Spatial and social patterns of dialect diffusion: the case of non-rhoticity and L-vocalisation in the South West of England

Grossenbacher, Sarah (29 June 2018). Spatial and social patterns of dialect diffusion: the case of non-rhoticity and L-vocalisation in the South West of England (Unpublished). In: Sociolinguistic Symposium. University of Auckland, New Zealand. 27.-30.06.2018.

Increasing mobility and internal migration in England have fostered dialect diffusion and supralocalisation. Importantly, however, not everyone is equally mobile (e.g. Titheridge and Hall 2006). Similarly, not everyone can follow the predominant internal migration pathway from the city into the countryside (e.g. Champion 1989). As a result, it is to be expected that dialect diffusion and supralocalisation is a socially uneven process as well, since it is strongly linked to mobility. Here, I look at this process in more detail, in particular with an emphasis on the social and geographical patterning of the diffusion of non-rhoticity and L-vocalisation into the South West of England, focussing on the area between Swindon and Bristol in the M4 corridor. The data for this was taken from the English Dialects app (Leemann, Kolly and Britain 2016), where more than 43000 people from 4000 locations around the UK have provided information on their pronunciation and use of certain words and colloquialisms. For this analysis, a subcorpus of more than 1200 speakers with various socio-economic backgrounds was used in order to examine what variables (gender, age, mobility, education) influence the adoption of non-rhoticity and L-vocalisation. In addition, mapping tools and two geographical classifications were added, which will shed light on how these features diffuse spatially and how this diffusion is sensitive to the social characteristics of the different places studied. The findings highlight that non-rhoticity and L-vocalisation diffuse in different ways. Generally, there is a strong interplay between educational factors, the urban status of a location and the acquisition of the new dialect features. This pattern, I will argue, is a result of the predominant internal migration pathway away from the city into the green and pleasant countryside.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures
06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of Linguistics and Literary Studies > Institute of English Languages and Literatures > Modern English Linguistics

UniBE Contributor:

Grossenbacher, Sarah

Subjects:

800 Literature, rhetoric & criticism > 820 English & Old English literatures
400 Language > 420 English & Old English languages

Language:

English

Submitter:

Leona Josefine Irmgard Goop

Date Deposited:

17 Apr 2019 10:47

Last Modified:

17 Apr 2019 10:47

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/122760

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