AQA A-Level English Language (Language Change)




  •          Region
  •          Change
  •          Ethnicity
  •          Language in the world


Lexical variations

Regional language varies greatly:

o   Some areas of Birmingham say Mom, others do not even though they are very close

o   Newcastle and Sunderland are 10 miles apart but have significant differences

o   Facebook allows you to say where you are from, creating pride and an identity

Lexical variations:

o   NE say stottie, midlands say cob/ batch

o   South say bread roll

o   Cockney rhyming slang= John Ayto (Oxford Dictionary of Rhyming slang) said it originated in East London in 19th century.

§  James Orr said it’s dying out, Crystal said celebrity culture has made new additions to it

§  Become more idiomatic phrases- don’t tell porkies= pork pies are lies


o   Kerswill said lots of speakers of MLE are is east London, the have few opportunities and the find it easier to speak within themselves

o   This is using language to create an identity due to exclusion

o   2014 study by Gary Ives

§  In Bradford the students said it was a conscious choice to add Punjabi and English in their language

§  They often said it linked to music and not wanting others knowing and linking their language to street language, they also use taboo language

§  This is code-switching

§  One female student said as she was a minority, she doesn’t do this, but if there were more, she would

§  Similar to Martha’s Vineyard study as language is used to exclude and create an identity

§  In the East London study, people would change nouns to verbs- hype to hyping

§  In this study, white British teens used afro-Caribbean slang (man dem)


Grammatical variations

Unmarked by person- when subject/verb agreement is not met

o   This is saying sorry I were late, instead of sorry i was late- midlands

Multiple negation-

o   when more than one negative is used

o   I didn’t do nothing

Plural marking- making a singular noun into a plural form

o   Yorkshire

o   Not saying the s at the end of something- five stone, five pound instead of five stones or five pounds

Archaic pronouns-

o   Irish and Yorkshire- ye, thou

o   There are variations in personal pronouns. For example, in Liverpool, there is a plural of you – ‘yous’ – which is a subtlety that Standard English doesn’t have.


o   dialect speakers in the south-west say ‘where’s he to?’ (Standard English: ‘where is he?’)


o   Standard English uses the determiner ‘those’ in expressions such as ‘look at those people’, where regional dialects sometimes have ‘them’.

Phonological variations

3% of people speak RP

In 2008 BBC director general Mark Thompson called for more regional accents

Dialect levelling:



No comments have yet been made