Theories for Language and Region.

Theories for Language and Region:

Peter Trudgill (1974)- investigated variable in Norwich of 'in' vs 'ing'.

  • found that (lower) working class males use 'in'.
  • upper middle class females more commonly use standard variant 'ing'.

Milroys Belfast study- members of speech community connected to each other in social networks, may be relatively 'closed' or 'open'.

  • person whose personal contacts all know each other = closed network.
  • individual whose contacts tend not to know each other = open network.
  • closed networks high density
  • open network low densitty
  • links between people may be of different kinds: people can relate to each other as relatives, neighbours, workmates, friends. (closed)
  • individuals linked in several ways: job, family, leisure activities, network ties said to be multiplex. (open)
  • investigated correlation between interogation of individuals in community and way they speak.
  • she gave individuals Network Strength Score based on persons knowlegde of other people in community, work place and leisure activities to give score 1 to 5. (5 is highest network stength score).
  • closed and open networks can be usefully applied to any case of language variation.

William Labov New York Study (1966)- individual speech patterns "part of a highly systematic structure of social and stylistic stratification".

  • studied how often final or preconsonantal (r) was sounded in words like guard, bare and beer.
  • use of variable has considerable prestige in NYC.
  • of the 4 classes tested (lower class, working class, lower middle class, upper middle class), lower middle class most suspectible to overt prestige of preconsonantal "r" - differed most between incidence in casual speech style (4%) to most speech style (77%).
  • all 3 lower classes more aware of the prestige of the preconsonantal "r", when they think about it, more likely to change way speak to refelct "how they should sound" or how "post people sound".

William Labov Martha's Vineyard Study- individual speech patterens "part of a highly systematic structure of social and stylistic stratification".

  • Martha's Vineyard is an island about 3 miles off New England (east coast of USA). (population of around 6000).
  • over 40,000…


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