A speaker-focussed study of the city of Bristol: Pilot results

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This paper provides a description of the process and outcome of the partial application of Preston’s (1999a) five-point methodology for perceptual dialectological studies in the Bristol English context. Thus, a pilot study aimed at testing the efficiency and clarity of Preston’s ‘draw-a-map task’ (Preston, 1999a) was conducted in May-June 2016. The pilot study was also conducted to hone the data collection process, the statistical scrutiny and the analytical insight of the subject under study. Prior to the description of this process within the pilot, a review of the preceding studies from which they are derived will be made. Therefore, examples of previous perceptual studies and the maps used to elicit attitudinal data will be reviewed (Preston, 1982a; Inoue, 1996; Dierck, 2002; Montgomery, 2007; Cramer, 2010; Evans, 2013; Poignée, 2015). Similarly, the process of the basal map’s design will be analysed, in line with the work of Lameli, Purschke, & Kehrein (2013) on activation of mental space images, together with Lynch’s (1960) study on the perceptual form of urban environments, and Bishop’s (2016) approach to Bristol’s representation through maps. Additionally, a brief account will be made on the pilot’s participant recruitment strategy, as well as on the type of interview used following Milroy and Gordon’s (2003) methods for sociolinguistic fieldwork. It is also the aim of this paper to compare the results obtained in this pilot study with those obtained in 2015 by Poignée’s attitudinal study on Bristol English, in which a similar methodology was employed (Poignée, 2015: 46-50). It should also be noted that this pilot study’s results, will serve as basal benchmark for the analysis of the perceptual dialect areas in the main study.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventBorderline Linguistics Conference - University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Jun 201628 Jun 2016


ConferenceBorderline Linguistics Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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