The Native Speaker: Myth and Reality
Linguists, applied linguists and language teachers all appeal to the native speaker as an important reference point. But what exactly (who exactly?) is the native speaker? This book examines the native speaker from different points of view, arguing that the native speaker is both myth and reality.
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The issue then is the boundary one , an issue I will return to when I consider the
sociolinguistics of the native speaker in Chapter 4 . Where does one language
end and another begin ? The answer to this , in my view , is largely sociolinguistic
( Williams , 1985 : 174 ) M ' s sociolinguistic ( pragmatic ) failure here loses him
the chance of the job . The relevance of this example to the discussion in this
chapter is that sharing linguistic rules does not guarantee understanding – the
And this is where I want to look at the second part of my answer , the
sociolinguistic one . This is the issue of identity and of attitudes towards
community . The logic of my linguistic argument seems to lead to the conclusion
that speakers of ...