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Social and territorial differentiation of English pronunciation.
As a result of certain social factors in the post-war period – the growing urbanization, spread of education and the impact of mass media, Standard English is exerting an increasing powerful influence on the regional dialects of Great Britain. Recent surveys of British English dialects have revealed that the pressure of Standard English is so strong that many people are bilingual in a sense that they use an imitation of RP with their teachers and lapse into their native local
accent when speaking among themselves. In this occasion the term diglossia should be introduced to denote a state of linguistic duality in which the standard literary form of a language and one of its regional dialects are used by the same individual in different social situations. This phenomenon should not be mixed up with bilingualism that is the command of two different languages. In the case of both diglossia and bilingualism the so-called code-switching takes place. In
recent years the effect of these forms of linguistic behavior is studied by sociolinguists and psychologists.
As was stated above, language, and especially its oral aspect varies with respect to the social context in which it is used. The social differentiation of language is closely connected with the social differentiation of society. Nevertheless, linguistic facts cannot be attributed directly to class structure. According to A.D. Shweitzer «the impact of social factors on language is not confined to linguistic reflexes of class structure and should be examined with due regard for the meditating role of all class-derived elements – social groups, strata, occupational, cultural and other groups including primary units (small groups).» (38)
Western sociolinguists such as A.D. Grimshaw, JF.Z. Fisher, B. Bernstein, M. Gregory, S. Carroll, A. Hughes, P. Trud Швейцер А.Д. Социальная дифференциация в английском языке в США-М., 1983 gill and others, are oriented towards small groups, viewing them as «microcosms» of the entire society. Soviet sociolinguists recognize the influence of society upon language by means of both micro – and macro-sociological factors.
Every language community, ranging from a small group to a nation has its own social dialect, and consequently, its own social accent.
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