Is a Day out of Hawick a Day Wasted? A Study of Bidialectalism in Young Hawick Females

  • Alice Rawsthorne The University of Edinburgh
Keywords: style shifting, intraspeaker variation, sociophonetics, bidialectalism, Scotland


This study investigates young female speakers from Hawick in southern Scotland. The main focus is to identify whether bidialectal-like shifts occur in the young female speakers’ use of local dialect features, depending on the dialect of their conversation partner. It compares dialectal feature production in 5 participants’ conversations with a Hawick insider and outsider, analysing the phonological, lexical, and morphological variables θ> h, know/ken, and negation. The results show that 3 of the 5 recorded participants demonstrated bidialectal-like style shifts in feature production depending on their conversation partner, whilst the other 2 participants showed less significant shifts. Furthermore, this study uses quantitative and qualitative comparisons of the linguistic features under study to position the participants on a monodialectal-bidialectal continuum. It suggests possible explanations for intra-speaker variation in bidialectalism, including degree of closeness between the speakers, socioeconomic background, and community inclusion. The article points to a need for wider research in the field of bidialectalism to identify influences on monodialectal and bidialectal speakers in different geographical areas.


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How to Cite
Rawsthorne, A. “Is a Day Out of Hawick a Day Wasted? A Study of Bidialectalism in Young Hawick Females”. Lifespans and Styles, Vol. 2, no. 1, Mar. 2016, pp. 48-62, doi:10.2218/ls.v2i1.2016.1430.