Professor D’Arcy on like a contemporary vernacular

“The selective attention paid to the language of adolescents has led to the enduring belief that young people are ruining the language and that, as a consequence, the language is degenerating. One feature of contemporary vernaculars that is often held up as exemplification of these ideological principles is like, the ‘much-deplored interjection… that peppers the […]

The California-ness of open-mouthed jaw settings (new study)

Looking at the clip above, did you spot any prominent non-verbal actions that might characterize ValleySpeak? A number of academic papers have examined the pronunciation aspects of so-called ValSpeak from California, few however, have focused on one of its characteristic features known as ‘Jaw Setting’ – in this case slack jaw, open mouth (see Fig. […]

“Like” a linguistics study

“Discourse marker like (DML) is recognized as a highly stigmatized feature of American English, one with strong ideological ties to inarticulate, ‘Valley Girl’ speech. Previous work suggests that individual listeners form impressions that both reference and perpetuate DML’s status, as DML- containing speech is judged as friendlier and less intelligent than controls.” But what about […]

Improbable Research — AAAS in San Jose, Saturday Feb 14

Come to the annual Improbable Research Session at the AAAS Annual Meeting, in San Jose, California. Saturday, February 14 (Valentine’s Day), 8:00 pm Hilton San Jose Hotel, in the Almaden Ballroom It’s open FREE to the public The show will include, in addition to me, rare appearances by: Dr. Ivan Schwab, Ig Nobel Prize winner (for showing why woodpeckers don’t get headaches) Gale […]