standard English

American pronunciation

Tweet I am teaching an ESL classes at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey this term, and am having great fun introducing American English to speakers of other languages; in this case, mostly Chinese and Malay, with two Arabic speakers and one Portuguese speaker. Our next class will be on the phonetics of […]

Standard Language

Tweet One purpose of standard language is the creation of a level playing field. It is the place where people get together who speak in vernaculars, with accents, and in specialized language. An author from India may have won a prestigious prize, and  sold millions of books, but if she speaks English the way she […]

Grammar and Syntax (part one)

Tweet This is one of a perhaps infinite number of posts differentiating grammar from syntax.  Our understanding of the two words is evolving.  Grammar is a floppy term endowed with many meanings, depending on who is speaking, and in what context.  It is the broader of the two terms, grammar and syntax. Grammar has traditionally […]