A sociolinguistic study of Burnt Islands, Newfoundland

Newhook, Amanda R. (2002) A sociolinguistic study of Burnt Islands, Newfoundland. 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

This study investigated how the social factors of age and gender co-varied with nine linguistic variables (eight phonological and one grammatical) in Burnt Islands, a rural Newfoundland community. Twelve participants were divided into three age groups in which both genders were represented. The interviews were tape-recorded, and consisted of both casual and formal components in order to examine the effects of speech style on the usage of the linguistic variants. In order to determine the significance of the independent variables, an ANOVA 2 x 2 design (Age x Gender) was employed. -- Variation was found in the speech of individuals, as well as across social groups. In casual style, gender proved to be the most significant social factor in variant selection, while age affected approximately half of the variables. Formal style results revealed that speakers in the overall sample displayed style shifting for most of the features examined. Younger females were marked by their avoidance of local variants in both casual and formal speech, while older males tended use local forms the most often. The general pattern of the decreasing usage of local features among successive generations suggests that supralocal norms are encroaching on the distinctive Burnt Islands dialect.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5572
Item ID: 5572
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 97-100.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Linguistics
Date: 2002
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador--Southwest Coast--Burnt Islands
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Sociolinguistics--Newfoundland and Labrador--Burnt Islands; English language--Dialects--Newfoundland and Labrador--Burnt Islands; English language--Social aspects--Newfoundland and Labrador--Burnt Islands

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