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Language Variation and Innovation in Teesside English

Llamas, Mari Carmen (2001) Language Variation and Innovation in Teesside English. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.


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This thesis presents a study of socially-conditioned phonological variation in a hitherto unresearched urban variety of British English. The variety in question is that of Teesside, on the North East coast of England. A corpus of conversational and word-list data has been collected through the use of an innovative method of data elicitation designed and systematically trialled in the present study for a large-scale project on linguistic variation in Britain. The method combines the elicitation of comparable data on lexical variation with the collection of samples of informal speech on which phonological and, to some extent, grammatical analyses can be undertaken. The data for the present study are taken from a socially homogeneous group of 32 speakers who are divided by gender and grouped into four emically-defmed age cohorts to test for both generational differences suggestive of change in progress in the variety, and fine-grained age differentiations between young speakers. Consonantal variables are investigated and external, speaker-based factors are examined in relation to the levelling out of localised forms and the diffusion of innovatory forms into the variety. Furthermore, the study is an investigation of the interdependence of language and identity. Analyses of speakers’ perceptions of language variation, community identity and cohort identity within the community identity are combined with correlational analyses of the linguistic variables. A language ideology framework is invoked to interpret the linguistic trends uncovered. Findings reveal that the adoption or increased use of forms associated with varieties further south or further north of the locality in question does not appear to affect the local orientation of the speaker.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Cultures (Leeds) > School of English (Leeds)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.499394
Depositing User: Digitisation Studio Leeds
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2012 15:06
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2014 11:23
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/2939

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