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Regional Dialect Levelling and Language Standards: Changes in the Hønefoss Dialect\ud

By Nanna Haug Hilton

Abstract

This is a sociolinguistic investigation of regional dialect levelling and the role that standardised language plays for this particular type of dialect change. This study combines a quantitative variationist investigation of linguistic variation and change in East Norwegian cities Hønefoss and Oslo with experimental and qualitative studies of attitudinal data in Hønefoss. The aim of the study is to shed light on the role that standard language ideologies play for loss of localised dialects. \ud \ud Varieties of East Norwegian spoken in the small city Hønefoss and the capital city Oslo are becoming increasingly alike. Oslo speech is an influential factor in the loss in Hønefoss of local linguistic variants in variables 3pl personal pronouns and <rd>. The force behind the regional dialect levelling is not the Oslo dialect only, however. Overt and covert attitudinal data show that the influence is twofold and that the codified written variety of Norwegian, Bokmål, largely influences speakers’ usage of local variants for linguistic variables stress in loanwords and plural definite article suffixes. \ud \ud The investigation considers linguistic ideals that speakers link to codification of language (correctness), education or the capital city and attest that language that can be linked to all these ideals is becoming more widely used in the East Norway region. Speech that can be linked to the codified variety Bokmål is an overt as well as a covert ideal to speakers in Hønefoss. Covert positive attitudes towards speech from Oslo are also found. \ud \ud This study shows that the social and political context of language must be taken into account in the study of loss of linguistic features. The social meaning of language is crucial in informing us about the social mechanisms behind dialect change. \u

Publisher: Language and Linguistic Science (York)
Year: 2010
OAI identifier: oai:etheses.whiterose.ac.uk:973

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