Individual differences and in situ identity marking

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Over the past decades, sociolinguists and Cognitive Linguists have shifted their attention to individual differences and intra-speaker variation (Hernández-­Campoy & Cutillas-Espinosa 2013; Barlow 2013). This chapter aims to add to this trend by conducting a bottom-up analysis of the speech of participants in the Dutch reality TV show “Expeditie Robinson”. We build quantitative profiles tracking participants’ use of two features of Colloquial Belgian Dutch (CBD): the personal pronoun gij ‘jou’ (vs. standard jij) and word-final t-deletion. We compare participants’ style-shifts in these profiles, focusing on register differences (contrasting informal and formal speech) and differences in group make-up (i.c. the absence/presence of Netherlandic Dutch participants – who typically do not use CBD). The most outspoken differences between the participants are found for group accommodation in the use of gij. Interestingly, the different levels of accommodation can be linked to the degree of strategic planning and voting of individual participants.


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