Vowel change across time, space and conversational topic

the use of localised features in former mining communities

Thomas Devlin, Peter French, Carmen Llamas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

MOUTH vowel variation is explored across male speakers from four ex-mining communities in North East England. The paper presents analysis of: the geographical distribution across the communities of a variant of the vowel which is highly localised to a nearby location; age-correlated variation to infer change in progress away from localised form usage; and the effect on usage of traditional, locally-relevant conversational topics.

Older speakers from all villages, who lived in the area when the mines were open, often produce the localised variant, especially in speech produced during conversation about the locally-resonant mining topic and most frequently in communities closest to the location with which the form is associated. Conversely, speakers born since the loss of mining hardly produce the local form in any community or conversational context. Exploring conversational topic provides evidence for the connections between shifting social contexts and sound change, specifically that otherwise recessive features persist in speech concerning traditional, locally-relevant topics related to speakers’ identities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLanguage Variation and Change
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Jun 2019

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community
conversation
village
time
Vowel Changes
evidence
North East England
Village
Social Context
Sound Change

Cite this

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title = "Vowel change across time, space and conversational topic: the use of localised features in former mining communities",
abstract = "MOUTH vowel variation is explored across male speakers from four ex-mining communities in North East England. The paper presents analysis of: the geographical distribution across the communities of a variant of the vowel which is highly localised to a nearby location; age-correlated variation to infer change in progress away from localised form usage; and the effect on usage of traditional, locally-relevant conversational topics.Older speakers from all villages, who lived in the area when the mines were open, often produce the localised variant, especially in speech produced during conversation about the locally-resonant mining topic and most frequently in communities closest to the location with which the form is associated. Conversely, speakers born since the loss of mining hardly produce the local form in any community or conversational context. Exploring conversational topic provides evidence for the connections between shifting social contexts and sound change, specifically that otherwise recessive features persist in speech concerning traditional, locally-relevant topics related to speakers’ identities.",
author = "Thomas Devlin and Peter French and Carmen Llamas",
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N2 - MOUTH vowel variation is explored across male speakers from four ex-mining communities in North East England. The paper presents analysis of: the geographical distribution across the communities of a variant of the vowel which is highly localised to a nearby location; age-correlated variation to infer change in progress away from localised form usage; and the effect on usage of traditional, locally-relevant conversational topics.Older speakers from all villages, who lived in the area when the mines were open, often produce the localised variant, especially in speech produced during conversation about the locally-resonant mining topic and most frequently in communities closest to the location with which the form is associated. Conversely, speakers born since the loss of mining hardly produce the local form in any community or conversational context. Exploring conversational topic provides evidence for the connections between shifting social contexts and sound change, specifically that otherwise recessive features persist in speech concerning traditional, locally-relevant topics related to speakers’ identities.

AB - MOUTH vowel variation is explored across male speakers from four ex-mining communities in North East England. The paper presents analysis of: the geographical distribution across the communities of a variant of the vowel which is highly localised to a nearby location; age-correlated variation to infer change in progress away from localised form usage; and the effect on usage of traditional, locally-relevant conversational topics.Older speakers from all villages, who lived in the area when the mines were open, often produce the localised variant, especially in speech produced during conversation about the locally-resonant mining topic and most frequently in communities closest to the location with which the form is associated. Conversely, speakers born since the loss of mining hardly produce the local form in any community or conversational context. Exploring conversational topic provides evidence for the connections between shifting social contexts and sound change, specifically that otherwise recessive features persist in speech concerning traditional, locally-relevant topics related to speakers’ identities.

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