Dialect levelling is a form of standardisation whereby local variations of speech lose their distinctive, regional features in favour of a more urban or mainstream dialect. This means that the speech forms of different parts of the country are becoming more similar over time and this results in a reduction of language diversity. There are several factors involved in dialect levelling:
•Geographical mobility results in greater dialect contact between commuters.
•Social mobility and consequent breakdown of tight knit working class communities.
•Increased interaction with people of other speech varieties.
•Children are less likely to adopt their parents’ pronunciation as they come under peer pressure to conform to the linguistic norm of the group. Adolescents take on a vital role in language change.
•Economic change lead to loss of rural employment and construction of suburbs and new towns.
•World Wars meant a change in roles…
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