Being a native speaker.

Who could disagree with this?

“Native-speaker intuitions are not always dependable. Being a native speaker does not automatically give us a conscious, clear and comprehensive picture of our language in all its contexts of use.”

Or this:

“Often the use of the language is unconscious and speakers of the language may be able to explain what one “should say,” but are unlikely to have an accurate, comprehensive, or objective picture of how people actually interact.”

Yes, but that doesn’t mean that native speakers and non-native speakers are equally unreliable in their judgments.

Nice try, but no cigar.

If you drop your “I feel nervous and offended every time someone brings up this subject” stance, we might be able to get a conversation going.

Now, no one is saying that nonnative-speaker intuition is equally unreliable or more reliable or anything, Jamie. So, why not relax and enjoy the discussion?

Not THIS time, but that’s been your premise in other threads.

Not at all. Now, on with THIS thread…

More thoughts:

"The generative linguist’s reliance on ‘intuition’ has required the postulation of an ‘ideal native speaker/hearer’ and in practice of an invariant variety of the language in question. But research in sociolinguistics has highlighted the variability of the competences of different native speakers belonging to different social groupings and even the dialectal varaibility of a single speaker’s language. As soon as the non-uniformity of the language is accepted as normal, it is evident that the native speakers’ knowledge of their language, as a social or cultural phenomenon, is incomplete. "

The Linguistics Encyclopedia By Kirsten Malmkjaer

There is also the problem of “example fatigue”.

I’d say that calls for “staying out of the thread and letting others get on with the discussion”, wouldn’t you? Those who have stamina for such discussions, please stay.

Think how your “I don’t want this topic to be aired” is fatiguing for many.

Hi Molly,

your more thoughts sound a bit like J.P.Sartre´s “being and nothing”:

The chair is a chair since I´have regards to it (i.e. I might sit on it). If I wouldn´t have it wouldn´t be a chair.

Hm, interesting. Could you expand on that?

Problem could be with the chair that thinks it’s the only chair in the world, or, if there are other things that would dare to call themselves a chair, our chair would want to be be the model for the rest.

Obviously, you don’t know what “example fatigue” means in the field of linguistic research. You completely missed the point of what I said.

Do explain. We’re on tenterhooks.

When you work on a linguistic research project, say in syntax, generally the linguist’s own grammaticality judgments are used as the standard for deciding upon the “right” and “wrong” examples. However, after you have worked on the same paper for quite a while, and looked at both the “correct” sentences and the “incorrect” ones many times, the “incorrect” ones start to sound correct to you, just because you’re used to them, and you have trouble judging what is permissible in the language anymore, at least for the time you’re working on that paper. That it called “example fatigue”.

It’s similar to what happens when a native speaker lives in a foreign country for so long that the locals’ mistakes start to sound normal.

…or moving from the Midwest to the South.

“Get you some food”

“Drink you some beer”


Though those will never sound standard to me, I don’t cringe quite as much as I used to when I hear them.

Today I had given to a native speaker a correct spelling of the word “lee”,
it was quite natural but few minutes later he had come with the opinion that it is very depresive when some Englishmen are taught by foreigners to speak their own language.
Well it is probably not so bad after all but I have noticed many times that native speakers are always above the judgment no matter what situation ,they even would prefer to find out some small lie instead to say that they don’t understand themselves.
So long as you are not mastered their tongue good enough to defend your rights
they would lead you to strange confusing conclusions.
I have seen myself that native speakers are in general bad teachers.
I wouldn’t recommend to try to learn something from any English.
Learning is unfortunatly pure matter of own hard studing and no any exposeing process to alive language.

do you mean “lee” as in “alee”?

How did you intend to use that word?

(just curious)

Seems to happen also to native and nonnative speakers who’ve been in the EFL/ESLese world too long or those who’ve had there noses glued to a pedagogical (simplified) grammar book for years. Such people often can’t see beyond the examples they assume to be correct.

Make a lee , lee side where ship protects her body for example ROV.

:lol: Molly , are you trying to point somebody special I guess ??
I was studing English on special courses in Pubs and I am mostly :lol: satisfied ?
All of us have spent to much time for English in my opinion.
There are many other more interestings things to do as reading even very very simplified grammar book.

I havn’t read all the messages in this topic but I must say being a native English speaker must be wounderful. You can go to almost every country and find information in your own language. In some countries it can be difficult to ask for things for example at resturants but there will always be someone who knows English and is willing to help you. If you fall in for example there will always be someone who understands you.

In Sweden some foreigners die if they can’t make themselves understood. :frowning:
I have read it in a Swedish paper.