Sociolinguistics


Peter Trudgill: Norwich, England (1974)

Similar to William Labov in the USA, the British linguist Peter Trudgill investigated the speech of residents of Norwich, England. He was interested in the pronunciation of particular variables in different socioeconomic status groups and different speech styles. One variable was (ng) with its standard and prestigious velar variant [ɪŋ] and the non-standard variant [ən] in Norwich. The results mirrored those found by Labov in New York City: The higher the socioeconomic status of the speaker, the more frequently (s)he used the standard variant. Style stratification (see Stylistic Pattern: Language and Style) existed in England, as well. All socioeconomic groups used more standard variants with increasing formality of the speech style.

(Information adapted from Finegan, 2004)

(Source: Trudgill 1974: 92)


Read more on Peter Trudgillís study of Norwich speech:

Trudgill, P. (1974). The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich. Cambridge: CUP.