Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Urban/suburban contact as stylized social practice

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Daniel Duncan



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of a book chapter that has been published in its final definitive form by John Benjamins, 2021.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This study highlights the importance of urban/suburban contact to linguistic variation. I explore two case studies of intra-metropolitan contact and their effect on variation in the English of Greater St. Louis, USA. Data comes from 14 white women born 1971–1991 from outer-ring suburbs in St. Charles County who differ in their length of commute, and twelve white women born 1935–1952 from the City of St. Louis who differ in whether they moved to suburbs in adulthood. The results suggest that in contact situations, the city and suburb accommodate to one another: commuting towards the city yields more ʻcity-likeʼ speech, while moving away from the city yields more ʻsuburb-likeʼ speech. However, identity mediates these contact situations through stylized social practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Duncan D

Editor(s): Ziegler,A; Edler,S; Kleczkowski,N; Oberdorfer,G

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Urban Matters. Current Approaches in Variationist Sociolinguistics (Studies in Language Variation 27)

Year: 2021

Pages: 62-87

Print publication date: 15/12/2021

Online publication date: 23/11/2021

Acceptance date: 07/06/2021

Publisher: John Benjamins

Place Published: Amsterdam


DOI: 10.1075/silv.27.03dun

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9789027210135