Sociolinguistics Chapter 9 Language Change

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Sociolinguistics Chapter 9 Language Change. Learning Objectives. Variation and change Post-vocalic [r] Vernacular forms Why do changes spread? From group to group From style to style From word to word How do we study language change? Apparent time studies Real time studies. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Sociolinguistics Chapter 9 Language Change



Chapter 9Language Change1Learning ObjectivesVariation and changePost-vocalic [r]Vernacular formsWhy do changes spread?From group to groupFrom style to styleFrom word to word How do we study language change?Apparent time studiesReal time studies2Learning ObjectivesReasons for language changeSocial status and language changeGender and language variationInteraction and language variation3Variation and changeLanguage varies in three waysin physical space (regional variation)socially (social variation)over time (language change)4Variation and changeLanguage variationLanguage changeStable variationLanguage change in progressBell-shaped patternSteady increase or steady declinePost-vocalic [r]Example 3Standard English has lost the pronunciation of [r] following vowels in words like star and start.It does not occur in RP nor in London Cockney dialect.The loss is still in progress, as there are areas such as south-west England where [r] is still pronounced.

6Spread of vernacular formsExample 4In Marthas Vineyard, the people resented the fact that the island has been invaded by immigrants and tourists.They pronounced the words light and house like [lit] and [hus], in which the vowel is more centralised.This pronunciation was associated with the area in the past.The fishermen used this to express solidarity.7Exercise 3The high rise terminal (HRT) is a rising intonation pattern.It is a vernacular feature which is increasing in Sydney.SourcesSpread to Sydney from other areas of AustraliaSpread to Sydney from New Zealand8How do changes spread?From group to groupFigure 9.1From style to styleFigure 9.2Exercise 4From word to wordExercise 59How do we study language change?Apparent-time studiesReal-time studiesThe linguist compares the speech of people from different age groups.The linguist follows the same group of people and documents their change over an extensive period (e.g. 20-30 years).How do we study language change?Apparent-time studies of language changeComparing the speech of people from different age groupsDifferences between the speech of older people and younger people are interpreted as indications of changes in progress, e.g. an increase in the use of prestigious forms indicate language change.11How do we study language change?Apparent-time studies of language changeThe problem is with the vernacular forms, as young people use more vernacular forms anyway. Therefore the use of vernacular forms by young people might be simply stable variation.Researchers need to ensure that teenagers will continue to use the vernacular form even when they reach adulthood.12How do we study language change?Real time studies of language changeResearchers look at language changes in the same place over a long period of time (20-30 years)Trudgills Norwich studyHe compared the data in1968 and 1983, and found that the vowels of beer and bear had completely merged.13Reasons for language changeSocial status and language changeMembers of the group with most social status tend to introduce changes into a speech community from neighbouring communities which have greater status and prestige.Lower-class speakers are more influential in spreading less conscious linguistic changes.14Reasons for language changeGender and language changeWomen lead changes towards both prestige and vernacular forms.e.g.Women in Ucieda, Spain led changes towards the standard form to show their social aspirations.15Reasons for language changee.g.Women in Clonard, Belfast introduce vernacular forms from Ballymacarrett, because the both Clonard and Ballymacarrett are working-class communities, and Ballymacarett is more prestigious.Also, women in Clonard have a close-knit multiplex network. They are employed in poor city stores in shopping areas. They develop work and leisure patterns that resemble those of male groups.16Reasons for language changeGender and language changeMen lead changes towards vernacular forms only.e.g.Men in Marthas Vineyard led a change to a more vernacular form to show their loyalty to an older set of values.e.g.Upper-working-class men in Norwich are leading a sound change away from RP towards vernacular forms to show the solidarity of working men.17Reasons for language changeInteraction and language changeLinguistic changes progress most slowly in tightly knit communities which have little contact with the outside world.e.g. Gaelic in Scotland Maori in the far north of New Zealand Iceland18Reasons for language changeInteraction and language changeMedia expose people to new form in speech, but face-to-face interaction is crucial for linguistic changeExample 1019TestDate:9 December 2014 (Tuesday)Time:11:30-13:30Range:Holmes Chapters 1-9HandoutsRemark:40%, no re-take20Types of questionsTheory-based questionsApplication questions21Theory-based questionsIn sociolinguistic surveys, there are two technical terms which are useful for describing social networks.

The first one is ______________, which refers to whether members of a persons network are in touch with each other. (2%)

The second one is ______________, which is a measure of the range of different types of transaction people are involved in with different individuals in your social network. (2%)22Application questionsSpeakerAgeTo GodTo parentsTo friendsTo government officialsA63HuHuHuGB61HuHuHuGC58HuHuGHuGD52HuHuGHu

GE37HuGHuGGF25HuGHuGGG22HuGHuGG23Application questionsIn a speech community both Hungarian and German are in use. Study the data set, and comment in terms of:

1.domain (4%)2.code-switching (4%)3.language shift (4%)24