'Talkin Jockney'? Variation and change in Glaswegian accent

Jane Stuart-Smith, Claire Timmins, Fiona Tweedie

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Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of language variation and change in a socially stratified corpus of Glaswegian collected in 1997. Eight consonantal variables in read and spontaneous speech from 32 speakers were analysed separately and then together using multivariate analysis. Our results show that middle-class speakers, with weaker network ties and more opportunities for mobility and contact with English English speakers, are maintaining traditional Scottish features. Working-class adolescents, with more limited mobility and belonging to close-knit networks, are changing their vernacular by using 'non-local' features such as TH-fronting and reducing expected Scottish features such as postvocalic /r/. We argue that local context is the key to understanding the findings. Mobility and network structures are involved, but must be taken in conjunction with the recent history of structural changes to Glasgow and the resulting construction of local class-based language ideologies which continue to be relevant in the city today
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221–260
Number of pages40
JournalJournal of Sociolinguistics
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007

Keywords

  • phonological variation
  • language variation
  • multivariate analysis
  • Scottish English
  • adolescents and vernacular
  • language ideology

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