Intro to anthropology – Excelsior Writers |
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Short Answer/ Reflection

Documentary: American Tongues (1987)

Watch documnetary and answer each question.

  1. Characterize how it came to be that Americans speak English with such a wide variety of accents

and dialects. Provide clear examples.

2. Demonstrate the relationship between language and culture (how people live their lives) drawing upon the varieties of English/ Speech Style used in Ohio, Texas, Louisiana, New York, and Boston. End with our own city of Baltimore, MD.

3. According to American Tongues’ discussion of Standard English, what is it and how did it develop?

Are some languages or speech forms superior to others? Using your text and the documentary, explain why or why not. For example, in the media, who usually speaks “good English” and who stereotypically talks with regional or ethnic accent? What are the perceptions we have of each?

4. Ethnocentrism based in regional affiliations and class are considered in the documentary and text.. Based on the film and insights gained from our text provide three clear examples to demonstrate how systems of power intersect language and communication.

5. What resonated with you the most in your viewing of this documentary? What did you like most about it? What did you like least? Why is this documentary included in this course?

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