Dialect in the Making

A Third-wave Sociolinguistic Approach to the Enregisterment of Late Modern Derbyshire Spelling


DOI: https://doi.org/10.6018/ijes.555751
Keywords: Derbyshire dialect, Enregisterment, Respellings, Late Modern English


Within the framework of third-wave sociolinguistic research, Asif Agha’s (2003) theory of enregisterment has proved a successful approach to explore the mechanisms that lead to the indexical connection between language and identity. Beal (2009, 2020), Cooper (2013, 2020), and Ruano-García (2012, 2020, 2021), among others, have investigated this phenomenon from a diachronic perspective. They have highlighted the value of dialect writing as a window into the main features associated with particular dialects, as it draws upon authenticating practices such as the use of dialect respellings, which not only signal salient phonological features, but also link them to wider schemes of sociocultural values and identities. This paper seeks to add to this field of research by looking at literary representations of Derbyshire speech (1850–1900) through the lens of enregisterment. My aims are twofold: I attempt to (1) shed light on the main phonological features of the Derbyshire dialect, while (2) determining how this variety was enregistered in the Late Modern English period, and whether meaningful text type-dependent indexical shifts might have affected the way in which this dialect was understood and thus represented by native and non-native speakers.


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How to Cite
Schintu Martínez, P. (2023). Dialect in the Making: A Third-wave Sociolinguistic Approach to the Enregisterment of Late Modern Derbyshire Spelling. International Journal of English Studies, 23(2), 65–87. https://doi.org/10.6018/ijes.555751