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Chapter 14.2

Linguistics 1028A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 14.2: Joule, Canadian Raising, Canadian English

Course Code
LING 1028A/B
Stephanie Kelly

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Chapter 14: Language in Social Contexts
14.2 Place
Geographical location is the most-studies social factor affecting variation
is the oldest major branch of sociolinguistics
Dialectology: The study of regional differences in language
Early linguists focused on historical linguistics and studies rural dialects because of how well they
preserved older speech features, providing many clues about earlier stages of language
NORMs have been thought to have retained the most traditional speech
NORMs: Non-mobile older rural males, often used as sociolinguistic
Contemporary dialectology looks at a broader range of speakers and tracks ongoing dialect changes
Method: Dialectology:
Goals of dialectology:
To show where particular speech features are found
To discover the boundaries between dialect regions
To find the most traditional speech in each region, based on the assumption that
regional dialects are most distinct when they haven’t been influenced by their
neighbours or by mainstream language
1. Find the speakers in a region with the least outside influence
Traditionally, this has been NORMs, having spent their whole lives in the area
2. With each speaker, run through a questionnaire of lexical features known to show
regional differentiation
Ex. do you say running shoes, tennis shoes,
or sneakers?
Ex. do you say hoagies, grinders, subs,
or hero sandwiches?
Ex. do you say Soda, pop,
or soft drink?
3. Record each speaker’s responses
4. Tabulate the results from lots of questionnaires
Map out each variant
Draw boundaries (isoglosses
) between different areas
Ex. a boundary between sneaker
and running shoe
in Quebec
Isogloss: A line drawn on a dialect map to indicate that two differ for
a particular linguistic feature
5. Use your accumulated data to propose dialect areas and boundaries
Finding lots of isoglosses in one area (an isogloss bundle
) means you’ve found
a boundary between dialect areas
The Origins of North American English
Much early dialect study happened in Europe, where speakers had had time to develop distinct regional
varieties that reflected settlement patterns often over a thousand years old
Ex. major dialect areas of England still match the areas settled by different groups 1,500 years ago.
Mountain ranges and other natural barriers limited inter-dialect contact
Similar factors came together to explain dialect differences in North American English
Ex. People from different areas of England first settled in the East coast of North
America, bringing their dialects. Over time, mixing occurred and distinct features were
worn down - known as dialect levelling
Newfoundland: Oldest North American Colony / Settlers from Southwestern
England and Ireland
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