ahead> and <The
car what hit him never stopped>), I wonder, and ask the connoisseurs
of American English on the List, if this type of constructions isn't
simply the product of an ignorance of English grammar. Are the above
constructions used by all social groups in an geographic area, or
are they the prerogative of the uneducated ones? Because my notion
of a 'dialect' is that it can be spoken by all the members of the
social fabric, including the educated ones (as is the case with
Italian dialects).