short #10

American Dialects

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Due Wed 10 January

For this assignment, watch one feature film that represents an American dialect region. The dialect area may be Brooklyn (He Got Game), Minnesota (Drop Dead Gorgeous), Nebraska (Election)--or really, anywhere you like, depending on the availability of films and your own tastes and interests--as long as the film represents the English spoken in a region of the United States.

 Make notes as you watch this film (several times is best) on features of the dialect that distinguish it from what we might call "American radio standard." These features may be phonetic--in which case, describe them as fully as possible in phonetic transcriptions--or they may be in terms of vocabulary or idiom.

Write a 2-3 page report on the construction of the dialect in the film. Try to include at least five clearly defined, distinct dialect markers. Make your impressions as concrete as possible; don't give vague information. Two of your markers (at least) must be phonetic.

Remember that you are noting a fictional/ cinematic technique, not gathering actual informant data from a dialect region.