Date: Wednesday August 24, 2011
Time: 12:00-1:00 p.m.
Location: FM-2006 (sociolinguistics lab)
Feel free to bring your lunch or snacks to share!
A Brown Bag Talk
Susanne Wagner, Chemnitz University of Technology
Gerard Van Herk, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Recent research in Pouch Cove (Wagner) and Petty Harbour (Van Herk et al.) has revealed unexpected linguistic behaviours that challenge standard sociolinguistic wisdom. In Pouch Cove, middle-aged speakers have the highest rates of use of non-standard forms, and in Petty Harbour, young speakers are reversing the linguistic constraints on choice of verb form. In both cases, these findings go against 40 years of results from communities worldwide, and in both cases, the findings have been challenged when presented at scholarly meetings.
In this paper, we reconfigure the data from both studies to permit parallel analyses. These analyses support and reinforce the earlier findings, but they also help to explain them. The two communities, thanks to their distinct social, geographic, and economic profiles, are at different points along a change continuum between traditional Newfoundland speech and an urbanized, performative variety.