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The Use of 'like' in South- West England

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Florian Tietz

on 4 February 2014

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Transcript of The Use of 'like' in South- West England

2. Information about our 2 native speakers
Data Collection
1. The aim of the project
“The rise of be like is possibly the most vigorous and widespread change in the history of human language.” (Tagliamonte 2012: 248)

1995 – 13% among 18-28-year-old Canadian speakers
2002 – 58%

We wanted to test if the quotative ‘like’ occurs with the same frequency in two different individuals in the South- West of England as well.
The use of 'like' in the South-West of England
1. Aim of the project
2. Information about our two
native speakers
3. Comparison of demographic aspects
4. Types of 'like'
5. Findings
6. Conclusion and limitations
7. Bibliography
The use of 'like' in the South-West of England
3. The different uses of ‘like‘
According to Cambridge Dictionary Online: 8 categories

1. As a verb --> enjoy or approve of sth.
2. As a verb --> want
3. As a preposition --> similar to; in the same way or manner as
4. As a preposition, conjunction --> as if; in a way that suggests
5. As a preposition --> typical characteristic of
6. As a preposition --> such as
7. As an adverb --> Informal: used before you describe how you were feeling or what
you said when sth. happened
8. As an adverb -->informal: used in conversation as a pause or to emphasize an adjective
5. Findings
Speaker A : Alice
-22 years old -from Stawell in Somerset

-Middle class background

-Lives in Bow in East London (2 years)

-Studies English and European Law at Queen Mary, University of London

-Erasmus student for 1 year in Berlin
Speaker B: Anna
4.Comparison of both subjects
English literature
-21 years old

-From Bude, near Exeter, in Cornwall

-Middle class background

-Lives in Plymouth (2 years)

- Studies History and English Literature at the University of Plymouth

-Erasmus student for one semester in Potsdam
6. Conclusion
7. Bibliography
Profile of the district Sedgemoor/Somerset
- The subject's (Alice) hometown is Stawell

-A small village with 386 inhabitants (2014 census)

-Close to Bristol

- County of Somerset: population: 531,600 (2012)

-> Somerset: 7 districts

Profile of the district North Cornwall /Cornwall
- The subject's (Anna) hometown is Bude

- Population of Bude: 9,242 (2001 census)

- Seaside town

- Close to Exeter

- County of Cornwall: 536,000 inhabitants (2011)

- comprises 7 districts

Comparison of both regions
5. Findings
Interview: 52.25 minutes but here only 31 minutes

Approx. 5000 words

Total number of occurrences: 73 tokens
5. Findings

Interview: 28 minutes

Approx. 3980 words

Total number of occurrences: 158 tokens
Possible explanations:
The accent of both speakers resembles the RP which means that “they avoid non-standard grammatical constructions and localised vocabulary characteristic of regional dialects.” (British Library)
Due to speech disfluency Anna frequently uses the word LIKE whereas Alice she uses non-lexical utterances such as uh, em, ahm;

However, our data led us to research other uses of ‘like’ which were not previously studied at an extensive level. Based on our interviews we were able to see that other uses of ‘like’ can occur quite often as well.

The Aim of the Project
Total number of tokens: speaker A (Anna)-
; speaker B (Alice)-
Age - no apparent-time study
Limited literature (focus on the quotative ‘like’ in Canadian English, York and Edinburgh)

Comparison of both regions
Data Collection
- two separate interviews
- semi-guided interview approach
Data Collection
-2 separate interviews

- Semiguided interview approach

- 1. speaker: one-on- one face-to face interview

-2. speaker: 2 of us conducted the interview

- Friend-of-a-friend method
-> reducing the relative degree of formality

Like. (n.d.). In
Cambridge Dictionaries Online.
Retrieved from http://dictionary.cambridge.org/search/british/?q=like

Tagliamonte, Sali, and Rachel Hudson. (1999) Be like Et Al. beyond America: The Quotative System in British and Canadian Youth.
Journal of Sociolinguistics, 3
(2). Retrieved from
Tagliamonte, Sali A. (2012).
Variationist Sociolinguistics: Change, Obervation, Interpretation
. Malden: Wiley-Blackwell.
The British Library Board. “Received Pronunciation.“
British Library
. Retrieved from
http://www.bl.uk/learning/langlit/sounds/find-out-more/received- pronunciation/
Full transcript