All posts by James Jackson

Speech Communities by Paul Roberts

Reading about speech communities had me thinking about where I came from. There were various factors that shaped me into the speech community that I am currently in. Paul Roberts discusses many different things that form speech communities including geography, age, and social class.

Geography impacts many people not only from overseas but right here in the USA. Being a southern boy raise by a Mom from New York and Dad from Virginia I can easily see the different dialects that people have. Most people know that people up north like in New York or New Jersey, sound different than people from North Carolina. For example my mom and dad both say “water” differently and argue every time they say it. Also being from the south I often catch myself saying y’all a lot. While up north this could sound trashy and uncouth in the south it is welcomed.

When Roberts talks about age many interesting points are made. While most of us think that our speech communities come from the roots of our family we are often found wrong. Communities change even at a young age when we go to daycare or even to preschool. After awhile of being I’m school we find ourselves speaking differently than we would she’s. We speak to our parents. I found myself speaking more proper with my parents and use a lot more slang while I’m with friends.

Overall I was very intrigued about what Roberts had to say ad often found myself analyzing how I talk. Personally I find myself being proper around adults and very improper around teenagers and kids. I definitely have a southern “country” voice that northerners can pick up on but nothing out of the ordinary. Everyone’s background is different and that is what makes us unique, I think people should embrace their dialect and not be embarrassed by it.