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Attitudes towards language change (1). Changes in Spoken Language. What can you tell about the man from this extract?. From Dickens’s Great Expectations (1860), ch . 1:

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attitudes towards language change 1

Attitudes towards language change (1)

Changes in Spoken Language

what can you tell about the man from this extract
What can you tell about the man from this extract?

From Dickens’s Great Expectations (1860), ch. 1:

After darkly looking at his leg and me several times, he came closer to my tombstone, took me by both arms, and tilted me back as far as he could hold me; so that his eyes looked most powerfully down into mine, and mine looked most helplessly up into his.

`Now lookee here,' he said, `the question being whether you're to be let to live. You know what a file is?'

`Yes, sir.'

`And you know what wittles is?'

`Yes, sir.'

After each question he tilted me over a little more, so as to give me a greater sense of helplessness and danger.

`You get me a file.' He tilted me again. `And you get me wittles.' He tilted me again. `You bring 'em both to me.' He tilted me again. `Or I'll have your heart and liver out.' He tilted me again.

I was dreadfully frightened, and so giddy that I clung to him with both hands, and said, `If you would kindly Please to let me keep upright, sir, perhaps I shouldn't be sick, and perhaps I could attend more.'

convergence divergence
  • What are convergence and divergence?
  • Proposed by Howard Giles, as part of his accommodation theory.
  • What do “upwards” and “downwards” refer to in this theory?
for next lesson look up the following terms
For next lesson, look up the following terms:
  • Estuary English (what are some of its characteristics?)
  • Three views of that summarise attitudes towards regional accent: the incorrectness view, the ugliness view, the impreciseness view.
  • Covert/overt prestige

RP: Received Pronounciation. The form of spoken English often considered “proper” (perhaps synonymous with/close to “the Queen’s English”). Sometimes thought of as the “accent” of standard English.

  • Informalization: the growing informality of language as it is used in all areas of society.
  • Conversationalization: Fairclough uses this to describe the growing prestige attached to spoken language forms. Some linguists think that the growing prestige attached to spoken language may be one of the key drivers of written language change.
Compare and comment on the ways in which represented speech changes in these two versions of the same story (1956 & 2002)