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Newfoundland and Labrador English$
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Sandra Clarke

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748626168

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626168.001.0001

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Language attitudes and language change

Language attitudes and language change

Chapter:
(p.132) 5 Language attitudes and language change
Source:
Newfoundland and Labrador English
Author(s):

Sandra Clarke

Andrew Erskine

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748626168.003.0005

Especially since the mid 20th century, Newfoundland English has experienced considerable change, much of which appears to involve weakening or even loss of local speech features, and greater alignment with supralocal (typically, North American) norms. This chapter begins by contextualising language change relative to (largely negative) insider and outsider attitudes to Newfoundland dialects. Using illustrative examples, the chapter documents the social and stylistic patterns associated with ongoing phonetic and grammatical change. Despite fairly rapid intergenerational decline in the use of some local features, others are shown to be more robust: they display obvious style shifting, in that they tend to be avoided by younger speakers in formal, though not in casual, speech styles. Rapid change is also in evidence at the levels of vocabulary and discourse. Loss of traditional lexicon is countered by the borrowing of lexical innovations from outside the province, along with such “trendy” discourse features as quotative be like, and the prosodic features of creaky voice and high rising intonation in statements.

Keywords:   phonetic change, grammatical change, language attitudes, intergenerational change, style shifting, lexical loss, lexical innovation, quotatives, prosodic features

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