Sociolinguistic Studies, Vol 12, No 3-4 (2018)

Stylistic variation in /r/: Shifting personas on a bridal reality television show

Maeve Eberhardt
Issued Date: 2 May 2019


Contemporary sociolinguistic scholarship has made great gains in uncovering how speakers actively project identities through the manipulation of linguistic forms. This paper adds to that body of work, investigating stylistic variation among a group of women on the reality show Say Yes to the Dress in New York City. I focus on the interactional shifts of these women, who move between two personas as bridal consultants: bridal gown expert and friend of the bride. Through qualitative and quantitative analyses, I show that intraspeaker variation in /r/ is motivated by the interactional roles that the women project as they engage in various speech activity types when enacting these different facets of the self.

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DOI: 10.1558/sols.33923


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