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Title: Speaker engagement in language variation and change with specific reference to north Tyrone
Author: Connolly, Patrick
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis examines the speaker's engagement in processes language variation and change. It specifically focuses on the dialect spoken in the North Tyrone area, a variety which has hithel10 received very little scholarly attention. 'Engagement' is these processes is considered as the extent to which speakers are aware of the social meaning which is associated with cel1ain variants and how this influences patterns of usage. In so doing, this thesis adopts a broadly 'third wave' approach to sociolinguistic variation. Making use of datasets from 1973 and 2012, this study provides detailed examinations of three variables, which each, to varying degrees, are traditionally associated with stigmatised meanings. Investigations of the patterning of these features in real and apparent time demonstrate that the traditional variants all appear generally to be on the decline. The thesis argues that women, who use these features relatively infrequently in both the 1973 and 2012 datasets, have taken the lead in this decline. This thesis argues that the decline in the use of these features has come about as a result of an increasing awareness of their stigmatised meanings. The thesis makes reference to a number of social developments which have taken place in North Tyrone in the time period under investigation which could have led to the greater stigmatisation of these features. This thesis presents statistics which demonstrate that the communities which populate North Tyrone have evolved in the time period under investigation. Where in the 1970s, the area was populated primarily by closed, tightly-knit communities, it has now become an area where open, looser-knit communities are much more prevalent. This appears to have had an effect on how these features are perceived by North Tyrone residents. The thesis also presents the results of an experiment which aims to quantify the degree to which these features are stigmatised among North Tyrone residents.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available