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Talking ProperThe Rise of Accent as Social Symbol$
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Lynda Mugglestone

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250622

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250622.001.0001

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Accent as Social Symbol

Accent as Social Symbol

Chapter:
(p.50) 2 Accent as Social Symbol
Source:
Talking Proper
Author(s):

Lynda Mugglestone (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199250622.003.0003

This chapter focuses on accent as a social symbol. It argues that the drive to raise the linguistic consciousness in terms of accent is not that ‘doctrine of appropriate usage’ — the expectation, and understanding, that features of language will vary according to context and situation — which typifies later, more objective, and descriptive accounts of language. Instead, theoretical prominence is placed on what has come to be known as the ‘doctrine of subjective inequality’, a precept which, as the sociolinguist Richard Hudson points out, deliberately abdicates objective (and verifiable) criteria of linguistic inequality such as might, for example, be founded on the absence of appropriate communication skills or discoursal responses.

Keywords:   English language, speech, accent, status symbol, appropriate usage, Richard Hudson

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