Note: This is the re-issue of a previously published book.
Dr Cheshire's fieldwork concentrates on phonological variation in
spontaneous everyday conversation. She interviews a group of non-standard
English speakers living in Reading, Berkshire. Her data provides a basis
for a perceptive analysis of variation in contemporary English and of the
nature and function of variation in general. She specifically focuses on
morphological and syntactic variation, and thus also provides a valid
description between standard English and a variety used by working-class
speakers, which will interest not only linguists including sociolinguists
and dialectologists, but many workers in education. Linguistic and social
constraints on variation are established, and the analysis also
demonstrates how speakers are able to exploit the resources of the language
system to convey social meaning. The data Dr Cheshire has collected are in
themselves an important contribution to the study of language in its social
context, whilst the analysis has significant theoretical implications for
diachronic and synchronic linguistics.