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.

Maik Gibson

University of Reading