Can you really larn yersel Geordie? A comparison of Tyneside popular dialect literature, corpus data and speaker perceptions.

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    Abstract

    Popular dialect literature (what Honeybone and Watson 2013 call Contemporary, Humorous, Localised Dialect Literature or CHLDL) is meant to entertain and amuse. It represents a recognisable form of a local variety which speaks to readers with knowledge of that particular variety. While often relying on fairly rude language and jokes, literature of this kind also often take the form of ‘handbooks’ promising to help you learn a particular variety (Lern Yerself Scouse, Larn Yersel Geordie, etc). Honeybone and Watson, who investigated the representation of selected phonological variables in a variety of Liverpool popular dialect literature, argue that features which are represented in popular dialect literature are salient phonological features in the community, index the local in speech and carry social meaning of localness.But just how accurate are these types of handbooks and pamphlets in capturing the actual spoken variety they claim? This study (described fully in Jensen 2013) investigates the frequency of a selection of lexical and morphosyntactic variables in Tyneside English in three different types of data: spoken Tyneside English corpus data (NECTE), questionnaire data tapping into speakers’ perceptions of frequency and abilities to identify local forms, and a mini corpus of popular dialect literature. Results support Honeybone & Watson’s claim that popular dialect literature can give us an indication of which linguistic forms are salient and index local affiliation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2016
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventNorthern Englishes Workshop - University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
    Duration: 14 Apr 201615 Apr 2016
    Conference number: 7

    Conference

    ConferenceNorthern Englishes Workshop
    Number7
    LocationUniversity of Edinburgh
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
    CityEdinburgh
    Period14/04/201615/04/2016

    Keywords

    • Tyneside English
    • salience
    • corpus linguistics
    • questionnaire
    • sociolinguistics
    • local affiliation
    • dialectology
    • literature

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