Presentation on theme: "Oxford Graduate Seminar, 12th November 2007 Phonological innovation in London teenage speech: ethnicity as the driver of change in a metropolis Paul Kerswill†,"— Presentation transcript:
1Oxford Graduate Seminar, 12th November Phonological innovation in London teenage speech: ethnicity as the driver of change in a metropolisPaul Kerswill†, Eivind Torgersen† and Sue Fox‡ †Lancaster University, ‡Queen Mary, University of London
2Or …“New contact varieties as the source of innovation in a highly levelled, and still levelling, dialect area”
3Innovation, levelling and diffusion These are three basic mechanisms of change.Innovation:not predicated on contact – endogenous in the sense of ‘generated from within the speech community’Levelling:“… dialect levelling and by extension accent levelling, a process whereby differences between regional varieties are reduced, features which make varieties distinctive disappear, and new features emerge and are adopted by speakers over a wide geographical area” (Williams & Kerswill, 1999:149)by definition non-directionalpredicated on face-to-face contact (but not always)Diffusionthe directional spread of a featuresimilarly predicated on face-to-face contact (again not always)
4Interaction of ‘internal’ and ‘external’ factors Neogrammarian change: slow, subconscious, in principle governed by internal factorsLabov’s Principles of Vowel Shifting are intended as universal, and govern Neogrammarian change for vowels:Principle IIn chain shifts, long vowels rise.Principle IIIn chain shifts, short vowels fall.Principle IIaIn chain shifts, the nuclei of upgliding diphthongs fall.Principle IIIIn chain shifts, back vowels move to the front.(Labov, 1994:116)
5Drift We’ll look at an example of a set of Neogrammarian vowel shifts Such shifts seem to be susceptible to drift-like behavioura shift process, once started, can continue in a new speech community even after separationWhat effect do non-internal (contact and non-linguistic) factors have on drift-like changes?
6Finding a testing ground for the interaction of internal principles and external factors Insight from dialectology: a metropolis is the supposed origin of changeA Western metropolis is usually the location with most immigration and in-migration in its regionInfluence of non-internal effects likely to be high due to (i) language contact and (ii) complex intergroup relationsRelated to this is the likelihood of finding new L1 varieties of the language following contact with L2 varieties through individual bilingualism. These new varieties are contact dialectsPossibility of innovation resulting from contact with these varieties
7Dialect levelling (“supralocalisation”) in the south-east of England Reports of widespread homogenisation in the south-east (Kerswill & Williams 2000; Britain 2002)New features are assumed to originate in London, based on gravity model (diffusion)cf Wells (1982: 302): ‘its working-class accent is today the most influential source of phonological innovation in England and perhaps in the whole English-speaking world.’Hypothesis: the new, ‘levelled’ features spread out from London
8A problem with the gravity model the gravity model assumes spread by diffusion, not levellingif we observe gradually increasing homogenisation with no directionality, then this can’t be the result of diffusion(the partial exception would be where diffusion has run its course, leading to complete replacement – but directionality should be visible while the diffusion is ongoing)
10Regional dialect levelling (“supralocalisation”) in the south-east of England Reduced amount of H-dropping (’ouse)Increased amount of TH-fronting (fing, bruvver)GOAT-fronting to “RP” variant in MOUTH Low-back onset of PRICE , lowered/unrounded from [ɪ], [ɔɪ] or [ɒɪ]Raising of onset of FACE to [ɛ̝̝ɪ]Fronting of GOOSE to Fronting of FOOT to  or Lowering and backing of TRAP to Backing of STRUT to 
11We will focus on … Reduced amount of H-dropping (’ouse) Increased amount of TH-fronting (fing)GOAT-fronting to “RP” variant in MOUTH Low-back onset of PRICE , lowered/unrounded from [ɪ], [ɔɪ] or [ɒɪ]Raising of onset of FACE to [ɛ̝̝ɪ]Fronting of GOOSE to Fronting of FOOT to  or Lowering and backing of TRAP to Backing of STRUT to 
12… four “diphthong-shift” vowels Reduced amount of H-dropping (’ouse)Increased amount of TH-fronting (fing)GOAT-fronting to “RP” variant in MOUTH Low-back onset of PRICE , lowered/unrounded from [ɪ], [ɔɪ] or [ɒɪ]Raising of onset of FACE to [ɛ̝̝ɪ]Fronting of GOOSE to Fronting of FOOT to  or Lowering and backing of TRAP to Backing of STRUT to 
13… and two monophthongs undergoing change Reduced amount of H-dropping (’ouse)Increased amount of TH-fronting (fing)GOAT-fronting to “RP” variant in MOUTH Low-back onset of PRICE , lowered/unrounded from [ɪ], [ɔɪ] or [ɒɪ]Raising of onset of FACE to [ɛ̝̝ɪ]Fronting of GOOSE to Fronting of FOOT to  or Lowering and backing of TRAP to Backing of STRUT to 
14Diphthong shift (Wells 1982) But note that /u:/, or GOOSE, now falls outside the Diphthong Shift set …… and this is allowed for by Wells
15Drift in the diphthongs of early New Zealand English (Trudgill 2004) NZE has Cockney-like diphthongs today, but with more extreme shifts in MOUTHTrudgill finds evidence that diphthong shift got greater during the 19th century, and concludes that this is due to drift.Britain (2005) argues that the evidence for continued shifting is only likely for FACEEither way, diphthong shift clearly thrived and then stabilised, in the absence of the strong social sanctions against it in south-east England at the same timeResearch question: what is happening to drift in London today, a typologically very similar variety of English, but where the sociolinguistic set-up is extremely different from early and current NZE?
16Reduced H-dropping in the South-east periphery and a northern English city
18Survey of English Dialects (SED) informants, 1950-60s Percentage use of variants of /au/ (MOUTH), Reading Working Class, interview style (1995) (from Kerswill & Williams 2005).[a]Survey of English Dialects (SED) informants, sElderly age (2f, 2m)53.5220.127.116.11.7Girls age 14 (n=8)2.38.090.4Boys age 14 (n=8)18.104.22.1687.1
19Percentage use of variants of /aU/ (MOUTH), Milton Keynes Working Class, interview style (1995) [EI][E][a][QU][aU]SED informants, sElderly age (2f, 2m)22.214.171.124.2Girls age 14 (n=8)5.94.788.8Boys age 14 (n=8)12.33.883.1
20Percentage use of variants of /ai/ (PRICE), Reading Working Class, interview style Elderly age (2f, 2m)12.447.821.81.715.7Girls age 14/15 (n=8)2.8126.96.36.199.35.1Boys age 14/15 (n=8)0.619.163.713.72.7
21Percentage use of variants of (a) (PRICE), Milton Keynes Working Class, interview style (1995) [a=I][A+I][AI][I][+I][I]Elderly age (2f, 2m)24.456.615.33.4Girls age 14/15 (n=8)25.444.629.20.5Boys age 14/15 (n=8)1.038.060.0
22MOUTH and PRICE in the South-east MOUTH: simultaneous replacement of various regional forms through the south-east, both rural and urban, by [aʊ]very rare in south-eastern vernacular varietiesvery similar to traditional Received Pronunciationnot a phonetically levelled form, i.e. not arrived at as either the survival of a majority form or the appearance of a phonetically intermediate formPRICE: the rise of [ɑɪ], which is not RP, but is a phonetically intermediate variantgood candidate for phonetic levelling – and also geographical (non-directional) dialect levelling
25Phonological/phonetic change in London the fate of h-droppingMOUTHPRICEGOATFACE
26Research question: Is this city the origin of all these changes?
27Are these the innovators? Roll Deep Crew (East London hip-hop crew)
28Linguistic innovators: the English of adolescents in London (2004–7) Multicultural London English: the emergence, acquisition and diffusion of a new variety (2007–10)Investigators:Paul Kerswill (Lancaster University)Jenny Cheshire (Queen Mary, University of London)Research Associates:Sue Fox, Arfaan Khan, (Queen Mary, University of London)Eivind Torgersen (Lancaster University)E· S· R· CECONOMIC& S O C I A L RESEARCHC O U N C I LFunded by the Economic and Social Research Council
29Research question 1: innovation What evidence is there that phonological and grammatical innovations start in London and spread out from there?
30Research question 2: multilingualism One-third of London’s primary school children in 2001 had a first language other than English. Does this degree of multilingualism have any long-term impact on ‘mainstream’ English?Reinterpreted in terms of the current spoken English of the capital, this becomes:Does the use of a putative Multicultural London English by adolescents lead to language change?
31Research question 3: the innovators Which types of Londoners, socially (including ethnically) defined, innovate linguistically?
32Research question 4: inner vs. outer London as sources of change Inner and outer London boroughs differ in:ethnic profileproportion of recent migrantsnon-first language English speakerssocio-economic classIs there evidence that different linguistic features, including innovations, are characteristic of inner London vs. outer London?
33Research question 5: social factors What social mechanisms facilitate (1) innovation and (2) diffusion?social networkethnicitygenderidentityOperationalisation of these social factors
39Project design 16 elderly Londoners 105 17 year old Londoners from inner London (Hackney) and outer London (Havering)female, male“Anglo” and “non-Anglo”Free interviews in pairs1.4m words transcribed orthographically, stored in a database time-aligned at turn level
40H-dropping Percent ‘dropped’ H in lexical words (interviews) MK & Reading elderly (1995)MK14 year olds (1995)ReadingHackney17 year olds (2005)Havering92%14%35%9%32%1. Correspondence between MK and Hackney is very surprising, because MK is highly mobile with a very ‘levelled’ accent, while Hackney is not mobile with an accent with many innovations.2. Correspondence between Reading and Havering less surprising: both are areas with fairly mobile populations and somewhat levelled accents
41Monophthongs in Hackney – anticlockwise chain shift Elderly speakers (circles), Young speakers (diamonds)
42Monophthongs: groups of speakers in Hackney Non-AnglosAnglos with non-Anglo networkAnglos with Anglo networkFOOT is relatively back compared to Havering – see next slide!Elderly speakers (circles), non-Anglo speakers (inverted triangles), Anglo speakers with non-Anglo networks (triangles), Anglo speakers with Anglo networks (squares)
43Monophthongs in Hackney and Havering: the extremes Non-Anglo Youth, HackneyAnglo Youth, HaveringFOOTGOOSEFOOTGOOSEææ
44Working-class white Londoner born 1938 (Hackney) GOATCHOICEFACEPRICEMOUTHSTARTTRAPSTRUT
45Young speakers in Hackney Laura, AngloAlan, KuwaitGrace, NigeriaJack, Anglo
47Innovation, diffusion and levelling revisited Loss of H-droppingLondon matches London periphery in loss of H-droppingunexpected match between inner-city non-Anglos and high-contact south-east periphery Anglos in Milton Keynes (a New Town)same feature – different social embeddingin south-east periphery, high mobility may lead to susceptibility to overt norms (h-fulness)in London, may be a result of high contact with L2 varieties of English (which may be h-ful)
48Advanced in London, matching periphery Fronting of GOOSEAdvanced in London, matching peripheryGOOSE in London is rarely diphthongal in our data, so falls outside Diphthong Shiftunexpectedly, most advanced among non-Anglo Londoners and Anglos with non-Anglo networksas with loss of H-dropping, the same feature has different social embedding in inner London and south-east peripheryextreme fronting among inner city non-Anglos is innovatorylevelling in peripheryFronting of FOOTLess advanced in London than in peripheryin London, more advanced in Havering (outer city), in line with the Anglos in the peripherylack of fronting in inner city is conservative, matching Caribbean Englishes
49Instead, (2) GOAT-monophthongisation (1) GOAT-frontingPrevalent among south-east periphery speakers – levelling (shared innovation). Agnostic as to Diphthong Shift reversalAbsent in most inner-London speakers of both sexes and all ethnicities, present in outer-city girlsInstead, (2) GOAT-monophthongisationhighly correlated with ethnicity (Afro-Caribbean, Black African) and multi-ethnic network (for Anglos)monophthongisation: a result of innovation in the inner city, resulting from contact with British Caribbean English and L2 Englishes. No general diffusion except to minority ethnic speakers outside the inner citylooks like Diphthong Shift reversal
50Lowering across region – Diphthong Shift reversal PRICELowering across region – Diphthong Shift reversalBut added fronting is greater in London than south-east peripheryfronting and monophthongisation correlated with ethnicity – strongest among non-Anglosseems to be a geographically directional and diachronically gradual processThe change (from approximately [ɔɪ]) involves lowering of the onset – and as such is a reversal of Diphthong Shiftinterpretable as a London innovation with diffusion to periphery
51The nature of the interaction is not yet clear Monophthongisation of FACE, PRICE and GOAT is correlated with four interacting scales:1. Non-Anglo > Anglo2. Non-Anglo network > Anglo network3. Male > female4. Inner London > outer London > South-east periphery (Milton Keynes, Reading, Ashford)The nature of the interaction is not yet clear
52MOUTHIn the south-east periphery, the RP-like realisation [aʊ] has made inroadsIn London, [a:] is the normAdditionally, [ɑʊ] is used by some non-Anglos, especially girls, in the inner cityRP-like [aʊ] is not the result of ‘levelling’ in the sense of the selection of a majority or phonetically intermediate form, but may be seen as socially more unmarkedBut the outcomes suggest three different changes:(1) south-east periphery [aʊ](2) inner-city [a:](3) inner-city non-Anglo [ɑʊ]
53Contact, innovation, diffusion and levelling in dialectology (1) Overall patterns:divergence/innovation in inner Londonnon-Anglos and Anglos with non-Anglo networks in the lead in innovationsome evidence of diffusion to south-east peripherybut also levelling in periphery, without involvement of inner LondonHavering lies between inner London and periphery
54(2) Locus of contact in dialectology In modern metropolises new contact varieties result from language contact following large-scale concentrated immigrationTransmission of innovations through social networks can be demonstrated quantitatively (harder to show in individual cases!)Contact varieties have the potential to spearhead language change, given the right social relations and favourable identity factors
55(3) Where does contact not count?Transmission is said to be dependent on face-to-face contactBut there is evidence that this is not necessary:th-fronting in Great Britain (θ f; ð v) up to about 1980 was geographically gradual and very slow (250+ years)Since then it has spread in a manner that cannot be explained by face-to-face contact and is no longer geographically gradualbecoming increasingly mainstream in North of England and Scotland simultaneously in about 1980 (Kerswill 2003)spreading to low-contact working-class speakers first (Stuart-Smith et al. 2007)the spread of [aʊ] in the south-east periphery is rapid and simultaneous, and is not a typical automatic result of levelling as predicted by Trudgill (majority and/or intermediate form wins out)
56(4) We need to account for the spread of features by face-to-face contact and absence of contact Milroy (2004; 2007) suggests an accessibility hierarchy, with a number of features being available ‘off the shelf’. th-fronting is one of themObservation suggests that some of the new vowel features are adopted outside London, but mainly by minority ethnic speakers – is this because of Trudgill-style levelling, or are the identities they signal not (yet) available to Anglo youth outside London?
57Contact, levelling and diffusion in relation to Neogrammarian change Briefly: taking the long view, we can see that the Diphthong Shift reversal we have observed is consistent and ‘regular’, even partly mirroring the order in which it is thought to have progressed in the first placeBut the social and phonetic detail is extremely messy
58Innovation, levelling and diffusion revisited Little that we have discovered flatly contradicts the predictions of the gravity model, provided that:We recognise that different features have different social values (social indexation)We recognise some salience-like concept (not discussed here!)We recognise that ideology and identity must be added to face-to-face contact
59Consequences for dialectology Sources of innovation must today be sought in minority-ethnic metropolitan varietiesand:need to recognise a more complex diffusion and levelling model
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