English Language A2 Revision - Language Change Paper


English Language A Level Paper 2

Question 1 or 2 (30 marks)

(you can choose which of these you wish to answer)

Answer this question like a discursive essay. You must evaluate an idea (how far do you agree/disagree?) Use the following structure: 

  • Introduction
  • Agree/disagree paragraph
  • Agree/disagree paragraph
  • Agree/disagree paragraph
  • Conclusion

For EACH paragraph use Don't Ever Make Vile Tropical Tea.

D - data (you won't be given any data so you need to learn your own examples!)

E - evaluate theories (using other theories etc.)

M - multiple interpretations (explain for than one thing you can draw from an idea/theory)

V - other variables (the agree and disagree paragraphs)

T - terminology (label all quotes as accurately as possible)

T - theories 

Question 1 will be an evaluative essay question on language diversity (synchronic variation).

Question 2 will be an evaluative essay question on language change (diachronic variation).

Important Theorists and Concepts (language diversity)

  • Rosewarne (1984) - Estuary English falls on a continuum between RP and Cockney; it's an umbrella term covering a range of accents. Speakers using it were thought to be aiming for a "classless profile" and avoid the privileged connotations of RP/the uneducated Cockney label. Common features of Estuary English include glottal stops and L-vocalisations e.g. they'll pronounce the L-vocalisation in 'milk'. People correct their speech for social aspiration e.g. RP speakers using Estuary English to sound less 'snobby'.
  • Labov's Social Stratification of English in New York City (1966) -  Investigated the presence/absence of the post vocalic /r/ (overt prestige) in the noun phrase "fourth floor". Middle-class shoppers strove to us the prestigious form the most. There was found to be an upward shift in the working class during careful speech (prejudice to themselves and don't feel like the norm).
  • Dixon, Mahoney and ***** (Matched Guise Approach) - There's a correlation between a persons accent and how we perceive guilt. i.e. in dialogues between policemen and suspects, the Birmingham accent sounded the most guilty.
  • Neuliep and Hansen (Matched Guise Approach) - Looked at ethnocentricity and non-native accents. Listeners ranked speakers on attractiveness and credibility. Ethnocentric people rated non-native speakers lowest, showing how accents form part of our identity.
  • Giles (Matched Guise Approach) - Same speaker spoke with a range of accents and listeners passed judgement. Aged 17 listeners rated RP speakers more intelligent than Brummies, despite them both talking about psychology.
  • The University of York - Forecasts suggested accents would merge into a national way of speaking, however, experts have found that the Geordie, Scour and Brummie accents are becoming more distinct. Watt (a lecturer in forensic speech) stated: "People want to protect their identity".
  • Workman (2015) - Paired random faces to accents and listeners rated speakers on their attractiveness and intelligence. The study was made reliable using a silent condition and randomised faces. Yorkshire accent found to be most intelligent, Birmingham accent least intelligent. Reinforces negative stereotypes and low sample sizes. 
  • Trudgill - RP speakers perceived…




Got bored because there were no pictures. Bad.