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|Title:||Variation, change, and grammaticalisation in Tyneside teen talk : a sociolinguistic study of intensification and emphasis|
|Abstract:||This project examines features of teenagers’ spoken discourse in Tyneside (North East of England), using data from the Diachronic Electronic Corpus of Tyneside English (DECTE) (Corrigan et al. 2012a) and new sociolinguistic interviews with younger speakers (aged 12-18). The study provides novel insights into two areas: (i) intensifiers, with a particular focus on preadjectival boosters (really, so, very, proper, dead, as well as other, less frequent variants); and (ii) emphasisers, including epistemic stance adverbs (actually, really, definitely, and obviously), style stance adverbs (literally, genuinely, honestly), intensifiers in non-pre-adjectival positions (really, proper, absolutely, completely, and totally), and other emphatic devices (clause-final like and right dislocation). The analysis of boosters uses quantitative methods and multivariate analysis, whereas emphasisers are studied qualitatively in terms of their frequency, position, and functions. The project addresses the following research questions: 1. What is novel in the Tyneside teenagers’ use of intensifiers and emphasisers in comparison with speakers analysed in previous studies and other locales? 2. What evidence, if any, is there of synchronic age-grading patterns during the period of adolescence —as defined in this project— or for diachronic language change with respect to previous studies in the same region? 3. What can the patterns in Tyneside teen talk tell us about the grammaticalisation patterns of intensifiers and emphasisers in the region? 4. What can the study of the spoken discourse of Tyneside teenagers reveal about teenage language in general? Results generally concur with what has been found in teenage cohorts in London and studies of Scottish, American, and Canadian English varieties: really and so are the favourite boosters, really is also the most common emphasiser, and other emphasisers like definitely, obviously, and literally are gaining in frequency thanks to their new delexicalised discourse-pragmatic functions. Features that index local identity, such as proper, canny, clause-final like, and right dislocation, are rarer, as found in studies of dialect levelling, and only frequently used by male speakers, as attested in previous work on northern Englishes. Findings suggest both age-grading and diachronic change. The range of boosting and emphatic resources is wider in the older cohort, with younger speakers having an almost exclusive predilection for really. On the other hand, change in Tyneside English is attested by the decline of very, dead, and clause-final like, and the rise of really, so, proper, definitely, obviously, and literally. The features on the rise also evidence advanced grammaticalisation. Girls generally lead in these changes. The teenagers’ use of boosters and emphasisers suggests a conversational style that is highly expressive and cooperative. Also, the particular patterns of their discourse can be seen not only to reflect but also to drive processes of language change and grammaticalisation. These findings should help emphasise the uniqueness and value of teen talk more generally, which can be used to challenge aspects of linguistic discrimination aimed at this particular social group amongst wider publics.|
|Appears in Collections:||School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics|
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|Bueno-Amaro J 2022.pdf||8.95 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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