WP201 The language of London and Londoners

Fox & Sharma
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London is Europe?s largest city, and over a third of the foreign-born population of the UK lives there, with inner London boroughs having some of the highest proportions. In this paper, we look at how this intense level of inter-ethnic contact has influenced styles of English variation and use. The discussion starts with the large-scale picture and moves to individual practice, reflecting on how the two relate to one another.? Focusing on the sociolinguistic dynamics of two Asian-dominant ?micro-ecologies? (Tower Hamlets and Ealing), we address the central puzzle of sociolinguistics today: How to reconcile the fine, fleeting acts of agency we see constantly in the individual with the blindly uniform march of change that we see at the community level?? Our analyses point to a complexity that calls for refinement rather than rejection of traditional urban sociolinguistic models.