Welcome to The Lang Dock

[hɛ.ˈloʊ ˈɪ.nɚ.ˌnɛt fɹɛnz] [θæŋks fɚ ˈmi.ɾɪŋ mi hɪɹ]
Hello internet friends! Thanks for meeting me here.

[noʊ ˈpɹɑ.blm̩] [wʌt̚ ˈɪz hɪɹ ðoʊ]
No problem. What is here, though?

[hɪɹ ɪz ðə fɚst̚ post ʌv ðə læŋ dɑk]
Here is the first post of The Lang Dock.

[oː.kei̯ː]
Ok…

[wʌt̚ ɪz ðə læŋ dɑk ju æsk]
What is The Lang Dock you ask?

[ˈækt͡ʃəli aɪ wəz wʌn.dɚ.ɹɪŋ wəɾ ɑl ðoʊz wɪɹd sɪm.bl̩z ɑɹ] [woʊ ɑɹ ðɛi ˈʃo.wɪŋ ʌp̚ wɛn aɪ tɑk tu]
Actually, I was wondering what all those weird symbols are. Woah, are they showing up when I talk, too?

[oʊ ðæts aɪ.pi.eɪ] [ði ɪ.nɚ.ˈnæ.ʃə.nl̩ fʌ.ˈnɛ.tɪk ˈæl.fə.bɛt̚] [aɪm ˈdɑ.kju.mɛ.nɪŋ ɑɹ pɹə.nən.si.ˈeɪ.ʃn̩] [ju sɛd ju wɚ oʊ.ˈkeɪ wɪθ ðæt̚ ɹaɪt̚]
Oh, that’s IPA. The International Phonetic Alphabet. I’m documenting our pronunciation. You said you were okay with that, right?

[jæ aɪm ə gɹeɪt̚ ˈspi.kɚ]
Yeah, I’m a great speaker

[gɹeɪt̚] [wl̩ tɑk moɹ əbaʊt aɪ.pi.eɪ leɪɾɚ]
Great. We’ll talk more about IPA later.

[oʊ.ˈkeɪ] [wʌt ɪz ðə læŋ dɑk ðɛn]
Ok. What is The Lang Dock then?

[ə dɑk fɚ læŋz] [ɦɑ] [ɦɑ]
A dock for langs! Ha! Ha!

[sɑɹi aɪ hæd tu] [ðə læŋ dɑk ɪz ə blɑg ðɛt dɪ.ˈskʌ.sɪz ˈtɑ.pɪks ri.leɪ.ɾɪd tu læŋ.gwɪd͡ʒ dɑ.kju.mɛn.ˈteɪ.ʃən ɛn vɛ.ɹi.ˈjeɪ.ʃn̩]
Sorry, I had to. The Lang Dock is a blog that discusses topics related to language documentation and variation.

[ʃɚ]
Sure.

[naʊ aɪ noʊ ə ‘lɑɾə ‘pi.pl̩ noʊ wʌt̚ ɑl ʌv ðoʊz wɚdz min ən.ˈtɪl ju pʊt̚ ðm̩ ˈɪn.tə ðæt pɚ.ˈtɪ.kjə.lɚ kɑm.bɪ.ˈneɪ.ʃn̩ soʊ aɪ wɪl ɛk.ˈspleɪn]
Now, I know a lot of people know what all of those words mean until you put them into that particular combination, so I will explain.

[gʊd]
Good.

[ˈlæŋ.gwɪd͡ʒ dɑ.kju.mɛn.ˈteɪ.ʃn̩ ɦæz ðə gɔl ʌv kɹi.ˈeɪ.ɾɪŋ ə ˈɹɛ.kɚd ʌv ə ˈlæŋ.gwɪd͡ʒ] [ˈdɑ.kju.mɛn.tɚz sʌt͡ʃ əz maɪ.ˈsɛlf meɪk ˈɹɪ.t̚n̩ dɹɑn ˈɑ.di.o ɛn ˈvɪ.di.o ɹi.ˈkoɹ.dɪŋz ʌv ˈpi.pl̩ ˈju.zɪŋ ə ˈlæŋ.gwɪd͡ʒ] [wɚdz sɑɪnz ˈfɹeɪ.zɪz ˈsɛn.t̚n̩.sɪz sto.ɹiz kɑn.vɚ.ˈseɪ.ʃn̩z]
Language documentation has the goal of creating a lasting record of a language (or all languages, really). Documenters such as myself make written, drawn, audio, and video recordings of people using a language. Words, signs, phrases, sentences, stories, conversations–

[wɪθ ðeɪɹ kn̩.ˈsɛnt aɪ hoʊp]
With their consent, I hope.

[jɛs ɑl.weɪz wɪ ðeɪɹ kn̩.sɛnt̚] [ˈsʌm.taɪmz ˈi.vn̩ wɪ ðeɪɹ ɪn.ˈθu.zi.æ.zm̩] [ðoʊ sʌm pi.pl̩ kn̩.tɹɪ.bjut̚ wɪ.θaʊt̚ i.vn̩ noʊ.wɪŋ ɪt] [ɛ.ni taɪm ˈsʌm.wʌn ˈpʌ.blɪ.ʃɪz ə bʊk ə ˈvɪ.di.o ə ˈlɛk.t͡ʃɚ ə blɑg poʊst ə ˈkɑ.mɛnt̚ ə d͡ʒoʊk ɛt ˈsɛ.tə.ɹə ðeɪ ɑɹ kn̩.ˈtɹɪ.bju.tɪŋ tu ðə dɑ.kju.mɛn.ˈteɪ.ʃn̩ ʌv ðə ˈlæŋ.gwɪd͡ʒ ɚ ˈlæŋ.gwɪ.d͡ʒɪz ðeɪ juzd]
Yes, always with their consent. Sometimes even with their enthusiasm. Though some people contribute without even knowing it. Any time someone publishes a book, a video, a speech, a blog post, a comment, a joke, etc., they are contributing to the documentation of the language or languages they used.

[weɪt̚]
Wait…

[jʌp̚]
Yup.

[bʌt wʌt əbaʊt ɑl ðə ho.ɹɪ.bl̩ gɹæ.mɚ n̩ ə.bri.vi.eɪ.ʃɪnz n̩ stʌf pi.pl̩ juz ɑn.laɪn]
But what about all the horrible grammar and abbreviations and stuff people use online?

[ˈæk̚.ʃəli ðə ˈju.nik weɪ ə ˈlæŋ.gwɪd͡ʒ ɪz juzd ɑn.ˈlaɪn ɪz ə.ˈnʌ.ðɚ ˈtɑ.pɪk ðɛt̚ kɛn bi ˈstʌ.did] [sɪns ˈlæŋ.gwɪ.d͡ʒɪz ɑɹ juzd ˈdɪ.fɹɪnt.li ɪn ˈdi.fɹɪnt̚ ˈkɑn.tɛks ˈɹɪ.tn̩ ˈvɚ.sɪz ˈspo.kn̩ ə ˈfoɹ.ml̩ ˈvɚ.sɪz ˈɪn.foɹ.ml̩ ˈsɛ.ɾɪŋ fɹɛnz vɚ.sɪz ə.ˈkweɪ.n̩.sɪz ɛt ˈsɛ.tə.rə ɪt ɪz aɪ.ˈdil tə hæv ə və.ˈɹaɪ.ə.ɾi ʌv ˈju.sɪz] [æz fɚ ˈɦo.ɹɪ.bl̩ ˈgɹæ.mɚ ɪt ɪs ɪm.ˈpoɹ.n̩t tu dɪ.ˈstɪŋ.gwɪʃ bə.ˈtwin mɪ.ˈsteɪks ɪn.ˈtɛn.ʃə.nl̩ mɪs.ˈjus ɚ wɚd pleɪ ɛn ˈnoɹ.ml̩ jus ðæt ɪz ˈdɪ.frɪnt̚ frəm jɚ oʊn] [ə.ˈgɛn ɑl θɹi ʌv ðiz kɛn hɛlp ʌs ən.dɚ.ˈstænd haʊ æ pɚ.ˈtɪ.kjə.ɚ ˈlæŋ.gwid͡ʒ ænd ˈlæŋ.gwid͡ʒ æz ə ˈhju.mn̩ fɛ.ˈnɑ.mɛ.nɑn wɚks]
Actually, the unique way a language is used online is another topic that can be studied. Since languages are used differently in different contexts (written vs. spoken, a formal vs. informal setting, friends vs. acquaintances, etc.), it is ideal to have a record of a variety of uses. As for “horrible grammar”, it is important to distinguish between mistakes, intentional misuse or word play, and normal use that is different from your own. Again, all three of these can help us understand how a particular language (and language as a human phenomenon) works.

[oʊ] [soʊ ˈlæŋ.gwɪ.d͡ʒɪːz]
Oh. So languages…

[vɛ.ɹi] [ðæts wʌt̚ wi min bɑɪ ˈlæŋ.gwɪd͡ʒ vɛ.ɹi.ˈeɪ.ʃn̩] [ðə moʊst ˈkɑ.mn̩ ɪg.ˈzæm.pl̩ ɪz ɑ ˈɹi.d͡ʒə.nl̩ ˈæk.sɛnt̚] [lɑts ə ˈpi.pl̩ spik ˈɪŋ.glɪʃ bʊt̚ ðeɪ doʊnt̚ ɑl saʊnd̚ ðə seɪm] [ænd ðeɪ doʊnt̚ ˈɑl.weɪz juz ðə seɪm wɚdz n̩ ˈfɹeɪ.zɪz]
Vary. That’s what we mean by language variation. The most common example is a regional accent. Lots of people speak English, but they don’t all sound the same. And they don’t always use the same words and phrases.

[oʊ laɪk sɑ.kɹ ɛn fʊt.bɔl]
Oh, like “soccer” and “football”.

[ɛg.ˈzæk.li] [ðɛɪɹ kn̩ ˈɑl.soʊ bi ˈdɪ.fɹɪn.sɪz beɪst ɑn eɪd͡ʒ ˈso.ʃl̩ klæs ˈd͡ʒɛn.dɚ ɛt ˈsɛ.tə.ɹə] [ɛn moʊst əv ʌs t͡ʃeɪn̠d͡ʒ ɑɹ ˈlæŋ.gwɪd͡ʒ tə fɪt̚ ðə ˈkɑn.tɛkst̚ wɪ.ˈθaʊt̚ ˈi.vn̩ ˈθɪŋ.kɪŋ ə.ˈbaʊt̚ it̚]
Exactly. There can also be differences based on age, social class, gender, etc. And most of us change our language to fit the context without even thinking about it.

[wɛl naʊ ɑɪm ˈθɪŋ.kɪŋ ə.ˈbaʊt̚ it̚]
Well now I’m thinking about it.

[ˈwɛl.km̩ tu lɪŋ.ˈgwɪ.stɪks]
Welcome to linguistics.

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