Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 11:00:18 +0000
From: Maik Gibson llrgbson[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]READING.AC.UK
Subject: Re: TV and dialect
Jeff Allen seems to be right when he says that TV does have a role in
spreading new words into dialects: but that seems to be about as far as
it goes. There's no evidence that I'm aware of that sound chnages spread
this way at all, in fact there's quite a bit of counterevidence that it
could be a very strong force.
It seems to be that levelling processes work very different ways in the
lexicon form how they do in the rest of the grammar. In our modern mass
communication world, we're getting lexically levelling (even by email!):
American words are constantly being adopted in Britain, mainly thru TV i
would suppose, but apart from an increase in t-tapping, which us also
native to this side of the Atlantic, and which John Wells has argued
might be helped by TV from the USA, there are no American phonetic traits
spreading over here: in those areas which are still rhotic/r-ful, the "r"
is getting ever rarer.
University of Reading