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By Robert F. Sumrall

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In its original form, reformulation encourages informants to ‘translate’ or ‘reformulate’ a sentence from the standard variety into their local dialect. However, this method as usually employed might not be the most applicable in a British context where normative ideologies abound, since it presupposes a situation of relatively low prescriptive pressure in which informants are comfortable providing the dialectal equivalent of the ‘standard’. In our research in Northern England, therefore, we adapted this task with the aim of circumventing any prescriptive judgements that might interfere with an informant’s genuine response.

NORMs€– non-mobile older rural males). As such, we felt it to be crucial to adapt the magnitude estimation task so as to make it more user-friendly to such speakers. This was achieved by using an instrument that is based on the principle of ‘graphic’ rating (Guilford 1954:€270; Taylor and Parker 1964), and hence converting the rating from numerical to visual in nature. Visual versions of the magnitude estimation test basically ask informants to express judgements by either drawing a line on a scale or marking a cross on a line between two opposing poles.

To what degree is a speaker’s acumen about the way other speakers talk represented phonologically, especially when the speaker undergoes accommodation to other speakers? Docherty et€al. (1997) contend that it is important to examine the behaviour of many speakers in order to find full answers to such questions and attain a complete view of phonology. Scholars who study variation in language should take the collection of phonological data as a key part of their mission. 1 Introduction Dialects of the same language are known to vary systematically with respect to the proportional frequency with which different syntactic constructions are used productively.

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