Language Diversity



Labov- Martha's Vineyard 1961

Studied the pronunciation of diphthongs /au/ and /ai/. His main findings were that certain groups within his sample pronounced the diphthongs more like /əu/ and /əi/. In conclusion, this was done subconsciously to establish an identity of themselves as vineyarders.

Ives- Bradford & London study 2014

Conducted studies of two schools. Bradford- code switching wasn't natural, it was more of a conscious choice. It was used as a secret language. London- some of the lexical choices they made originate from other countries. In conclusion, language use is not about ethnicity , but where you live now. Language us syonymous with group identity regardless of ethnicity or cultural background.

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Cheshire- accent, dialects and social attitudes 1982

All children who approved of peer group criminal activities were more likely to use non-standard forms, but boys more so. All children who disapproved of such activities used non-standard forms less frequently, but the difference between the groupings was more stark, suggesting that variation in dialect is a conscious choice, influenced by social attitude.

Kerswill- Milton Keynes, Reading & Hull study 2012

Interviewed local residents of different ages and studied their speech styles. Milton Keynes- older residents used vowel sounds, a typical local accent whereas newcomers spoke with a variety of regional accents and children spoke like their poarents layer developing into Estuary English. Reading- children influenced by their local born parents, some change was apparent with older residents, pronouncing the post-vowel sound and young speakers using glottal stops. Hull- young speakers retrained the Northern accent of their older relatives.

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Eckert- Age as a social variable 1998

Identified how to define age- Chronological age (number of years since birth), biological age (physical age) and social age (linked to life events such as marriage and having children).

Martinez- Use of negatives 2007

Teens use more in English than adults do. It is common in orders, suggestions and refusals. Teenagers are more direct; adults are more conscious and mindful of face, e.g. 'no way', 'nope' and 'dunno'.

Berland- Use of tags 1997

Social groups are an important factors. 'Innit' was more common along working class teens, whereas 'yeah' was used more by boys than girls.

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Stenstrom et al- Non-standard grammar 2002

14-16 year-olds in London- found that common features included: multiple negation, use of ain't, ellipsis of auxiliary verbs etc.

Odato- Use of 'like' 2013

Found that children as young as 4 were using 'like' despite many classifying this as a feature of teen sociolect and that girls picked it up earlier than boys.

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Fishman- dominance model 1983

Men are more in control of speech and achieve this through speaking more. It suggested women use tag questions to keep a conversation within a man going- she termed this "conversational shitwork"

Tannen- difference model 1990

6 contrasting language features of men and women's language- Status vs Support, Independence vs Intimacy, Advice vs Understanding, Independence vs Feelings, Orders vs Proposals, Conflict vs Comprimise.

Lakoff- deficit model 1975

Women use hedges & fillers; tag questions; indirect requests; speak less and use fewer expletives. She argues that these features of speech make women seem more inferior, needy and prevents them from being taken seriously.

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Jesperson- deficit model 1922

Male's language was the 'norm' and any others was deficient.

Cameron- diversity model 2008

The idea that men and women  use language in very different ways and or very different reasons is one of the great myths of our time.

O'Barr and Aitkins- social status 1980

Disputed Lakoff, said that it was males and females of low social status who used these linguistic features.

Sapir Whorf- linguistic determinism 1940

The language you use affects/ controls how you think. If you say something, you must think it.

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Giles- Accommodation Theory 1973

Speakers may try to make their language resemble or be in line with that of their aufience to improve communication (convergence). In contrast, some speakers may attempt to  use language to distance and distinguish themselves from others (divergence). 

Brown and Levinson- Politeness Strategies 1987

Positive politeness, negative politeness, indirect request, direct request.

Fairclough- model for analysing advertising 2001

1. Building relations through synthetic personalisation, 2. How an image of a product is used to appeal to the consumer's ideology and cultural background, 3. Building the consumer and making them seem like the ideal consumer for the product.

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Fairclough- instrumental vs influential power

Instrumental: used by people or groups to exert heirarchical authority over others. Influential: this is influencing or persuading others, rather than using any kind of actual authority.

Wareing- different types of power

Political power: power held by people or gruops conferred on them by the law. Legal power: sometimes referred to as a specific subdivision of political power. Personal power: power that is held because of an individual's occupation or role. Social group power: the power someone has because of the social group they belong to, often owing to social class, gender, ethnicity or age etc.

Beard- the language of politics 2000

Typical features of in political speeches- declarative sentences; rhetorical questions; facts; opinion; anaphora; antithesis; statistics and metaphors.

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