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Constant linguistic effects in the diffusion of 'be like'

Durham, Mercedes ORCID:, Haddican, Bill, Zweig, Eytan, Johnson, Daniel Ezra, Baker, Zipporah, Cockeram, Daniel, Danks, Esther and Tyler, Louise 2012. Constant linguistic effects in the diffusion of 'be like'. Journal of English Linguistics 40 (4) , pp. 316-337. 10.1177/0075424211431266

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This article examines change in social and linguistic effects on be like usage and acceptability. Results from two studies are presented. The first set of data comes from a trend study with samples of U.K. university undergraduates collected in 1996 and 2006. While the effect of subject person, morphological tense, and quote content is constant in the two samples, the effect of speaker sex decreases. The second study is a judgment experiment with 121 native speakers of U.S. English, examining acceptability of be like in environments biasing direct speech and reported thought readings. The analysis reveals no interaction between age and the reported thought/direct speech contrast, suggesting no support for change in this effect on be like acceptability in apparent time. The two studies therefore converge in suggesting no evidence of change in linguistic constraints on be like as it has diffused into U.K. and U.S. Englishes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Uncontrolled Keywords: quotatives; be like; British English; real time; sociolinguistic; language variation and change
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 0075-4242
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 14:06

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