Discussion 11 The Linguistic facts of life


To explain and discuss the what Rosalinda Lippi-Green describes as the generally agreed upon “linguistic facts of life.”

1) All spoken language changes over time.
2) All spoken languages are equal in linguistic terms.
3) Grammaticality and communicative effectiveness are distinct and independent issues.
4) Written language and spoken language are historically, structurally, and functionally fundamentally different creatures.
5) Variation is intrinsic to all spoken language at every level.


Read: Rosina Lippi-Green. “The Linguistic Facts of Life.” (Chapter One, pp 7-39) in English with an Accent Language, ideology, and discrimination in the United States.  Routledge New York, 1997.

Reflect: Lippi-Green’s “The Linguistic Facts of Life” the notions of “standard language” ideals as connected to particular economic, social and political motivations. Here in terms of sociolinguistics, culture and communication.

Select: from TWO of the following five Facts of Life

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