Language variation theorists

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  • Language variation theorists
    • Social class
      • Bernstein - Restricted and Elaborated code.
        • Children who were from a higher social class used a more extensive vocabulary (Elaborated code) and lower class children had a less extensive vocabulary (Restricted code).
      • Labov - NYC department stores
        • The pronunciation of the /r/ sound shows overt prestige and was found to be often disregarded in lower class department stores.
      • Jenny Cheshire - acceptance of crime
        • Cheshire said that children who said that crime was okay were from a lower class and were more likely to use non-standard forms.
      • Trudgill - Norwich
        • /ing/ variant - The working class were more likely to drop the /ing/.
      • Petyt - /H/ dropping in Bradford.
        • Found that the lower working class were more likely to drop the /h/ variant in their non-standard forms.
    • Ethnicity
      • Mark Sebba - Catford girls' posse.
        • Youths in London were found to code switch between 3 varieties: Jamaican creole, RP and Cockney.
    • World Englishes
      • Kachru's concentric circles
        • Inner circle = 1st dispora, outer circle = imperial expansion countries, Expanding circle = communication expansion.
      • McArthur's circles of world Englishes.
        • English is at the centre which is adapted branching off into 8 main regions but not all varieties fit into 8 regions.
      • Jean paul Nerriere - Globish
        • Non- native speakers of English make mistakes so they are understood by other non-native speakers but native speakers speak too fast for non-natives and they struggle to understand them.
    • Location
      • Labov - Martha's vineyard.
        • Fishermen were found to centralise the diphthongs /au/ and /ai/ to distance themselves from tourists.
      • Milroy - Open and closed networks
        • In Belfast, people who have left the community have a closed network with a diluted accent but they may still have grammatical characteristic.
    • Occupation
      • Swales -discourse community
        • Has members who use specialist lexis and discourse and they possess a level of knowledge/skill to participate in the community.
      • Nelson - Business language
        • Found that there was a 'business semantic field'.
    • Situational
      • Giles Accommodation theory
        • The speaker can upwardly/ downwardly converge/ diverge in order to meet the needs of the listener.
      • Goffman - Face theory
        • Language use may be adapted in order to make the listener feel good.
      • Eckert - Jocks and burnouts
        • Parents socio-economic groups do not affect teens' speech patterns as much as the people they hang out with.


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