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Were all Scottish really: Investigating the Tension between Claimed Identity and Linguistic Behaviou

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Heike Pichler & Dominic Watt. Centre for Linguistic Research, University of Aberdeen ... of age effect (contra Watt & Ingham 2000) Phonological variation I: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Were all Scottish really: Investigating the Tension between Claimed Identity and Linguistic Behaviou


1
Were all Scottish really investigating the
tension between claimed identity and linguistic
behaviour in Berwick upon Tweed Heike Pichler
Dominic Watt Centre for Linguistic Research,
University of Aberdeen
2
Location of Berwick
  • Englands northernmost town
  • 3 miles south of the Scottish/English Border
  • on the main road and rail routes between
    Newcastle and Edinburgh

3
History
  • status ambiguous and complex
  • Scotlands largest town during mediaeval period
  • changed hands 14 times between the two kingdoms
  • finally came under English control in 1482
  • only fully incorporated under English
    jurisdiction in 1836
  • retains numerous Scottish characteristics

4
Internal divisions
  • Berwick proper on the north bank of the Tweed
  • was at times part of Scotland
  • Tweedmouth and Spittal on south bank
  • only incorporated into Berwick in C19
  • didnt change hands along with Berwick
  • informants discriminate between the two sides of
    the town

5
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6
Identity
  • Although jurisdictionally English
  • high presence of Scottish economic institutions,
    e.g. banks
  • Presbyterian/non-conformist religious
    affiliations
  • Berwick Rangers other sports clubs in Scottish
    leagues
  • River Tweed under Scots jurisdiction
  • county of Berwickshire entirely within Scotland

7
Local and national identity
  • Kiely et al. (2000)
  • Berwickers avoid explicitly articulating a
    definitive nationality. Instead they mobilise a
    specific identity strategy of localism
  • although 41 of their 54 respondents described
    themselves as Scottish at least some of the time
  • informants to north and south attributed
    opposite national identity to Berwickers,
    principally on basis of accent
  • Our data suggest that
  • Berwickers do indeed classify themselves first
    and foremost as Berwickers
  • younger women tend to identify less with
    Scotland than do older women

8
Social significance of the border
  • access to Edinburgh/Newcastle A1 dualled north
    but not south of the border
  • cross-border clubs have impact on the identities
    of participants and audiences (Gil, ms)
  • heavy inflow and outflow connections with
    Scotland
  • Scottish Borders the main commuting
    destination outside the district
  • also accounts for 69 of commuters into
    Berwick
  • (source National Census 1991)
  • regular short-term linguistic contact between
    speakers from both sides of the border
  • increasing levels of long-term contact?

9
Linguistic significance of the border
  • underplays historical permeability of border in
    linguistic, cultural and economic terms

10
Research aims
  • investigating linguistic consequences of
    Berwicks proximity to border (defined both
    politically and sociopsychologically)
  • effects of cross-border interaction on
    Berwickers speech patterns
  • detection of patterns of convergence/divergence
    as a result of changing statuses of varieties on
    either side of border (cf. Glauser 2000)
  • establishing whether observed speech patterns
    correlate with speakers claimed (national)
    identities

11
Data elicitation
  • method designed by Llamas (1999, 2001) for the
    Survey of Regional English (SuRE)
  • Identification Questionnaire (IdQ)
  • Language Questionnaire (LgQ)
  • provides a means of accessing the informants
    metalinguistic discourse
  • reading passage and word lists
  • Wells (1982) list list to elicit SVLR
    alternations

12
Phonological variation I Scottish Vowel Length
Rule (SVLR)
  • 18 speakers 8 recorded in 2000 (Watt Ingham
    2000) 10 from current corpus (Watt Pichler
    2003)
  • hypothesised that SVLR alternations giving way
    to Voicing Effect (VE) only, as per Anglo-English
  • SVLR operant for /i/ and /u/ for all speakers,
    though only marginal for some
  • around ½ of 18 speakers show SVLR effect for
    /ai/
  • little suggestion of age effect (contra Watt
    Ingham 2000)

13
Phonological variation II rhoticity
  • overtly commented on trilled r and uvular ?
    stereotyped
  • highly variable ? R ? R? ? r …
  • 20 speakers, male/female, N/S of river, age
    range 14 78
  • pre-vocalic and word-medial intervocalic (r)
  • c. 1600 tokens 30 gt N gt 166 x? 76
  • post-vocalic, linking intrusive (r)
  • c. 2300 tokens 44 gt N gt 189 x? 99

14
variants of (r) by speaker age ()
15
non-rhoticity () by speaker age
16
Phonological variation summary
  • taken in combination, SVLR and rhoticity
    patterns suggest attrition of Scottish
    phonological features in BwE
  • ties in with perception among young informants
    that BwE is becoming less Scottish-sounding
  • much more work to be done on these and other
    variables

17
Language Questionnaire (LgQ)
  • we will gain further insights into the
    language/identity nexus by accessing our
    informants perceptions of the geographical and
    social distribution of the linguistic features
    under investigation
  • e.g. do informants perceive particular forms as
    being (a)typical of, e.g., their own age group,
    sex or speech community?

18
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19
Speaker sample
20
Variables
  • verbal negatives in declarative sentences
  • negation of periphrastic do
  • present tense forms of BE
  • modal can
  • negatives of past tense operators (only 1/236
    formed with non standard negative particle)
  • variants standard English nt and not
  • Scots enclitic na(e) and clitic no
  • special forms dinna(e), divvent, cannot
  • found both sides of Border, but in different
    quantities
  • (ScottishGeordie shorthand labels)

21
Circumscribing the variable context
  • every context of negative present and past tense
    modal, auxiliary and full verbs was extracted
    from the corpus
  • negative know after 1st person sg. subjects
    removed - discourse marker?
  • negative 3rd person periphrastic does removed
    lack of variation relative to do

22
Overall distribution of variants
  • predominance of standard variants
  • stigmatisation of non-standard variants?
  • gender-bias?
  • divergence of varieties north and south of
    Border?

23
Internal constraints
  • Data analysed in terms of
  • subject type
  • verb complement
  • clause type
  • phonotactic constraints
  • ? as yet no discernible pattern

24
Age do
  • dinna(e) hardly used by anyone below 60
  • divvent more frequent than dinna(e) used to
    about same degree by all age groups
  • Glauser (1974) recorded dinna in/around Berwick
  • ? data suggest change in progress

25
Realization of dinna(e)
26
Age - BE
  • freestanding no seems salient feature of BwE
  • marked drop between seniors and adults
  • ? data suggest that variant is becoming rare

27
Age - can
  • cannot more frequent than cannae, esp. among
    adults
  • cannae, however, also a feature of BwE, esp.
    among young adults and seniors

28
Age - can
29
Variation across age
  • standard variants predominate among teenagers
  • vernacular/localised ones among seniors
  • support for Glausers (2000) divergence
    hypothesis?

30
Residence
  • vernacular variants (esp. Scottish ones) used
    markedly more often south of the Tweed

31
Perceptions of BwE as more Geordie vs. more
Scottish
  • speakers who think of BwE as more similar to
    Scottish English are more likely to use
    Scottish variants

32
National identification
  • research question does claimed national identity
    correlate with the frequency with which
    informants use Scottish or Geordie linguistic
    forms? If so, to what extent?
  • speakers were grouped by looking at the
    qualitative data, in particular
    nationality-related questions
  • 3 groups (1) no clear national identification
  • (2) identification with England
  • (3) identification with Scotland

33
National identification
  • do, BE Scottish variants used significantly
    more often by speakers who affiliate with Scotland

34
National identification
  • can variation does not support
    inter-relationship of variants with national
    identification

35
Metalinguistic comments (LgQ)
  • dinna(e), s no perceived by some informants,
    esp. those who use them, as forms typical of
    Berwick
  • divvent perceived by most as a Berwick form

36
Synthesis
  • metalinguistic comments speakers consider
    Geordie divvent and Scottish dinna(e), s no
    as Berwick forms
  • also consider tapped/trilled R r as typically
    Berwick
  • usage of these variants possibly not an
    expression of speakers national allegiance
  • instead, the use of these variants might be a
    strategy of localism - ties in with Kiely et
    al.s (2000) findings
  • cannot not included in LgQ but plausibly might
    follow same pattern as divvent
  • ? re-interpretation of the quantitative findings
    (e.g. in terms of the north/south of the river
    variable?)

37
Conclusions
  • attitudinal data gathered using IdQ and LgQ show
    ties between linguistic variation and claimed
    identities
  • findings show benefits of accessing speakers
    attitudes toward and perceptions about usage and
    distribution of vernacular and localised forms
  • forms commonly perceived as Scottish vs.
    Geordie used in Berwick to express speakers
    local affiliations as Berwickers
  • present findings similar to Llamas (2001) for
    Middlesbrough
  • ? evidence of phonological and morpho-syntactic
    variation being used by speakers as a means of
    (local) identity construction
  • attrition of Scottish features surprising in
    light of hypothesised increase in levels of
    long-term contact with Scottish English speakers

38
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39
pre- and intervocalic tap usage () by speaker age
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