Trudgill, P. (1972) “Sex, covert prestige andlinguistic change in the urban British English of Norwich,” Language inSociety.
Cambridge University Press, Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/6A687B9A4422D36E3C85E5A8407EC00D/S0047404500000488a.pdf/sex_covert_prestige_and_linguistic_change_in_the_urban_british_english_of_norwich.pdfLabov, W. (2006). TheSocial Strati?cation of English in New York City. 2nd ed.
ebook New York:Cambridge University Press, p.5. Available at: https://antro-ling.wikispaces.com/file/view/Labov_The+social+stratification+of+English+in+NYC.
pdf Accessed 3Jan. 2018.REFERENCES Much like Labov’sstudy, Trudgill’s study proved the interplay between language and society butTrudgill expanded on the matter, proving that there are other social factorsthan the socioeconomic class interplaying with language, such as age andgender. (Trudgill,1972) The Norwich studyconducted by Trudgill in 1974 was questioning wether social factors influenced the way that people of Norwichspeak or not and was hypothesizing that the higher the social class of theperson was, the closer to the Standard English variety would be the languageuse, meaning the linguistic forms and behaviors of the rich and privilegedupper-class people and that people could change their linguistic behavior tomore priviledged forms when they are more aware of their speech.He He created experimental tasks those werevarying in their formality such as reading a list of words or a text, taking aninterview or narrating a funny story and randomly choosed sixty speakers fromfour different areas of Norwich after dividing them to Middle MiddleClass(MMC), Lower Middle Class(LMC), Upper Working Class(UWC), Middle WorkingClass(MWC) and Lower Working Class(LWC) according to their occupation, salary,education, housing, income and place of origin. Trudgill wanted to studymultiple variables of the speech in Norwich such as the pronounciation of thesuffix -ing in words such as singing,walking and talking, which in Standard English is pronounced as a whole ( t??k??),but in the regional Norwich dialect itwas usually pronounced as –in (t??k?n), the dropping of the letter /-s/ in theend of the singular form of the SimplePresent tense(take=te?k instead of takes=te?ks which is consideredpriviledged variation), the glottal stops on the pronunciation of the letter /t/(instead of pronouncing batter as bæt? which is considered to be the standardpronunciation, pronouncing it as bæ? and dropping of the letter h(instead ofpronouncing the word house as ha?s which is considered to be the standard be the standardpronunciation.
The findings were indeed proving Trudgill’s hypothesis asthe higher class of the i ndividual the more they used theStandard Ponounciation and the lower the class of the individual the more theyused vernacular variations. For example, the vernacular variation of the /h/dropping was used at a precentage of 61% by the individuals belonging to thelower working class, 59% by the individuals belonging to the middle workingclass, 40% by the individuals belonging to the upper working class, 14% by theindividuals belonging to the lower middle class, 6% by the individualsbelonging to the middle middle class. In 1966 Labovconducted a study in three department stores with clear stratification betweenthem those he ranked according to their price and advertisement frequencyespecially in the newspaper New York Times, which was a newspaper prefered byhigher classes. The lowest ranked store was S. Klein’s in Union square and nearthe Lowest East Side, which was advertised at New York Times in ¼ pages inOctober 24-27,1982 and a women’s coat costed 23$ there, the middle ranked storewas Macy’s in Herald square and near a middle-class garment district, which wasadvertised in 2 pages of New York Times and a women’s coat costed 79,95$ thereand the highest ranked store was Sak’s at the 5th avenue and nearthe center of a haute-couture shopping district, which was advertised in 2pages of New York Times and a women’s coat costed $90 there.
Labov wanted toobserve in what frequency the postvocalic /r/ was pronounced (e.g. beerpronounced as b??r with therhotic pronounciation instead of b?? without the rhotic pronounciation)in each of these stores, which was reintroduced as a privileged linguisticbehavior in New York city.
He was walking around the store asking employees forthe location of a department he knew was located on the fourth floor of thedepartment store, in order to elicit the answer ‘fourth floor’. He noticed thatthe employees, costumers and managers of the upper-class stores were using thepostvocalic / r/ in a very high frequency when addressing each other,employees, costumers and managers of the middle-class department store wereusing the postvocalic /r/ in a higher frequency than the employees, costumersand managers of the lower-class stores when addressing each other. In the upper-class stores, he noticed thatwhen employees were on a cigarette break they weren’t using the postvocalic /r/when addressing each other. The employees of the upperclass region store wereusing the postvocalic /r/ to address the costumers because they knew that theywere rich and educated and wanted to appeal to them but the lower andmiddle-class store employees weren’t using the postvocalic /r/ in a such highfrequency when addressing the costumers, because they belonged in an equalsocial strata and were equally educated, so they didn’t need to appeal to them.Also, the employees of the Sak’s were most possibly middle class individualsbecause if they were working in a high class department store their salarywould be relatively higher but not high enough for them to ascend to the upperclass, so they weren’t using thepostvocalic /r/ when addressing each other because they all knew that theydidn’t belong in the upper class, so it would be pointless for them to try toshow that they are highly educated and they were working in the departmentstore too, so it would be pointless to try to appeal to them. With the findingsof this study, Labov proved that the pronounciation of the post-vocalic wasconsidered a privileged linguistic behavior in New York city, because itsmostly ommited by the costumers of Sak’s, which was rated as a high classdepartment store and the employees of Sak’s were indeed trying to emitt thepost-vocalic r during work even if it wasn’t part of their regular speech, butmost of all his study clearly proved the existence of a link between languageand social stratification which is the very sense sociolinguistics is concernedwith and the desire of the middle class to appeal to the upper-classindividuals with style shifting their linguistic choices to more standardforms, meaning the linguistic forms used by the rich and privileged members ofthe society. The methodology in this particular study pioneered in the field ofsociolinguistics not only because it was the first study proving the interplaybetween language and society but also because its methodology was later used byother studies in sociolinguistics such as the Norwich study conducted by PeterTrudgill in 1974.
( Labov, 2006) The Norwich studyconducted by Peter Trudgill in 1972 and 1974 and the New York department storestudy conducted by William Labov in 1966 were foundational to the field ofsociolinguistic because the concept of the linguistic variation surfacedthrough their observations. Once the society is divided into classes accordingto factors such as income, origins, occupation it is unequal and this inequality is reflected upon the use of language,which is a crucial component for the construction of social groups andinstitutions. The inequality of society is the cause of the linguisticvariation by stygmatizing linguistic behaviors belonging to lower socialclasses and privileging linguistic behaviors belonging to higher socialclasses.
Sociolinguisticsis a science studying the social and cultural aspect of language and morespecifically the linguistic variable, meaning the contextual, cultural,interpersonal and intrapersonal factors that make the human linguistic behaviorvary by affecting the linguistic choices as well as the interplay betweensociety and language. This change in the linguistic choices is called styleshifting.