CSD Students Challenge Linguistic Stereotypes

October 28, 2016

Two students from the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, sponsored by professor Sue Behrens, presented at the 28th Greater New York Conference on Behavioral Research, held at Fordham University.

Rachel Nevins ’19, Petya Gorgiev ’17, and professor Sue BehrensRachel Nevins ’19, Petya Gorgiev ’17, and professor Sue Behrens“Texting ruins your grammar.” “College students cannot function without using slang.” “Women introduce language tics into society, stemming from their insecurities.” “Asian speakers mix up ‘r’ and ‘l’ all the time.”

These over-generalized and unchallenged assumptions about language behavior have spread far and wide in recent years, helped in large part by the internet. The project helmed by MMC students tests the validity of four language generalizations in the media by comparing them to the current state of linguistic research. The goal of the project is the development of a series of mini-lessons that we are presenting this term to an upper-level general education college course entitled Language and Culture.

“Our work thus contributes to the fight for human rights in terms of language rights,” the project abstract reads. “That is, the mission to have society value linguistic differences and understand the regularity of all accents and dialects.”


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