Scottish ‘EastEnders’ fans are turning ’ochney: study shows how telly viewing accelerates language change
Tuesday 10 September 2013
Scots may be adopting Cockney slang after research found that watching television could be a factor in accent change.
Caledonian fans of the long-running BBC soap EastEnders were shown in a study to have variations in pronunciation, according to University of Leicester experts.
They found two particular features of speech typically associated with London English that were becoming increasingly apparent in the Glaswegian dialect among people who regularly watched the TV drama.
The features were using “f” for “th” in words like “think” and “tooth”, and using a vowel sound like that in “good” in place of an “I” sound in words like “milk” and “people”. The study, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council and published in the American journal Language, is the first evidence that active and engaged television viewing helps to accelerate language change.
Researchers said the results show significant correlations between using these features and strong emotional and psychological engagement by the viewers of the programme.
But simply being exposed to television is not sufficient to cause accent change. For speech to alter, viewers must regularly watch the show and become emotionally engaged with the characters.
The authors said television and other forms of popular media constitute one of many factors that help accelerate language change and more powerful factors, such as social interaction between peers, has a much stronger effect on language change.
Professor Barrie Gunter, of the University of Leicester’s Department of Media and Communication, said: “When people move to new geographical locations they take their speech patterns with them. If sufficient numbers of people move in this way, alien speech patterns can become integrated with the local speech vernacular.
“Although the mass media have previously been referred to anecdotally as playing a part in this process, this research has provided more systematic, scientific evidence for this effect.”
Fracking is turning the US into a bigger oil producer than Saudi Arabia
Missing Malaysia Airlines plane: Details emerge of two young Iranians using stolen passports in search for a better life
Three-quarters of Britons are saying it wrong - the top ten most common mispronunciations
Oscar Pistorius trial: Forensic analyst says athlete 'was not wearing prosthetic legs' when he smashed locked toilet door with a bat
Missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370: ‘Alright, good night’ – last words from cockpit revealed amid growing confusion
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Exclusive: Impact of immigrants on British workers ‘negligible’
Katie Hopkins continues campaign to become Britain's most hated talking head with poorly timed Bob Crow tweet
No EU referendum under Labour: Ed Miliband to reveal that vote on membership is ‘unlikely’ in next Parliament if party wins power
Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
Ukraine crisis: Russia pledges to 'retaliate against sanctions' as Ukrainian president says Crimea vote will not be recognised
- 1 Boy George: Bad karma
- 2 Grace Dent: Who cares if she spells it Barraco Barner? Gemma Worrall is more employable than some bookish arts graduate
- 3 First Kiss video: Filmmaker gets 20 strangers to make out on YouTube with awkward results
- 4 Rampaging elephant smashes up house but then 'saves crying baby trapped under debris'
- 5 Ian Wright breaks down in ITV documentary charting his rise to Arsenal and England striker
£20,000 to £25,000: IT Connections Ltd: Graduate C / C++ Developer / Electroni...
£25,000 to £35,000: IT Connections Ltd: C / C++ Software Engineer / Windows / ...
£50,000 to £60,000: IT Connections Ltd: C++ / Java / Senior Software Developer...
£23500 - £50000 per annum: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education is...