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Lang- A+Ds

Theories, theorists, studies and definitions for Accents and Dialects

QuestionAnswer
Dialect a set of grammar and lexis
Accent a set of distinctive pronunciations
Standard English (SE) the form of the English language widely accepted as the usual correct form.
How is SE maintained as the national form of communication? Taught to foreigners and in schools. Benchmark by linguists for comparing dialects. Prestige associated with; Education, Courts, Social status, the Church.
Received Pronunciation An English accent connected with high social status. Not region specific but the accent is often associated with the South East.
Prescriptivism The idea that English is governed by a set of rules. Change caused the beauty of the language to decay leading to a debased form of English
Descriptivism The idea that the English language is constantly changing and is inevitable. A standard form of English is needed but that doesn't make non-standard variations subservient
Features of RP Indicates a persons social and educational background It's still used nowadays and is associated with power, education and authority Only 3% speak RP in its pure form
3 main subdivisions of RP Marked, Unmarked, Paralect.
Marked RP Accent suggests social privilege and a privileged education
Unmarked RP Accent that suggests a high degree of education
Paralect RP but with some features of a speakers regional accent
Covert prestige Status gained from peer group recognition, rather than public acknowledgement
Overt prestige Status that is publicly acknowledged
Matched guise technique An experimental technique where a single actor puts on different accent for different audiences, but keeps the content of the speech the same
Howard Giles research In the 1970s Giles used a matched guise technique to see peoples responses of accents in terms of status, personality and persuasiveness. RP was ranked highest followed by national accents and rural and urban accents at the bottom.
Sociolinguistic maturation age at which a speaker becomes far less susceptible to the influence of different varieties of language on their own usage. Paul Kerswill came up with the theory.
Convergence Modifying our language (accent and dialect) to be closer to someone unconsciously. Upward = More posh Downward = Less posh.
Divergence Modifying our language (accent and dialect) to be distanced to someone unconsciously.
Estuary English type of accent identified as spreading outwards from London and containing features of both received pronunciation and Cockney speech. The middle ground between being common and posh.
Code switching ability of a speaker to alternate between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation
Catford Girls Posse (CGP) Linguist Mark Sebba discovered that Caribbean girls known as (CGP) spoke in Creole at home Cockney with friends and RP in school
Pidgin Language grammatically simplified means of communication that develops between two or more groups that do not have a language in common. Vocabulary and grammar is limited. Primarily used in trade.
Creole Language stable natural language that develops from the mixing and simplifying of different languages. a pidgin transitioned into a full-fledged language. Children acquire creole as their national language.
MLE Multicultural London English is a fast evolving dialect spoken by teens from all ethnicities. Words from Jamaica, India and Africa are merged into this dialect. It's the first Youth accent.
Jonathan Harrington Phonetics expert at Ludwig Maximilian Uni at Munich studied the Queen's English. Harrington discovered the Queen has diverged from marked RP to sound more like Estuary English.
Why has the Queen diverged from RP? Her social networks has changed to involve more middle class people (Kate Middleton). Culture also has an influence. BBC in 1957 had speakers who spoke predominantly RP but in recent years broadcasters have varied accents, RP and Regional.
Accent discrimination 70% of job offers went to graduates educated at selective state or fee paying schools. 8 of 10 employers admit to making discriminatory decisions based on regional accents in law.
Accent discrimination Social situation 20%, Workplace 14%, Served in shops or restaurants 13%, Job interviews 12%, NET 28%
MLE-Multicultural London English Researched by Sue Fox a dialect used by the adolescence in large UK cities (London and Birmingham ). It's culturally diverse with users from White, Black and Asian communities. It's constantly changing with new words out of fashion after a short while.
Factors of influence and spread of MLE Celebrity figures, Tim Westwood and Ali G use the dialect to engage the young audience. The use of Youtube an accessible app has encouraged the spread of MLE to reach different areas.
Printing Press In the 1500s William Caxton invented the printing press which created a need for a standard form of communication. Caxton chose the East Midland dialect/accent to be the standard hence why RP became the accent of power.
Negative stereotypes of RP Too posh an accent comes across as cold and ruthless in terms of personality (Trudgill)
Status vs Solidarity theory Ellen Ryan made the connection between status and solidarity suggesting RP speakers were of high status but low solidarity. Whilst Regional accents were low status but high solidarity
Low/High Status and Solidarity Low status- uneducated, poor, unintelligent, illiterate and l/c High status- educated, wealthy, intelligent, literate, u/c Low solidarity- untrustworthy, unfriendly, unkind, awful and hostile High solidarity- trustworthy, friendly, kind amd nice
Key Accent features West Country- rhotic/r/ Estuary English- glottal stop /ʔ/ Norfolk accent- g dropping /n/
Kevin Watson Researched the Liverpudlian accent known as Scouse. Found out whilst some accents and dialects were levelling Scouse was becoming a superaccent diverging from RP.
Scouse becoming scouser 't' becomes 'h' in what and that becoming whah and thah is a feature of the scouse accent. However now longer words like market is following this feature become markeh.
Dialect levelling The merging of dialects and accents. This is due to factors such as geographical and social mobility. Paul Kerswill studied this and found Milton Keynes was levelling and the West Country accent was becoming less distinct.
John Honey on Levelling If everyone speaks the same accent discrimination on accents and dialects would end.
Peter Trudgill on Levelling If everyone speaks the same accent diversity would decrease and there would be a loss of identity. However everyone would think the same way and share the same values.
Created by: Haribro
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