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Patterns of linguistic variation among Glaswegian adolescent males

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This article presents the results of an ethnographically informed sociolinguistic investigation of Glaswegian Vernacular and examines the intersection between language and identity using data collected from a group of working-class adolescent males, over the course of three years, from a high school in the south side of Glasgow, Scotland, called Banister Academy. Through the fine-grained acoustic analysis of the phonetic variablecat(equivalent to thetrap/bath/palmset, Johnston 1997), coupled with ethnographic observations, this article shows how patterns of variation are related to Community of Practice membership, how the members of the Communities of Practice in Banister Academy use linguistic and social resources to differentiate themselves from one another, and how certain patterns of variation acquire social meaning within the peer-group. This article contributes to the under-researched area of adolescent male language use and offers one of the first ethnographically supported accounts of linguistic variation in Glasgow.
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Keywords: Adolescent male language use; Glaswegian; community of practice; ethnography; vocalic analysis

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Birmingham City University, United Kingdom

Publication date: 2011-04-01

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