Accent and Dialect Theorists

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  • English Language Accent & Dialect Theorists
    • Pronunciation
      • William Labov (New York) 1972
        • Post Vocalic 'r'
        • 'r' is the prestigious variable
        • formal situations
          • more common with lower-middle class
        • Informal Situations
          • more common with upper middle class
      • Peter Trudgill 1974
        • prestigious variable 'ng'
        • women of each class pronounce 'ing' more than men of the same class
        • Women over-report and men under-report
        • Conducted study in Norwich
      • William Labov Martha's Vineyard 1972
        • Fishermen would make their language sound more different than tourists (divergence)
      • Peter Trudgill RP 1983
        • Women's pronunciation was closer to RP (usually seen as most prestigious) than men's
      • Malcolm Petyt
        • Social Climbing in Bradford
        • Studied omission of initial /h/ in speech (h-dropping)
          • lower middle class 12% h-drop
          • lower-working class 93% h-drop
        • Conscious effort moving up the social ladder & hyper correction
    • Attitudes
      • Howard Giles 1970's
        • Matched Guise Experiment
        • 3 different lecturers, 3 different accents conducting same lecture
        • Scores given in terms of status, personality & persuasiveness
        • RP was ranked first
      • Dixon, Mahoney & ***** 2002
        • Perceived guilty of a person who was said to have committed a crime increased when they heard a ‘brummie’ or Birmingham accent
      • Philip Howard 1993
        • “The point of regional pronunciations is to enable one tribe of pronouncers to feel superior to another”
      • Workman 2008
        • Listened to different accents, looking at peoples photos and rating intelligence
        • Yorkshire rated most intelligent and Birmingham rated least intelligent
    • Dialects
      • William Labov BEV 1972
        • Black English Venacular
        • Incomplete form of expression derived from deprivation in the black community
        • Independent dialect of English
      • Mark Sebba 1990’s
        • London Jamaican English
        • Evolved from language needs of immigrant communities
        • Phonological,lexical & grammatical elements of: Caribbean creoles, cockney, SE & RP
      • David Rosewarne 1984
        • Coined the term Estury English
        • Modified region of speech in between RP & Cockney
        • Features Glottal stop
    • Other Theories
      • Milroy
        • Belfast Study, Open or closed social networks
        • OPEN network = person whose contacts know each other (high density)
        • CLOSED network = person whose contacts don’t know each other (low density)
      • Kerswell
        • Dialect Levelling
        • Urbanisation is a key driver
        • Varieties mix and dilute as rural lifestyles become more unpopular & push towards cities + towns
      • Mark Thompson 2008
        • Made a conscious effort to move away from 'BBC English' for people to see a wider range of accounts on BBC
      • Tajfel 1978
        • personal vs group identities - we identify and adopt persona's at different times
      • Howard Giles 1970's
        • Accommodation Theory
          • we adjust our speech to accommodate the person we're addressing
        • results in divergence or convergence; convergence decreases the social difference between people
    • Education
      • Milroy & Milroy 1985
        • Children struggle at school as standard English is unfamiliar
        • Suggests that all varieties of English should be valued equally & not discouraged
      • John Honey 1997
        • Children should be taught standard English at school
          • Gives children equal opportunities
          • Non-standard is a barrier to universal communication
        • Biadialectism within children
      • Jenny Cheshire 1982
        • Studied speech of adolescent girls & boys
        • Boys tend to use more non-standard grammatical forms
      • Sue Fox 2000’s
        • Analysed language use of adolescents in Greater London
        • Multicultural London English
          • Acquired by second-language speakers in second-language acquisition, drawn from white, black & Asian communities
          • ‘Jafaican’
      • Seligman, Tucker & Lambert + Choy & Dodd 1976
        • Found teachers perceptions of students were shaped by their accents
      • Gary Ives 2013
        • Inner city Bradford school
        • Studied British Asian students about use of Punjabi and how used it alongside English
      • Penelope Eckert 2000
        • High School ethnography, Jocks + Burnouts
        • People tend to speak more like their social groups than same social demographic

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