Project outline

Project outline

logoIs television a contributory factor in accent change in adolescents?

You will find the project proposal here.  This provides the motivation for the work, the theoretical and methodological context, and an outline of the intended methodology.  You will find more details about the methodology in the  ERSC Final Report.

Research questions

The main research question for sociolinguists concerned with the impact of television on accent variation and change is:

• Are the media a contributory factor in systemic language change under certain circumstances for certain individuals?

Such a question could only be answered by a long-term programme of research. For this project, therefore, we tackle a specific question:

• Does the media play a role in the diffusion of Southern English accent features in Glaswegian?

In order to answer this, we consider the following questions:

• What is the linguistic content of media-Cockney, and how does this compare to Glaswegian?
• How much exposure do Glasgow adolescents have to television and to media-Cockney?
• Do speakers who have high exposure to media-Cockney also use diffusing Southern English features?
• Are positive attitudes towards media-Cockney linked to the use of diffusing Southern English features?
• Do those who have high exposure to media-Cockney have positive attitudes towards actual Cockney (and Londoners)?
• Are those who have high exposure to media-Cockney aware of the linguistic features of media-Cockney (and that they are similar/different to Glaswegian)?
• How successfully can Glasgow adolescents imitate accent features presented by television (and media-Cockney)?
• What role does television play within the overall social life of Glasgow adolescents, and do television figures speaking media-Cockney figure as role models for Glasgow adolescents?
• What is the social life of Glasgow adolescents like? What is their social contact (if any) with people outside their immediate area/Glasgow?
• What type of phonetic/phonological variation occurs (if any) in front of the television?
• Do any of the above vary according to age, and, is the shift from primary to secondary school a factor?