Differences Between A Regional Dialect And A Social Dialect Essay

Differences Between A Regional Dialect And A Social Dialect Essay

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British accents and dialects have been said to have been subject to massive dialect levelling. Explain what this concept means, and discuss the extent to which this has in fact taken place (or is taking place in the present).
When referring to the process of dialect levelling, there are two key terms that are interchangeable; these are dialect supralocalisation and regional dialect levelling. There is a distinction between regional dialect levelling (RDL from now) and levelling. The term levelling refers to the broad linguistic changes that occur when speakers’ language choices accommodate each other. On the other hand, RDL is used to describe a geographical language change where interlocutors reduce the number of marked (or unusual) variants they use. This means speakers avoid the use of forms which are localised, and deemed a lower class of speaking, and use forms which have a wider geographical range of usage. It is also important to note the differences between a regional dialect and a social dialect. A regional dialect is distinguished by the regional variation within a colony whereas a social dialect is identifiable within a class or a specific ethnic group.
RDL is a process which has many contributing factors. In 1850, traditional rural dialects were prevalent throughout the country. These dialects were more common than Standard English (StE) and even more common than Received Pronunciation (RP), which was extremely rare even though it can be traced back to the late fifteenth century. The local dialects can be divided into three types: traditional rural dialects (e.g. Cornwall, Black Country), old town dialects (e.g. York, London), and new town dialects (e.g. Manchester). It was mainly only boarding schools which taught ch...


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...regiver which shows that interaction with peers helps to steer RDL. This proved all three hypotheses.
In conclusion, RDL is a process which has many driving forces: urbanisation, internal and external migration, children socialisation etc. These driving forces change the more salient features in language and eventually leave only the elderly with the traditional regional dialects. This is something which can be avoided as seen in Hull with the adherence to h-dropping, this could be seen as the North separating itself from the South and sticking with some level of dialect identity. The two processes of dedialectalisation and accent supralocalisation are still on going with access to media and easier travel links where internal migration becomes more common. Slowly, I believe, Britain is becoming a less dialect-diverse country and more of a Standard English community.

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