Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1946/11558
The purpose of this essay is twofold. Firstly to describe phonological variation that occurs in the dialects that Björk Guðmundsdóttir uses when speaking English. Secondly to explain the occurrence of these variations according to the different speech communities that Björk has belonged to. A biography is included, in chapter 2, to provide the reader with a brief overview which is intended to set the discussion which follows into the correct chronological context.
Chapter 3 establishes a theory to support the claim that Björk Guðmundsdóttir has two main English dialects, Estuary English and Icelandic-English, by utilizing theories from the fields of phonetics and phonology. Phonetics is “the comparatively straightforward business of describing the sound that we use in speaking” (Roach 2000, 44) while in Phonology “we talk about how phonemes function in language, and the relationship among different phonemes” (Roach 2000, 44). Terms such as language, varieties, dialects and accents are explained and connected to variational features characteristic of Björk’s English speech. Phonological phonomena such as Rhotisity, L-vocalization, Glottal stop, H-dropping, HappY-tensing, Yod-phenomena and TH-fronting are then applied to further support the categorization of her two dialects.
Chapter 4 of the essay follows up on these distinctions with a discussion of why Björk, consciously or unconsciously, code switches. The argument in this section is supported by theories from sociolinguistics, which is “concerned with investigating the relationship between language and society with the goal of a better understanding of the structure of language and of how languages function in communication” (Wardhaugh 1986, 12), such as identity, nationalism, and code choice.
The essay concludes with an analysis of Björk’s choice of codes when speaking to people from other dialect areas. Reference will be made throughout to the biography and examples given from sources via links to videos. It is hoped that this information will assist the reader in better understanding the discussion that follows.
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