Accents, Attitudes And Scouse Influence In North Wales English
This sociophonetic study is concerned with the relationship between attitude and behaviour in language. A two-fold research design investigates the English accent spoken in and around Bangor, North Wales and the influence of Liverpool English on that accent in relation to people's attitudes. The speech of adolescents and elderly participants from higher and lower socioeconomic backgrounds has been recorded. Participants' linguistic behaviour, categorized through accent judgements, has been compared to their attitudes toward two accents from the area, Welsh English and Liverpool English, as expressed in an attitude questionnaire. Phonetic measurements investigate whether affrication of ,/t/ in North Wales English is a result of Scouse influence. The study has found the Welsh English accent to be a lower class norm, whereas among higher class speakers BBC English is the popular (prestige) norm. A clear influence of Scouse has been found, although only in the speech of lower class teenagers. Affrication of /t/ is shown to be a characteristic of a North Wales English accent. The study confirms the strong relationship between affective attitude and (linguistic) behaviour. Interestingly, it has been found that people's accents are not always congruent with their attitudes.
Published online: 24 March 2014