Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Adolescents under pressure to speak 'properly'

Date:
December 5, 2012
Source:
Michigan State University
Summary:
As adolescents transition to adulthood, the pressure to meet adult expectations -- such as speaking properly -- may be greater than expected, according to a new study.

As adolescents transition to adulthood, the pressure to meet adult expectations -- such as speaking properly -- may be greater than expected, according to a new study by a Michigan State University researcher.

Suzanne Evans Wagner, assistant professor of linguistics in the College of Arts and Letters, has proven for the first time that language changes with age in addition to community pressures. And, surprisingly, college and post-high school ambitions play a huge role.

"It seems as if in high school, students who want to go to a good college are the ones who early on begin to dial back their use of nonstandard language," Wagner said. "And the ones who have no aspirations to leave their local community, or who have no particular aspirations to raise their social class, are the people who have no obvious social incentives to change the way they speak."

Wagner's study, published in the journal Language Variation and Change, is based on the language trends of a group of 16- to 19-year-old females from Philadelphia. She measured how often they used "ing" vs. "in" in words such as "runnin" vs. "running" from their high school senior year into their college freshman year.

Wagner found the students who attended or planned to attend a national research institution increased their use of the more socially acceptable "ing" pronunciation -- rather than "in" -- the most. Those who attended a community college, a liberal arts college or a regional small school showed only a slight increase in the use of "ing," if at all.

That's because students who attend major research institutions, which attract students from around the country, will find a happy speech medium that's acceptable to society, Wagner said. But in a regional or a two-year college, most students are drawn from the local area and often feel pressured to sound, and remain, local.

Since social status is usually defined by occupational prestige, it's difficult to use that to gauge language variations of students, Wagner said. But college choice is the next best bet.

"When you track people across their lives - even if it's only a short space in between -- as long as that time frame involves a lot of upheaval, it seems you really can see linguistic change," she said.

And those jobless boomerang kids who move home after college? Some of her subjects have returned home, and Wagner hopes to find out if they've adjusted their speech to once again sound local and whether that affects employment.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Michigan State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Michigan State University. "Adolescents under pressure to speak 'properly'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 December 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205151833.htm>.
Michigan State University. (2012, December 5). Adolescents under pressure to speak 'properly'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205151833.htm
Michigan State University. "Adolescents under pressure to speak 'properly'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205151833.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins