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Was/were alternation in Shetland English

Durham, Mercedes ORCID: 2013. Was/were alternation in Shetland English. World Englishes 32 (1) , pp. 108-128. 10.1111/weng.12009

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Dialect use in Shetland's main town, Lerwick, demonstrates substantial interspeaker variability in the youngest generation, with some young speakers never using dialect features and some using them at rates similar to older generations. Such extreme interspeaker variability may be a harbinger of a complete shift to standardized varieties of English in subsequent generations as was suggested by Dorian in her research on Gaelic-speaking communities. This paper attempts to examine the extent to which these predictions are accurate, by focussing on a set of features (was/were variation) which began shifting towards standardized English in the middle aged generation. This makes it possible to concretely gauge what the effects of considerable interspeaker variability are on subsequent generations. The separate, yet linked, distribution of the features studied also makes it possible to examine constant rate effects more closely.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISSN: 0883-2919
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2022 10:32

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