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The University of Southampton
Centre for Linguistics, Language Education and Acquisition Research

'I'll have a burg[ə] and a fant[ʌ]': acquiring variation in a new language Seminar

Time:
16:00 - 17:30
Date:
25 April 2018
Venue:
Building 65 Lecture Theatre C Avenue Campus SO17 1BF

For more information regarding this seminar, please email Prof Roumyana Slabakova at R.Slabakova@soton.ac.uk .

Event details

Part of the annual seminar series for CLLEAR.

In this paper, I present results from a mixed methods study that combines quantitative analysis with ethnography. I examine the acquisition of vernacular dialect variation by Roma migrants in Manchester, England. While it is now widely recognised that migrants can acquire local dialect features in a new language, it is still unclear why some speakers acquire more features than others. I analyse variation across a range of vocalic variables to establish what social factors impact upon Roma migrants acquiring (or not) local patterns of variation. Results indicate that speakers with more open friendship networks produce more vernacular patterns of variation, providing further, fine-grained understanding of why some migrants may acquire more dialect features than others. Increasing (super)diversity in Europe’s cities brings issues of migration and integration to the top of political agendas. When a migrant acquires a dialect in a new language, this can be seen as an indicator of the way he is positioning himself within the local culture.

Speaker information

Dr Gerry Howley, University of Sheffield. Teaching Associate in Sociolinguistics

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