This book examines phonological variation of the inhabitants of Coleraine, a small town in Northern Ireland. Its purpose is to identify some of the mechanisms involved in language change by focusing on one variety of Hiberno-English – Ulster Scots – in a small urban community. Kingsmore concentrates in particular on the social and family networks of this urban working-class community and their influence on the status and stigma of competing nonstandard pronunciations.
The author identifies some of the innovators of phonological change and some social and linguistic barriers to change. This quantitative study focuses on the effect of gender on language variation and change. In addition, Kingsmore describes conflicting pressures between urban and rural varieties and examines the extent of influence of a larger urban center on a smaller urban center. Her sociolinguistic methodology is innovative and insightful.
Rona K. Kingsmore is Adjunct Professor at Columbia International University.