A2 Language Variation Theories

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  • A2 Language Variation
    • Class
      • Bernstein's restricted and elaborated code
      • Jenny Cheshire study: All children who conform to criminal peer pressure groups are most likely to use non-standard forms. Those who do not conform are more likely to use standard forms.
      • Trudgill found that those of a lower socioeconomic background were more likely to use non-standard forms
      • Labov's New York Study of department stores and the pronunciation of /r/. (Covert prestige)
      • Status and Solidarity: Rp gives high status yet low solidarity. Regional varieties have lower status but higher solidarity.
    • Regional
      • Giles (1970s) RP sounds more educated and reliable but regional varieties sound more friendly and persuasive
      • Aziz Corporation (2003) Regional accents are a disadvantage in the business world
      • University of Aberdeen: Birmingham accents are the best at delivering comedy
      • Labov's Martha's Vineyard study: Found that those who held positive attitudes towards the island would exaggerate/ over identify with their pronunciation patterns in order to separate themselves from tourists
        • Fisherman did this in order to identify themselves as a superior group, separate from the tourists. This is a great example of Labov's covert prestige
          • Covert prestige is also associated with language variations such as Scouse accents and MLE
      • Giles stated that we adjust our speech accommodate  the person we are addressing. Ref. downwards and upwards convergence
      • Dialect Leveling: The gradual integration of dialects (merging) ref. Kerswill's research of EE spreading throughout UK
      • Koineisation: the process where a new dialect is formed through language contact
    • Ethnicity
      • Mark Sebba: London Jamaican code switching (subconsciously between patois and EE)
    • Gender
      • Males are more likely to adopt covert prestige
      • Females are more likely to adopt overt prestige in the form of RP due to generally being more class conscious
      • Trudgill stated that the working class language was associated with the male orientated working class culture
  • Fisherman did this in order to identify themselves as a superior group, separate from the tourists. This is a great example of Labov's covert prestige
    • Covert prestige is also associated with language variations such as Scouse accents and MLE
  • Dialect Leveling: The gradual integration of dialects (merging) ref. Kerswill's research of EE spreading throughout UK

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