Wide-spread “languages”

Choose to write on a particular language/dialect. Your choice must
be one of the more wide-spread “languages” such as Spanish, French, Russian, Latin, Greek,
Chinese, etc. Instead, you must narrow your focus to a specific dialect or variety of one of these
or some other language; or you may choose a lesser-known non-European language. For
example, rather than “Spanish,” you might choose Cuban Spanish, or Andean Spanish. Instead
of “French,” you might look at Quebec French, or West African French. You are also welcome
to choose a dialect of English. This might be a regional dialect, such as New England,
Southwestern, or Appalachian; or it might be a social dialect, such as Cajun, or Boston Brahmin.
You may, if you wish, report on a
creole language
. Some examples include: Sea Island Creole
(“Gullah”); the West Indian Creole languages (Jamaican, Haitian, Belizean, Trinidadian,
Papiamentu, etc.); South American creoles (Sranan Tongo, Saramakan, Ndjuka, etc.); Tok Pisin
(Papua New Guinea); Krio (Sierra Leon); Kamtak (Cameroon); etc. It should be noted that
African American (Ebonics), may be analyzed as either a dialect of American English, or as a
creole language; if you choose this language variety, you must explain how you classify it, and
Questions you will ask.
A successful paper will address questions relevant to the language
variety under investigation and, where possible, suggest answers for the questions presented.
Some questions that may be relevant are given below. Depending on the variety you choose, you
may find that one or more of these questions are not relevant, and you may encounter other
questions as you research your language variety. Addressing these questions should be the main
focus of your paper. DO NOT come to me and complain that you can’t find this information
about the language your chose. Either you aren’t looking hard enough, or you need to choose a
different language. Here are the basic questions you should answer (Adapted from
Linguistic Reporter
, Winter 1971, page 25):

What is the name of the language variety (what do its speakers call it; what do nonspeakers call it; what do linguists call it)?

Who are its users, and how are they grouped by nation, geographical location, class,
religion, or any other relevant grouping?

What larger “language” does it belong to? What are the main closely related dialects?

What other dialects are employed by its user
Is this dialect written? If so, how and in what contexts?

Is its use restricted or limited in certain ways, for example religion or ritual, written
literature, legal proceedings, folk tales, and so on?

What issues of power and authority are relevant to this dialect?

Is the dialect endangered? If so, what factors might be involved? If not, what might be
contributing to its vitality?
. Make sure to organize your paper into sections (and subsections) in a way that is
easy to understand. In addition, give an introduction at the beginning of the paper, and have a
conclusion at the end. The introduction should clearly state your research. WARNING: If I
don’t know what you are writing about by the time I finish the first paragraph, I will not read the
rest of your paper, and you will receive no credit.
The body of your paper should address the questions, above. Trust me, this will give you plenty
to write about.
You can also comment briefly on the similarities and differences of the language you are
examining and your first language. In the main body of the paper, describe your findings,
illustrating with examples, where appropriate. You may also want to devote a more in-depth
comparison of the language you looked at and Standard English. In the conclusion, summarize
your main points. You may also want to point out areas where you feel that further research is
Take these questions seriously! A paper that ignores them will lose at least 5 points. The best
papers will not only address these questions, but be organized around them, with each section
covering one of these questions. If a question doesn’t apply to the language you have chosen,
explain why. If you find other questions/topics that are relevant to the language, feel free to add
References: All references must be from valid, scholarly sources, and properly cited.

Sample Solution