In this homework assignment, you will complete an exercise drawn from Meyerhoff (2018) Chapter 6. The instructions are provided below, but you should also read the section on code-switching in this chapter (pp 129-133).
A lot of people use a different language variety (i.e. a different dialect or a different language) at home than they do in school or at work.
STEP 1: Read Meyerhoff (2018) Chapter 6, (at least) pages 129-133. She includes two different different decision trees, created by students at the University of Hawai’i who speak both Standard US English and Hawaiian Pidgin. These decision trees illustrate the speakers’ conceptualizations of when (i.e. in what contexts) they are likely to choose one variety over another. Make sure you understand the two different decision trees.
● If you are someone who uses different language varieties (dialects or languages, not just different styles) in different contexts, try drawing a decision tree for yourself, mapping the process by which you consciously or subconsciously choose one variety over another.
● Or, if you do not have appreciably different language varieties to choose from, find someone else to interview and (on the basis of the interview) draw a decision tree for them. This could be a relative, a coworker, another student etc.
You can either draw the decision tree with pen and paper, and take a photo or scan it, or you can draw it on the computer in whatever application you like. I like https://www.draw.io/ as a tool for making decision trees.
● Write 2-3 paragraphs reflecting on the decision tree you have created. How did you go about creating it? Do both domain and addressee (the person you are speaking with) play roles in the decision tree? How would you characterize the roles of each variety in your (or the person you interviewed’s) life?
Please submit your decision tree and discussion in a single document (you can insert the image of your decision tree in that document).
Grading rubric (20 points possible)
Decision tree (10 points)
Discussion (10 points)
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