Language and the influence of the media: a Scottish Perspective

Stuart-Smith, J. and Timmins, C. (2014) Language and the influence of the media: a Scottish Perspective. In: Lawson, R. (ed.) Sociolinguistics in Scotland. Palgrove Macmillan: Basingstoke, pp. 177-196. ISBN 9781137034700 (doi: 10.1057/9781137034717_9)

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This chapter summarises the findings from over a decade of research on the possible influence of the broadcast media on speech which has been carried out in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. Our focus on the media, and particularly television, as a factor (or bundle of factors) in language change, arose coincidentally from an initial variationist study into phonological variation and change in Glaswegian for the Urban Voices volume (Foulkes and Docherty 1999). The format of the Urban Voices survey required us to analyse the same ’London’ English consonant variables known to be spreading rapidly across England (e.g. Trudgill 1988) in this ‘traditional’ Scottish dialect (e.g. Wells 1982). Glaswegian vernacular continues a variety of West Central Broad Scots, with dialect mixing and levelling towards (Scottish) Standard English (Macafee 1983). It is substantially different from English English accents, phonologically and phonetically (Wells 1982; Stuart-Smith 2004). It also has well-established local non-standard variation deriving from Broad Scots. Our analysis contained some surprising discoveries, concentrated in the speech of working-class adolescents: TH-fronting, e.g. [f]ink as well as local [h]ink, DH-fronting, bro[v]er beside bro[r]er, and L-vocalisation to high back (un)rounded vowels in e.g. fill, despite the pharyngealised quality of Glasgow /l/, as more than sporadic in the speech of working-class adolescents (Stuart-Smith 1999; cf. Macafee 1983).

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Timmins, Ms Claire and Stuart-Smith, Professor Jane
Authors: Stuart-Smith, J., and Timmins, C.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Publisher:Palgrove Macmillan
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
317931Contributory factors in accent change in adolescentsJane Stuart-SmithEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)R000239757CRIT - ENGLISH LANGUAGE