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Dialect Maintenance, Shift and Variation in a Northern Thai Industrial Estate

Panyaatisin, Kosin (2018) Dialect Maintenance, Shift and Variation in a Northern Thai Industrial Estate. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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This study investigates linguistic variation in a case of dialect change and maintenance, for a Northern (NT) Thai dialect in a Northern Industrial Estate (NTIE) of Thailand, in Lamphun province. The target area is the Ban Klang Municipal (MBK) community where locals use the NT Thai dialect. However, due to internal immigration over the past 30 years, MBK has undergone a dramatic change in socio-economics and culture, from an agriculturally-based society, swiftly transforming into an urbanised and industrialised one. The national standard Bangkok (BKK) Thai, has influenced and motivated dialect shift among MBK speakers who speak the NT Thai dialect. The quantitative variationist approach can clarify the changing linguistic situation in the MBK area. The dependent linguistic variables include rhotic consonant onset (r) incorporating [r], [ɾ], [l] and [h] as its variants, such as [rɯa:n0], [ɾɯa:n0], [lɯa:n0] and [hɯa:n0], "house". The consonant cluster onset with rhotic (Cr) comprises {Cr}, {Cɾ}, {Cl} and {C∅}, such as [kʰrap3], [kʰɾap3], [kʰlap3] and [kʰap3], "male polite final particle". Only the (r) onset includes the local variant [h] in NT Thai dialect; only (Cr) includes a deleted variant. The independent variables comprise Labovian style factors, demographic social factors, social network strength (SNS) factors and phonological constraints. The dyadic interviews included 66 respondents. Defined by geographic origin differences, the 57 MBK locals were the focused group, while the 9 BKK speakers were the control group. A friend-to-friend method and judgment sampling were employed. The total length of interviews was around 120 hours. The study revealed the following: 1. In both (r) and (Cr) variables, the study showed that [l] and {C∅} were the most commonly-used forms. Stylistic stratification occurs, with formal styles favouring the standard rhotic variants. 2. Style plays a major role in linguistic variability, followed by social factors and linguistic constraints, respectively. LMC women are the linguistic trailblazers in certain variants. MMC elderly local males are the primary dialect maintainers. The MMC and WC locals used the covert prestige form [h] more often, but with different underlying social meanings. 3. Social network (SN) analysis employed an ego-centric network approach. SN factors were significant in the model but not a strong explanatory predictor. MBK networks were largely ethnically homogeneous. Contact frequency and intimacy scores were highly correlated. This confirms that all attributes forming the SN are highly interrelated and dependent. 4. The corresponding variants of (r) and (Cr) reveal non-parallel linguistic patterns.The relationship between variable (r) and (Cr) exhibited weak associations, with the rhotic variants patterning similarly, while the lateral variants were not aligned. The emergence of laterals in (Cr) might be derived partly from articulatory errors, while [l] patterned in line with {C∅} as the neutral variants in casual styles. 5. The stylistic and social factors played greater roles in linguistic variability than the internal linguistic factors. This might be due to the social structure that has an effect on the linguistic structure, particularly in these Tai-Kadai family and related non-Western languages. The style and social factor elements are an important determinant of linguistic structure.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Northern Thai, Bangkok Thai, language variation and change, social networks, ego-centred network, dialect maintenance, industrial estate, logistic regression, style
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
Depositing User: Kosin Panyaatisin
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2018 15:33
Last Modified: 24 Jul 2018 15:33

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