Regional Levelling 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
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These can collectively be defined as features of local dialects moving towards StE norms. For example lexical dedialectalisation is fairly easy to explain; Trudgill’s investigation into the different words for ‘ear’ shows that localised lexical choices such as ‘lug’ or ‘tab’ are being levelled into the standard word ‘ear’. An interesting thing to note is that, whilst London is said to have had the most influence on RP and StE, when discussing grammatical dedialectalisation the northern counties have influenced the southern counties. The main difference comes within the verb ‘to be’ (South: I bees, North: I am) and adding the present tense ending to verbs (South: we cries, North: we cry). Phonological dedialectalisation is the redistribution of different phonemes across the local
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