Research on second dialect acquisition

Alice Faber faber at HASKINS.YALE.EDU
Mon Dec 9 16:37:29 UTC 2002

Karl Krahnke said:
>Although I do quite a bit of work in the area of  regional dialect and even
>pronunciation teaching (when forced), I have never looked hard for research
>evidence, descriptive or experimental, on the difficulty or ease of
>different/second dialect  acquisition. Like Beverly Flanigan, I have
>assumed it was difficult and rare, but I have not come across research that
>looks specifically at that phenomenon. There are no references to it in
>Rosina Lippi-Green's _English with an Accent_, which is one place I would
>expect to find some references. Could someone help me by pointing me to
>specific studies on that specific question?
>I am also doing some work on regulation and judgment of language in the
>context of employment. A basic legal issue there is whether and to what
>degree language is a "mutable characteristic." I am not aware of compelling
>evidence that accent, for one, is not mutable, though I would certainly
>like to think that is generally the case.
>So, again, any suggestions would be helpful. (I'll of course look on my own

Jack Chambers had a paper a number of years ago in Language called
Dialect Acquisition, about Canadian children who moved to England.
You might also look for papers by Julie Roberts and Arvilla Payne on
Philadelphia English. Roberts'
paper (co-authored by Labov?) was in Language Variation and Change a
number of years ago; it should have a reference to Payne's earlier
Alice Faber                                             faber at
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163 x258
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203) 865-8963

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