Discuss the idea that where someone comes from affects how they use language.

To answer this question, students could talk about a whole range of issues relating to dialect, lexical choices, and people's attitudes towards certain regional variations of English. Where we come from affects our accent (phonological variation), so, for example, does 'foot' sound like 'strut' where you come from? Does 'scone' sound like 'phone' or like 'gone'? It also affect what words we use (is this kind of bread a roll, a bap, a butty..?). It can also affect people's morphosyntactic choices: many regions have non-standard variations in some areas of syntax. African American Vernacular English (AAVE), Southern American English, and some British regional dialects use what we sometimes call negative concord constructions - double negatives. ('I didn't do nothing.' = I didn't do anything.") Other examples of morphosyntactic variation might include the variations permitted in your region ofHe gave it meHe gave me itHe gave it to me Some of these will sound more natural to you than others.  It is really important to note, though, that where you come from is not the only thing that affects how you use language. When linguists consider how a person speaks, they look at their identity as a whole, considering things like their gender, age, class, ethnic background, and (sometimes) sexual orientation. They will also look at the context of their interactions (Are they speaking professionally or informally? Does their interlocutor speak in the same way? What do they want from the interaction? What kind of self-image do they want to portray?) Sometimes these things will influence a person's choice to either converge or diverge from their regional norm. 

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