Beyond mastery : a study of dialect acquisition

D'Arcy, Alexandra F. (2000) Beyond mastery : a study of dialect acquisition. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

Studies of dialect acquisition have revealed that certain phonological features may not be mastered by children whose parents are not native to a dialect area (Payne 1980; Trudgill 1982, 1986). Consequently, this study has examined the speech of younger female speakers in St. John's to determine whether or not parental origin plays a significant role in the acquisition and use of local phonological features. -- The results of quantitative analysis indicate that with little exception, non-local-parent speakers appear to acquire local dialect features. However, these speakers tend to use more General Canadian features, especially when these are innovative, and fewer local features, than their peers with local parents do. These results indicate that in St. John's, dialect acquisition is not strictly a matter of mastering local phonological, morphological, and lexical constraints. Instead, the social evaluation of dialect features appears to be the critical factor. Moreover, the stylistic profiles of the two parental origin groups differ; local-parent speakers exhibit a greater degree of stylistic variation than do those with non-local-parents.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5571
Item ID: 5571
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 114-119.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2000
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Avalon Peninsula--St. John's
Library of Congress Subject Heading: English language--Dialects--Newfoundland and Labrador--St. John's--Phonology

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