WP96 Stance taking and social hierarchies: Using local dialect to construct the pre-adolescent social order

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Adolescence is understood to be the period when use of vernacular forms accelerates, and ?third wave? variation studies have provided a framework for understanding the social practices that construct teenage vernacular culture.? But adolescence does not signal a sudden awareness of the social function of linguistic variation, and comparatively little is known about meaning making in pre-adolescence, when children are subject to the (often conflicting) pulls of both adult and peer influence.? Using data from a comparative ethnography of 9 to 10 year-old children in two social class-differentiated schools in Teesside, north-east England, this paper explores a transitional period in which local dialect forms – here, ?howay? (e.g. ?Howay, you need to let us?) and right dislocation with pronoun tags (e.g. ?I hate this book bag, me?) – cluster in social acts and stances that gravitate away from adult influence and towards the peer group.