SOCIOLINGUISTIC STUDY OF SANDWELL SPEECH - The
differentiation of six phonological variables by speakers in Rowley Regis,
Tipton and Wednesbury.
Anne Grethe Mathisen, 1992, Cand.Philol. degree thesis, Dept. British and
American Studies, University of Oslo .
Phonological variation in Sandwell speech has been investigated, based on
recorded interviews obtained in 1983-84 from 24 adult and 12 teenage
informants. The informants were selected quasi-randomly from the districts of
Rowley Regis. Tipton and Wednesbury and provided samples of both conversational
and reading style speech. The informants represent both sexes, four age groups
and two social classes, the working class and the non-working class.
Sociolinguistic methods established by Labov and modified by British linguists
have been applied to analyse and describe to what extent the pronunciation of 6
phonological variables (...) are determined by age, sex and socioeconomic
status, as well as by stylistic context. Furthermore, the patterns of variation
of the selected variables were also studied for indications of linguistic
change in progress.
The linguistic analysis showed moderate social differentiation of all
variables, except (...), and a distinct working class influence. The analysis
of stylistic variation documented increased scores for the non-RP variants of
all variables, except (...), in the reading styles. Indications of linguistic
change in progress appeared only for variable (...). The low number of
informants did not permit generalisation of the results from this sample of
informants to the Sandwell population.
Newspaper article in "Fredrikstad
Blad" from March 14, 1969, about a stormy ride on the lifeboat at
Værøy (13 MB).
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