3 1 10-19 2017

Supernanny: An Intraspeaker Study of Addressee Effects in the Speech of Jo Frost

Chloe Blackwood


Limited research exists evaluating the extent to which intraspeaker style-shifting is conditioned by addressee age and addressee nationality. The current study investigated Supernanny Jo Frost’s realisations of (t) as glottal or non-glottal towards British and American adults and children. Frost was found to style-shift to child-directed speech (CDS) when addressing children, which is interpreted in terms of communication accommodation theory as a communicative strategy to enhance clarity. Frost generally avoided convergence towards her American (and British) interlocutors, such that her style-shifting was found to be conditioned less by addressee nationality than by addressee age. I argue that this avoidance of convergence was motivated by her desire to construct an authentic, authoritative identity, which she achieved through her exploitation of particular indexical meanings associated with [t] and [ʔ].


style shifting; intraspeaker variation; sociophonetics; sociolinguistics; Child Directed Speech

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.2218/ls.v3i1.2017.1824


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