Date: Sat, 21 Jan 1995 19:34:29 EST
From: Larry Horn LHORN[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]YALEVM.CIS.YALE.EDU
Subject: Re: TV and dialect
In fact, Labov's thoughts on the alive-and-wellness of American dialects in
this day of mass media are cited in a piece in today's (actually tomorrow's)
New York Times Magazine. The only other sociolinguist cited is our own Dennis
Preston. It's actually a nice piece, in that the writer, John Tierney, goes
so far as to recreate Labov's famous "Fourth floor" study (from his
disseration), but with Bradlees replacing the defunct S. Klein on the Square
(alongside the still going mid-scale Macy's and upscale Saks). He finds a bit
less r-lessness, but with the same proportions as Labov found in '62 (15% at
Bradlees,40% at Macy's, 50% at Saks), and with the same tendency to "correct"
in careful (self-conscious repair) utterances.