Religious affiliation and its inherent membership in an associated social network as a sociolinguistic factor is examined in the community of Latter-day Saints (LDS) in Cardston, Alberta. Building on Meechan's 1998 findings that the LDS community in the area used Canadian Raising in a different set of phonotactic environments than the surrounding non-LDS English speakers, the study aims to determine if the LDS community uses other Canadian speech features differently or less frequently and if any Utah features (defined as Utah English in the literature, being the language of LDS English speakers in Utah) have continued from the settling of the area by Utahns in the 1880s. The study analyzes the effect of religious affiliation on dialect leveling and general sociolinguistic change. To perform the study, interviews were conducted with 51 informants eliciting items characterized by Canadian and Utahn features. Statistical and inferential analysis shows that one Utah feature, the cord-card merger, survived in a very attenuated form in the speech of older respondents, and Canadian features were generally less prevalent among the LDS. It is concluded that religious affiliation is a factor in the phonology of the region.
College and Department
Humanities; Linguistics and English Language
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Chatterton, Benjamin Joseph, "Religious Networks as a Sociolinguistic Factor: The Case of Cardston" (2008). All Theses and Dissertations. 1477.
Canadian English, Mormons, Latter-day Saints, LDS, Utah English, historical linguistics, dialects, Canadian immigration, social networks, dialectology, religion