Dialect creates the differences between tribes, nationalities and races. In the past people held their local dialects to very high standards and most of them looked at their dialects as their identity. No particular person can claim to have chosen his or her local dialect and therefore the choice of dialect is a complete natural process.
According to historians, the dialects that are there today are not the same dialects that existed in the past and therefore it is the fact that dialects keep on changing according to the needs of their users. People always prefer to stick to their ways of life and dialect changes that are taking place currently have not gone without criticism. (Labov).
The main question that is of great importance in this issue is what the right dialect is or what dialect people should choose as the common dialect. The question of selfishness and superiority of dialects therefore arises from this issue and as Fought states people tend to be attached to their linguistic distinctions.
The older generation has been claimed to be the generation that had many problems with the changes of dialect and they accused the young generation of trying to deviate from their language. On the other hand, the young people take the changes to be a way of displaying fashion and modernity.
As claimed by (Fought) “most teenagers think they would die of embarrassment if somebody thought that they dressed, acted or (most relevant here) talked like their parents. To conclude this issue people could accept the unavoidable changes that are taking place in dialects and the process should be natural.
Fought () claims that, different societies have continued to lock themselves within the domain of their language, which he terms as “imaginary language gates”. He however continues to assert that this measure is not in any way sustainable. Fought continues to argue, “Linguistic gate keeping is primarily exclusionary in purpose.
It involves mostly a list of don’ts.” From this statement, it is a fact that societies will try as much as possible to be conservative in their language and they will not welcome any deviation. There is nothing wrong with “linguistic gate keeping” but who should be the judge of the right and the wrong language. This question can simply be answered from the fact that language change is a natural process that should be respected and not interfered with.
Since linguistic gate keeping is an unrealistic undertaking, language crossing over follows closely. Crossing of languages involves borrowing words and phrases from a different language. Similarly, to all other deviations and changes in language this move is not readily acceptable by most communities especially the older generation.
Language crossing over is not all about embracing language changes but it involves movement across language boundaries (Cutler). Crossing ethnic boundaries in language crossing over is what brings most of the problems since all societies want their language to dominate.
Cutler continues to claim that language crossing among the youth is a way of portraying protests on ethnic boundaries and he points the hip-hop culture as a good example. Language crossing over is a globalization issue and as much as we welcome the latter then we should have expectations of crossover of language without judgments and standardizations.
Cutler, Cecelia. “Crossing Over.” Do You Speak American, PBS. Org, n.d. Web. Fri. Nov. 17, 2011.
Fought, John. “Are Dialects Fading?” Do You Speak American, PBS. Org, n.d. Web. Fri. Nov. 17, 2011.
Fought , John. “Gate Keeping.” Do You Speak American, PBS. Org, n.d. Web. Fri. Nov. 17, 2011.
Labov, William. “What is Sociolinguistics?” Do You Speak American, PBS. Org, n.d. Web. Fri. Nov. 17, 2011.