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LINGUIST List 21.4493

Tue Nov 09 2010

Diss: Socioling: Hilton: 'Regional Dialect Levelling and Language ...'

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        1.     Nanna Hilton , Regional Dialect Levelling and Language Standards: Changes in the Hønefoss dialect

Message 1: Regional Dialect Levelling and Language Standards: Changes in the Hønefoss dialect
Date: 09-Nov-2010
From: Nanna Hilton <N.H.Hiltonrug.nl>
Subject: Regional Dialect Levelling and Language Standards: Changes in the Hønefoss dialect
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Institution: University of York
Program: Department of Language and Linguistic Science
Dissertation Status: Completed
Degree Date: 2010

Author: Nanna Haug Hilton

Dissertation Title: Regional Dialect Levelling and Language Standards: Changes in the Hønefoss dialect

Dissertation URL: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/973/

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

Dissertation Director:
Carmen Llamas
Rosalind Temple
Sam Hellmuth

Dissertation Abstract:

This dissertation reports a sociolinguistic investigation of regional
dialect levelling and discusses the relationship between this particular
type of dialect change and standard language ideologies that speakers hold.

The study combines a quantitative variationist investigation of linguistic
variation and change in East Norwegian cities Hønefoss and Oslo (Norway's
capital city) with experimental and qualitative studies of attitudinal data
in Hønefoss. The aim of the study is to shed light on the role that
ideologies concerning a standard language (notions held about the
superiority of a linguistic variety through its relationship with
codification, education or the capital city) play for the loss of localised

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 . 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.

The investigation attests that linguistic variants that are associated with
the standardised language are becoming more widely used in the East Norway
region. Speech that can be directly linked to the codified variety Bokmål
holds overt as well as covert prestige to speakers in Hønefoss. Covert
positive attitudes towards speech from the capital city, Oslo, are also found.

This study indicates that studying speakers' language ideologies is
fruitful for understanding language change in progress. The investigation
also shows that the social and political context of language must be taken
into account in the study of loss of linguistic features. Moreover, the
social meaning of particular linguistic features can inform us about the
social mechanisms behind dialect change.

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