standard spoken English

MollyB   Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:31 am GMT
I'm intrigued. On another forum, Mr P mentioned of the term "standard spoken English". He hasn't yet given a clear definition of what he means by that term, but he has excluded the use of "if I have/get chance..." over "if I have/get the/a chance..." from his view of what is standard spoken English.

I wonder, what do you all think the term "standard spoken English" means and would you, as Mr P did, exclude the above? And these, would you exclude from spoken standard English's borders?

-Things going well, are they?
-He won't be late I don't think.
-She about six foot tall.
-Jamie, he's got a new hat.
-He's got a new hat, Jamie.
-There's a hairy thing on the green stuff.
-Dave coffee?
-He got killed.
-I was worried I was going to lose it and I did almost.
-You know which one I mean probably.
-A friend of mine, his uncle had the taxi firm when we had the wedding.
-Do you know erm you know where the erm go over to er go over erm where the fire station is not the one that white white...
upstater   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:01 am GMT
Around here, "wanna", "gonna", and "He got killed" are completely normal in speech.
Guest   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:05 am GMT
It quite a biggie to establish ground rules for "standard English" as the English language is quite diverse around the world.

People would agrue that each accent of English is a dialect which I believe is not. If the Englishes developed to a point they become dialects - than one can more easliy (well it's still hard) establish what is "standard" in their dialects obviously ignoring regional differences in a particular dialect.

This can be applied to all languages as languages are in continuous development.
Amabo   Thu Jun 12, 2008 10:18 am GMT
There is no such thing as "standard spoken English."

And there never will be.
MollyB   Fri Jun 13, 2008 1:49 pm GMT
Something to chew on:


The term ‘standard grammar’ is most typically associated with written language,
and is usually considered to be characteristic of the recurrent usage of adult,
educated native speakers of a language. Standard grammar ideally reveals no
particular regional bias. Thus ‘Standard British English’ grammar consists of items
and forms that are found in the written usage of adult educated native speakers
from Wales, Scotland and England and those Northern Irish users who consider
themselves part of the British English speech community.

The typical sources of evidence for standard usage are literary texts, quality
journalism, academic and professional writing, etc. Standard grammar is given the
status of the official record of educated usage by being written down in grammar
books and taught in schools and universities.

Spoken transcripts often have frequent occurrences of items and structures
considered incorrect according to the norms of standard written English. However,
many such forms are frequently and routinely used by adult, educated native speakers.

Examples of such structures are split infinitives (e.g. We decided to immediately sell it),
double negation (e.g. He won’t be late I don’t think, as compared to I don’t think he will
be late), singular nouns after plural measurement expressions (e.g. He’s about six foot
tall), the use of contracted forms such as gonna (going to), wanna (want to), and so on.

Standard spoken English grammar will therefore be different from standard
written English grammar in many respects if we consider ‘standard’ to be a
description of the recurrent spoken usage of adult native speakers. What may be
considered ‘non-standard’ in writing may well be ‘standard’ in speech.
Speech and writing are not independent. Although some forms of spoken
grammar do not appear in writing (unless in written dialogues), there is
considerable overlap and there is an increasing range of forms appearing in
informal written texts which previously were only considered acceptable in
speech. In 120 the presence of typically spoken grammatical forms contexts as emails and internet chat-room exchanges is discussed.

From: The Cambridge Grammar of English (GCE)
Travis   Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:26 pm GMT
I have to strongly agree myself; there are distinct grammars for standard written English and standard spoken English as a whole today, with many things considered "nonstandard" or "incorrect" in written English being very much the norm in spoken English as a whole despite what prescriptivists happen to say. The differences themselves can be quite large, for instance in the case of modal and pseudo-modal forms, where there is generally far less variation between, say, NAE dialects than there are between most everyday speech and literary English.
Guest   Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:57 pm GMT
What about these forms:

You ain't seen nothing yet!
Forget me not!
Long time no see.
You're (not) telling'em that nah!