Ethnographic Notes – Do You Speak American (feel free to add your article to this post.)


This article is titled “The Vanishing Verb”. In this article Terence Smith discusses how the delivery used by TV news reporters has changed toward a tendency to leave out verbs in their sentence structure. Included in the article are several quotations for various sources and TV correspondents. There are different reasons for the change provided ranging from lazy editors to trying to fit more information into the news cycle. The research question I would focus on is. Why does the audience accept this type of speaking?

Smith, Terence. “The Vanishing Verb.” PBS. PBS, Aug.-Sept. 2001. Web. 10 May 2013.


This article is titled “Pacific Northwest”.  In this article he references that the Pacific Northwest has an accent. When we talk we merge our vowels when they are next to each other.  So if you are saying “cot” or “caught” they will actually be pronounced the exact same way.  There is also the problem with saying “Anne” sounds more like “Ian” instead of “add” which is known as the “Cat Vowel”.

We also have a problem in Seattle with the word “bag” when we use this word it is pronounced like “beg”. We also say the word “egg” as “agg”.

My question is “If we have an accent do animals have one as well?”

Smith, Terence. “Pacific Northwest”. August – September 2001. PBS. [online} Accessed 2013 May 9

Fryer, Joe. “Is there a Seattle Accent”. King 5.  2012, April 2. [online] Accessed 2013 May 9


Ethnographic Notes – Do You Speak American

According to Connie Able who wrote the article “Sociolinguistics Basics”, “Sociolinguistics is the study of how language serves and is shaped by the social nature of human beings”. Noam Chomsky is the most quoted linguist and possibly person in America. His educational background is very multi-faceted which is important since a person in this field needs to have knowledge and perspective from several areas as mentioned in the article.

Because sociolinguistics surveys the interaction between society and language, the field involves an understanding of topics like sociology, anthropology and psychology. The sociological aspect has to do with how language and society intertwine. Anthropology is used to study the relationship between language and its evolution through time. An understanding of psychology is important in sociolinguistics for many reasons. Understanding psychological aspects in regard to language is of course an integral part of sociolinguistics.

Sociolinguistics studies dialect which is one variety of language. A specific dialect could be categorized ethnic, regional or social differentiations. The article mentions how English is one category of dialect.

Scholars in the U.S. are using linguistics to answer questions about language


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