Browsing Faculty of Humanities by Publisher "John Benjamins Publishing Company"
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Language attitudes and divergence on the Merseyside/Lancashire borderRecent sociolinguistic studies have argued that speaker identity is accentuated in borer regions due to speakers’ desire to project a strong sense of identity (Llamas 2007, 2010; Britain 2010). Following the Local Government Act in 1972, the creation of the administrative county of Merseyside provides us with fertile ground for the study of the relationship between language variation and regional identity. This chapter investigates the diffusion of fronted Liverpool NURSE (Wells 1982), in Southport (Merseyside) and Ormskirk (South Lancashire) demonstrating that, in comparison to Ormskirk, despite the administrative and socioeconomic links with Liverpool, the Liverpool accent is not spreading to Southport as might be hypothesised by existing models of diffusion of linguistic change. I explore possible explanations for the variation between Southport and Ormskirk with particular reference to speaker attitude in relation to the negative perception of the Liverpool accent.