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Homework: Week 2 Raquel Horna S1077112

New Dialect Formation and Contact-induced Reallocation: Three case study from the English Fens Questions: 1. 1&2 What is socio-stylistic reallocation and structural rea llocation? Before referring to socio-stylistic reallocation and structural reallocation I will explain briefly but concisely what the process of reallocation involves. Meyerhoff (2006) refers to reallocation as the process in which two or more variants in the dialect mix survive the levelling process, but are refunctionalised, acquiring new social or linguistic roles in the new dialect. This process is classified into 2 types: sociostylistic reallocation and structural reallocation. The first type occurs when originally regional, social or stylistic variants may acquire new functions as social, stylistic or areal variants in the new dialect. This article shows a clear example of this type of reallocation, the formation of Latin American Spanish. The authors highlight the fact that nowadays in Latin American Spanish the retention or deletion of the /h/ in certain words mark social status. For instance, educated speakers would retain the /h/ while the uneducated ones would drop it. The second type, structural reallocation, occurs when 2 or more variants in the dialect mix are retained, but function in different phonological environment, lexical environment or morphosyntactic contexts. 2. How does the article relate to Meyerhoff? Meyerhoff, in the second chapter of her book, discusses the role that traditional regional dialect studies have played in establishing the existence of social and regional dialects in sociolinguistics. Later in the same chapter, she refers to Britains study of the English Fens as an important one because it reaffirms the usefulness of regional dialect data as a resource for inducing linguistic principles and constraints on variation and change. Furthermore, Meyerhoff talks about the theories used to achieve this investigation. She takes as reference Britain and Trudgills work in the English Fens. 3. Explain the theory.

Britain and Trudgill make use of the social dialectology and social identity theory in order to explain new dialect formation and contact-induced reallocation. The social dialectology theory seeks to determine the correlation between a group of linguistic variables (its realisation as different variants) and extralinguistic variables, such as education, social status, age, and race. For statistical reliability purposes a great number of speakers must be recorded and several examples of the same variable must be elicited from each individual in order to examine the frequency and probability of its usage. The social identy theory is defined as that part of an individuals self-concept which derives from his knowledge of his membership in a social group. In this regard several academics have stressed the relationship between language and ethnic identity. 4. Comment critically on the methodology. The data for this study was collected from 3 sources: the corpus of recordings of the Fenlanders in informal conversations, the Kings Lynn Corpus and the Chatteris corpus. The data was analysed by means of a variationist analysis. Having recordings of people from different ages and different geographical areas contributed to have a more reliable results. 5. Which factors determine which features are retained in the new dialect and which are not? Both linguistic and non-linguistic factors play a key role in determining which features will be taken into the new dialect. For instance the use of regional data in the case of the English Fens helped to understand the interrelation of linguistics and non-linguistics factors in order to decide the retention of deletion of features in the new dialect. 6. Can you name other regions or new towns? What is the linguistic situation there?

Milton Keynes is an English new town designated in 1967. The results of a sociolinguistic study show that features are prone to rapid change by levelling. Two are vowels (mouth and price) which previously had regionally strongly marked forms, and which are now being replaced by RP-like variants over a wide geographical area. Then, this means that Milton Keynes town is in the vanguard of change.


Explain Table(s)6. Both tables 6, show the (ai) index scores for men and women from the corpus of recordings of Fenlanders in informal conversation. The tables compare realisations of /ai/ before voiceless and voiced consonants.

The first table shows the (ai) index scores for speakers aged 15-30 years old in 8 Fenland urban centres and the second one shows the (ai) index scores for speakers aged 45-65 years old. The tables show a clear preference for central onsets in pre-voiceless positions. The overall result shows that a Canadian raising-type allophonic distribution of the (ai) variable is present in Central Fenland.


Explain figure 3. Figure 3 indicates the uses of werent in negative clauses across three age groups in the Fens. This figure shows that levels of werent use are very high right across the speech community. It also shows that speakers born between 1925 and 1945 are the ones who show the lowest level of werent use .