Linguistic, Socio-Cultural and Cognitive Perspectives
Section I: Sociolinguistic variation: Usage-based perspectives
Dialect contact in a Southern U.S. city: Testing Trudgill’s model Robin Dodsworth & Mary Kohn 0. Introduction Large-scale contact between speakers of mutually intelligible dialects often re- sults in the mixing of dialect features, followed by the processes of leveling and simplification which may form a new, stable dialect (Trudgill 1986; Kerswill 2002; Kerswill & Williams 2000). Trudgill (1986) posits three broad chronolog- ical stages in contact-induced new dialect formation: Stage 1: Adult speakers from different dialect regions come into contact and en- gage in “rudimentary leveling”, thereby reducing the number of available fea- tures. Stage 2: The members of the first generation born into the dialect contact setting confront the absence of a single, stable dialect spoken by their peers. As a result, they exhibit extremely high inter- and intra-speaker variability while also ad- vancing the leveling process. Stage 3: In the next generation, the variability reduces further and a new, “fo- cused” dialect stabilizes. Stigmatized or marked features are especially vulnerable to the leveling process (Trudgill 1986; Trudgill et al. 2000; Britain & Trudgill 2005) and may be “real- located” to a narrower linguistic function or social group. This paper attempts to apply Trudgill’s three-stage model to a dialect con- tact setting produced by recent, intensive migration from multiple U.S. regions to a formerly small town. Urban areas in the southern U.S. grew considerably as the result of post-World War II migration from the north (Abbott 1987; Wein- stein et al. 1985). The southern city of Raleigh was a major target...
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