Oxford Graduate Seminar, 12 th November 2007 Phonological innovation in London teenage speech: ethnicity as the driver of change in a metropolis. Paul Kerswill†, Eivind Torgersen† and Sue Fox‡ †Lancaster University, ‡Queen Mary, University of London. Or ….
Oxford Graduate Seminar, 12th November 2007Phonological innovation in London teenage speech: ethnicity as the driver of change in a metropolis
Paul Kerswill†, Eivind Torgersen† and Sue Fox‡†Lancaster University, ‡Queen Mary, University of London
“New contact varieties as the source of innovation in a highly levelled, and still levelling, dialect area”
Neogrammarian change: slow, subconscious, in principle governed by internal factors
Labov’s Principles of Vowel Shifting are intended as universal, and govern Neogrammarian change for vowels:
But note that /u:/, or GOOSE, now falls outside the Diphthong Shift set …
… and this is allowed for by Wells
Roll Deep Crew (East London hip-hop crew)
Paul Kerswill (Lancaster University)
Jenny Cheshire (Queen Mary, University of London)
Sue Fox, Arfaan Khan, (Queen Mary, University of London)
Eivind Torgersen (Lancaster University)
E· S· R· C
& SOCIAL RESEARCH
Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council
Reinterpreted in terms of the current spoken English of the capital, this becomes:
Percent ‘dropped’ H in lexical words (interviews)
1. Correspondence between MK and Hackney is very surprising, because MK is highly mobile with a very ‘levelled’ accent, while Hackney is not mobile with an accent with many innovations.
2. Correspondence between Reading and Havering less surprising: both are areas with fairly mobile populations and somewhat levelled accents
Elderly speakers (circles), Young speakers (diamonds)
Anglos with non-Anglo network
Anglos with Anglo network
FOOT is relatively back compared to Havering – see next slide!
Elderly speakers (circles), non-Anglo speakers (inverted triangles), Anglo speakers with non-Anglo networks (triangles), Anglo speakers with Anglo networks (squares)
Non-Anglo Youth, Hackney
Anglo Youth, Havering
Advanced in London, matching periphery
GOOSE in London is rarely diphthongal in our data, so falls outside Diphthong Shift
unexpectedly, most advanced among non-Anglo Londoners and Anglos with non-Anglo networks
as with loss of H-dropping, the same feature has different social embedding in inner London and south-east periphery
extreme fronting among inner city non-Anglos is innovatory
levelling in periphery
Fronting of FOOT
Less advanced in London than in periphery
in London, more advanced in Havering (outer city), in line with the Anglos in the periphery
lack of fronting in inner city is conservative, matching Caribbean Englishes
levelling in periphery
Prevalent among south-east periphery speakers – levelling (shared innovation). Agnostic as to Diphthong Shift reversal
Absent in most inner-London speakers of both sexes and all ethnicities, present in outer-city girls
Instead, (2) GOAT-monophthongisation
highly correlated with ethnicity (Afro-Caribbean, Black African) and multi-ethnic network (for Anglos)
monophthongisation: a result of innovation in the inner city, resulting from contact with British Caribbean English and L2 Englishes. No general diffusion except to minority ethnic speakers outside the inner city
looks like Diphthong Shift reversal
1. Non-Anglo > Anglo
2. Non-Anglo network > Anglo network
3. Male > female
4. Inner London > outer London > South-east periphery (Milton Keynes, Reading, Ashford)
The nature of the interaction is not yet clear
(1) Overall patterns:
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