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Language Change in English and French 9780826485250

Language Change in English and French

Quantifying Social Convergence

ISBN-10: 0826485251
ISBN-13: 9780826485250
AUTHOR:
PUBLISHER: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Also available at Amazon.com
Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access codes, CDs, DVDs)
Product Description: In this book, Nigel Armstrong examines linguistic change in French and English as a reflection of recent social changes in each country. Using a Labovian or 'variationist' method, Armstrong looks at the ways in which language change tracks social change. On the surface at least, recent social change has proceeded in essentially similar ways in the two countries. Both are Western industrial powers with liberal democracies, and standard languages, but closer examination of these languages reveals that they reflect different underlying social factors. The book provides an overview of social convergence in France from the French Revolution, through the First and Second World Wars and the events of May 1968 to suggest that middle and working classes, men and women, and young and old social divisions have become blurred whilst the economic divisions are as sharp as before. In French therefore, there is a large degree of levelling of the social-regional dialect pattern, and language is not an indicator of class, age or gender. In contrast, Armstrong argues, in the UK recent social changes have caused the penetration of features from non-standard urban vernaculars into so-called standard language. At the same time Received Pronunciation is in recession. The general pattern seems to be change from below, as middle-class speakers adopt working-class language features.This in-depth study of French and English language change is essential reading for academics and researchers in sociolinguistics seeking a fresh perspective on the ways in which language reflects social change.

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PUBLICATION DATE:
PAGES: 224
CATEGORY: Language Arts & Disciplines
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