Chapter published in:Language Variation – European Perspectives VIII: Selected papers from the Tenth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 10), Leeuwarden, June 2019
Edited by Hans Van de Velde, Nanna Haug Hilton and Remco Knooihuizen
[Studies in Language Variation 25] 2021
► pp. 161–180
Chapter 7“I’m dead posh in school”
Attitudes and linguistic behaviour of Merseyside adolescents
Liverpool English, or “Scouse”, is a dialect often used by speakers in Merseyside. This study involves the use of word-list elicitation and semi-structured group interviews with adolescents from two schools in Merseyside: one in Liverpool, and one on the Wirral. Analysis of the elicited vowels of the square and nurse lexical sets shows that Wirral speakers orient themselves to Liverpool pronunciations to an extent, using nurse fronting in unexpected ways to achieve varying linguistic and social goals. The qualitative data shows that Merseyside speakers are highly aware of the social markedness of Scouse, with Wirral speakers using Liverpool forms to identify themselves as local Merseyside speakers, but not “Scousers”. Participants from both schools intentionally engage in style-shifting of local dialect in order to construct unique identities for themselves.
Keywords: dialect, accent, identity, style-shifting, sociolinguistics, variation, change, indexicality, enregisterment
- 2.Merseyside English
- 2.1Indexicality and enregisterment
- 4.1Quantitative data
- 4.2Perceptions of Scouse: Linguistic features
- 4.3Perceptions of Scouse identity
- 4.4(In)authenticity and covert prestige
- 4.5Style-shifting and perceptions of class
- 4.6Impact of attitudes upon square and nurse production
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Published online: 16 June 2021
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