Date: Tue, 24 Jan 1995 11:00:18 +0000 From: Maik Gibson 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