Skip to main content
×
×
Home

Linguistic change in intonation: The use of high rising terminals in New Zealand English

  • David Britain (a1)
Abstract

This article reports sociolinguistic research on linguistic change in an intonation feature of New Zealand English, namely, the use of high rising terminal contours (HRTs) in declarative clauses. Recorded interviews from 75 inhabitants of Porirua, a small city north of Wellington, were analyzed for the use of HRTs. The speaker sample was subdivided according to years of age (20–29, 40–49, 70–79), sex, ethnicity (Maori and Pakeha), and class (working and middle). The results show that linguistic change is in progress, the use of HRTs being favored by young Maori and by young Pakeha women. The results are explained in terms of the function of HRTs as positive politeness markers. The usefulness of the term “linguistic variable” in the analysis of intonational change and discourse features is assessed.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Allan, K. (1984). The component functions of the high rise terminal contour in Australian declarative sentences. Australian Journal of Linguistics 4:1932.
Allan, S. (1990). The rise of New Zealand intonation. In Bell, A. & Holmes, J. (eds.), New Zealand ways of speaking English. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 115128.
Atkinson, J. (1984). Wrapped words: Poetry and politics among the Wana of Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. In Brenneis, D. & Myers, F. (eds.), Dangerous words: Language and politics in the Pacific. New York: New York University Press. 3368.
Bauer, L. (1986). Notes on New Zealand English phonetics and phonology. English World-Wide 7:225258.
Bauer, L. (in press). The history of English in New Zealand. In Burchfield, R. (ed.), The Cambridge history of the English language: Volume 5. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Bayard, D. (1987). Class and change in New Zealand English: A summary report. Te Reo 30:336.
Bayard, D. (1991). Social constraints on the phonology of New Zealand English. In Cheshire, J. (ed.), English around the world: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 169186.
Bell, A. (1984). Language style as audience design. Language in Society 13:145204.
Bell, A. & Holmes, J. (eds.). (1990). New Zealand ways of speaking English. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
Bell, A. & Holmes, J. (eds.). (1991). New Zealand. In Cheshire, J. (ed.), English around the world: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 153168.
Benton, R. (1966). Research into the English language difficulties of Maori schoolchildren: 1963–64. Wellington: Maori Education Foundation.
Benton, R. (1991). Maori English: A New Zealand myth? In Cheshire, J. (ed.), English around the world: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 187199.
Besnier, N. (1988). The linguistic relationships of spoken and written Nukulaelae registers. Language 64:707736.
Besnier, N. (1989). Information withholding as a manipulative and collusive strategy in Nukulaelae gossip. Language in Society 18:315341.
Billings, D. (1987). Expressive style and culture: Individualism and group orientation contrasted. Language in Society 16:475497.
Brenneis, D. & Myers, F. (eds.). (1984). Dangerous words: Language and politics in the Pacific. New York: New York University Press.
Britain, D. (forthcoming). A pragmatic analysis of the use of high rising terminals in New Zealand English.
Brown, G., Currie, K. & Kenworthy, J. (1980). Questions of intonation. London: Croom Helm.
Brown, P. & Levinson, S. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language use. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Cheshire, J. (1987). Syntactic variation, the linguistic variable and Sociolinguistic theory. Linguistics 25:257282.
Ching, M. (1982). The question intonation in assertions. American Speech 57:95107.
Clark, H. & Wilkes-Gibbs, D. (1986). Referring as a collaborative process. Cognition 22:139.
Coates, J. (1986). Women, men and language. London: Longman.
Coates, J. (1988). Gossip revisited: Language in all female groups. In Coates, J. & Cameron, D. (eds.), Women in their speech communities. London: Longman. 94121.
Coupland, N. (1988). Dialect in use. Cardiff: University of Wales Press.
Cruttenden, A. (1986). Intonation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Dines, E. (1980). Variation in discourse—“and stuff like that.” Language in Society 9:1331.
Duranti, A. (1981). The Samoan fono: A Sociolinguistic study. Canberra: Australian National University, Department of Linguistics.
Eckert, P. (1989). The whole woman: Sex and gender differences in variation. Language Variation and Change 1:245268.
Edwards, V. & Sienkewicz, T. (1990). Oral cultures past and present: Rappin' and Homer. Oxford: Blackwell.
Finnegan, R. (1988). Literacy and orality. Oxford: Blackwell.
Geluyken, R. (1987). Intonation and speech act type. Journal of Pragmatics 11:483494.
Gordon, E. & Deverson, A. (1985). New Zealand English: An introduction to New Zealand speech and usage. Auckland: Heinemann.
Graddol, D. & Swann, J. (1989). Gender voices. Oxford: Blackwell.
Guy, G., Horvath, B., Vonwiller, J., Daisley, E. & Rogers, I. (1986). An intonation change in progress in Australian English. Language in Society 15:2352.
Guy, G. & Vonwiller, J. (1984). The meaning of an intonation in Australian English. Australian Journal of Linguistics 4:117.
Halliday, M. (1967). Intonation and grammar in British English. The Hague: Mouton.
Hasan, R. (1989). Semantic variation and sociolinguistics. Australian Journal of Linguistics 9:221275.
Holmes, J. (1984). Hedging your bets and sitting on the fence: Some evidence for hedges as support structures. Te Reo 27:4762.
Holmes, J. (1986). Functions of you know in women's and men's speech. Language in Society 15:121.
Holmes, J. (1990). Politeness strategies in New Zealand women's speech. In Bell, A. & Holmes, J. (eds.), New Zealand ways of speaking English. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 252275.
Holmes, J., Bell, A. & Boyce, M. (1991). Variation and change in New Zealand English: A social dialect investigation. Project Report to the Social Sciences Committee of the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology. Wellington: Victoria University of Wellington, Department of Linguistics.
Horvath, B. (1985). Variation in Australian English: The sociolects of Sydney. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Horvath, B. & Eggins, S. (1988). Opinion texts in conversation. Unpublished manuscript.
Ito, K. (1985). Affective bonds: Hawaiian interrelationships of self. In White, G. & Kirkpatrick, J. (eds.), Person, self and experience: Exploring Pacific ethnopsychologies. Berkeley: University of California Press. 301327.
James, E., Mahut, C. & Latkiewicz, G. (1989). The investigation of an apparently new intonation pattern in Toronto English. Information Communication 10:1117.
Jenkins, N. & Cheshire, J. (1990). Gender issues in the GCSE oral English examination: Part 1. Language and Education 4:127.
Kuiper, K. (1991). Sporting formulae in New Zealand English: Two models of male solidarity. In Cheshire, J. (ed.), English around the world: Sociolinguistic perspectives. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 200212.
Labov, W. (1966). The social stratification of English in New York City. Washington DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.
Labov, W. (1972). Language in the inner city. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Labov, W. (1980). The social origins of sound change. In Labov, W. (ed.), Locating language in time and space. New York: Academic. 251265.
Labov, W. (1990). The intersection of sex and social class in the course of linguistic change. Language Variation and Change 2:205254.
Labov, W. & Waletzky, J. (1967). Narrative analysis: Oral versions of personal experience. In Helms, J. (ed.), Essays in the verbal and visual arts. Seattle: University of Washington Press. 1244.
Lakoff, R. (1975). Language and woman's place. New York: Harper & Row.
Lavandera, B. (1978). Where does the sociolinguistic variable stop? Language in Society 7:171183.
Linde, C. & Labov, W. (1975). Spatial networks as a site of language and thought. Language 51:924939.
Lutz, C. (1985). Ethnopsychology compared to what? Explaining behaviour and consciousness among the Ifaluk. In White, G. & Kirkpatrick, J. (eds.), Person, self and experience: Exploring Pacific ethnopsychologies. Berkeley: University of California Press. 3579.
Metge, J. & Kinloch, P. (1978). Talking past each other – Problems of cross-cultural communication. Wellington: Victoria University Press.
Meyerhoff, M. (1990). “Sounds pretty ethnic eh?”: A pragmatic particle in Porirua speech. Paper presented to the New Zealand Seminar on Language and Society,Victoria University,Wellington.
Meyerhoff, M. (1991). Grounding and overcoming obstacles: The positive politeness motivations of high rise terminals. Unpublished manuscript.
Milroy, L. (1980). Language and social networks. Oxford: Blackwell.
Mitchell, A. & Delbridge, A. (1965). The speech of Australian adolescents. Sydney: Angus Robertson.
Rand, D. & Sankoff, D. (1988). Goldvarb: A variable rule application for the Macintosh. Montreal: Université de Montréal, Centre de Recherches Mathématiques.
Rohany, H. (1991). A comparative study of opinion giving strategies in British and Malaysian English. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Essex.
Salmond, A. (1975). Hui—A study of Maori ceremonial gatherings. Wellington: Reed.
Sankoff, D. (1988). Sociolinguistics and syntactic variation. In Newmeyer, F. (ed.), Linguistics: The Cambridge survey: Volume 4. Language: The socio-cultural context. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 241259.
Schiffrin, D. (1990). The management of a co-operative self during argument: The role of opinions and stories. In Grimshaw, A. (ed.), Conflict talk. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 241259.
Selting, M. (1988). The role of intonation in the organization of repair and problem handling sequences in conversation. Journal of Pragmatics 12:293322.
Stubbe, M. (1991). Talking at cross purposes? The effect of gender on New Zealand primary schoolchildren's interaction strategies in pair discussions. M.A. thesis, Victoria University of Wellington.
Sweeney, A. (1987). A full hearing: Orality and literacy in the Malay world. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Tannen, D. (1989). Talking voices: Repetition, dialogue and imagery in conversational discourse. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Trudgill, P. (1986). Dialects in contact. Oxford: Blackwell.
Turner, G. (1970). New Zealand English today. In Ramson, W. (ed.), English transported: Essays on Australasian English. Canberra: Australian National University Press. 84101.
Watson-Gegeo, K., & White, G. (eds.). (1990). Disentangling: Conflict discourse in Pacific societies. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
White, G., & Kirkpatrick, J. (eds.). (1985). Person, self and experience: Exploring Pacific eth-nopsychologies. Berkeley: University of California Press.
White, G., & Watson-Gegeo, K. (1990). Disentangling discourse. In Watson-Gegeo, K. & White, G. (eds.), Disentangling: Conflict discourse in Pacific societies. Stanford: Stanford University Press. 352.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Language Variation and Change
  • ISSN: 0954-3945
  • EISSN: 1469-8021
  • URL: /core/journals/language-variation-and-change
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed