Why do I speak as I do and how does my language define me?
At home, I speak a lot differently than I speak to friends people differently. I treat and speak to my family with a lot more respect and with lots of care, I don’t speak to my family with any slang, I also try my best to not say anything disrespectful to them and I try my best to listen to them. To my friends, I talk to them with respect and care. When they are upset I show them empathy and support. I talk to my family completely differently than to my friends. Although this doesn’t happen much, when something frustrates me it doesn’t matter what it is, I fully express how I feel to my friends, but to my family I only talk about things that frustrate me to my parents if it relates to my academic life, if its about my social life I don’t normally mention it. At home I’m a lot shyer than I am in school, I still do speak to my family a decent amount when speaking to them, at school I’m a lot less shy when I talk to my friends. I speak with using abbreviations such as GG, lmao etc, I don’t use any of these with my family and I think it’s because I don’t think my parents would understand what these abbreviations mean so I don’t think there is a real reason of using abbreviations that my parents wouldn’t understand.
The way I speak comes from my family and where they come from. My dad’s first language is English, he can pronounce pretty much any word correctly but since my mum’s first language was Chinese she doesn’t pronounce every word in English correctly or sometimes confuses words with other words that are completely different, an example of this is when my mum says a runny nose, and since she said running nose I thought it was running nose until someone at school corrected me. Another example is my mum mispronouncing the word Phlegm, instead, she pronounced it “Phlagm”, and again for a while, I thought it was pronounced “flam” until I heard someone say the word and realised that way I was pronouncing that word was wrong. I was quite sceptical that “phlagm’ was the correct way to pronounce it after my first example occurred. Sometimes I also mispronounce words I’ve said correctly countless times, it can be quite frustrating at times. This mispronunciation of words is connected to my identity because everyone’s actions influence their identity and me messing up the pronunciation of words or say the wrong word is a part of my identity, it’s something that people know about me and it’s something I see that helps define who I am, although it can be annoying or frustrating at times.
How can language include or exclude, represent or misrepresent?
They are many different ways people pronounce words in English around the world because people learn one language and later on in their life for most of their life then try to learn another language later on in their life or learn one language and pick up another language at a young age, they could also not learn more than 1 language. People can’t ever speak a language 100% fluently after the age of 10 this is because you will run of time as your ability to learn starts to drop after you reach 17 or 18 years old, this makes it really hard for people to pronounce some words if they learnt English late in their life, I’ve never lived in Australia, I have been to Australia a couple of times in the past and I think the accent is quite interesting, I think when people here the Australian accent they relate it to a wealthy open society as Australia is a developed society with open lands, and overall I think that if see Australia on a scale, on one end is an underdeveloped society and the other end is a highly developed, I think they would see Australia towards the higher end of the scale, with a decent amount of power. These differences in language depend on what language was their mother tongue is. Although I am Singaporean and have lived in Singapore my whole life, my idiolect isn’t close to a Singaporean accent, this is probably because I go to an international school but from hearing how Singlish is spoken they use a lot of slang and pronunciation of words are mostly the same to how standard English. Slang is a huge difference between standard English and Singlish, I think the main factors that influence people’s pronunciation is their cultural background, and I think that the people that the person surrounds themselves with as well because people tend to pick up habits or pronunciations from the people we surround ourselves with. Singapore is considered to be a very wealthy country, because of this fact, although people laugh at it because they say “lah” a lot, people with Singaporean accents are considered to be part of a higher class because as I said before it’s considered to be a wealthy country.
A stereotype is that British people speak in posh or fancy accent because of the many stereotypes that surround this country some people take offence to these stereotypes as its assuming that they like tea, speak in a posh sort of way, and all like the same thing or do the same thing. It’s understandable why they take offence to these kinds of things, Stereotype originates from old Britain, from the upper class, I think some of these values have carried over and improved as the idea of respect has developed and people think it should go both ways (mutual respect). A second example is people assuming all Singaporeans speak Singlish, although some Singaporeans speak Singlish, most of them don’t, of course, they are going to have a Singaporean accent, but they don’t all speak Singlish. Singaporeans are overall quite patriotic and I think some care a lot about this, the Singaporean accent is related
Who owns English and why does it keep changing?
Personally my accent has not changed too much, but I think my accent has had a shift towards away from British English and gone towards American English, and it’s somewhere in between there, I thought this to be quite strange as I’ve only been to America once when I was very young, I used to value speaking British English because I felt as it was the correct version of English, But then I realised that it wasn’t that strange as I have been going to an international school my whole life and that there were so many ways of speaking English, being exposed to so many different cultures has helped me realise that there isn’t a correct version of English, and there are many different ways to speak it. I don’t really think my Idiolect shift reflects the examples apart from the fact that I am Singaporean, have lived in Singapore my whole life and that I am also Australian
I believe everyone who speaks English owns the language because everyone speaks the language differently and I believe that when we speak the language we are constantly changing the way it’s being spoken. English keeps changing because we are constantly improving the language by adding new words to be able to express ourselves or adding abbreviations to help us communicate ideas and words more efficiently and effectively. New words are constantly being created and are again helping us express our emotions and concepts to one another, new products are constantly being created and they need a name if English doesn’t change nothing new can be made. English can never stay the same as we will continue coming up with new ideas, new concepts, and new ways to express emotion and we need a word for all this stuff, everything including language is always changing nothing stays the same forever.