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Dialect Contact and Social Networks

Language Change in an Anglophone Community in Japan


Keiko Hirano

This book explores a dialect contact situation in a second language setting – native speakers of English coming to Japan from different parts of the world as English teachers. It focuses on an Anglophone community in which speakers are socially and geographically mobile and have loose-knit networks with speakers of different languages and dialects. This longitudinal sociolinguistic study aims to investigate the relatively short-term linguistic changes induced by frequent face-to-face interaction with speakers of different dialects and to illustrate the impact of social network effects. Statistical analyses reveal that the individual speakers’ interpersonal ties are important factors that influence the linguistic behaviour of the speakers in a dialect contact situation in an L2 setting.


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This book is a revised version of my Ph.D. thesis submitted in December 2011 to the Department of Language and Linguistics at the University of Essex. I would first like to thank my supervisor, David Britain, who generously and pa- tiently assisted me in my work. His guidance was most appreciated, and I am grateful for his outstanding support and his detailed and incisive comments. I am also grateful to all my anonymous informants who so kindly gave up their time to participate in this research project. Lastly, my special gratitude goes to Heinrich Ramisch, a series editor for Bamberg Studies in English Linguistics, for his generous offer to publish my Ph.D. thesis and his unfailing encouragement and support during the process of preparing the book.

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