Volume 44, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0172-8865
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9730



While the research literature on regional dialect levelling is substantial (e.g. Williams and Kerswill 1999Britain 2002Watt 2002Jansen 2019), this process is under-explored and under-theorised when it comes to patterns of lexical usage. Using as a case-study, in this article I provide a detailed account of processes of lexical levelling in Cornwall. I consider the usage of from two perspectives, that of onomasiology and semasiology. From an onomasiological perspective, , as a variant of the concept , exhibits socio-stylistic reallocation, with attested usages of in this study being limited to older speakers in careful speech styles. From a semasiological perspective, two senses of , ‘woman’ and ‘female servant or attendant’, have undergone structural reallocation in apparent-time with ‘woman’ being the prototypical sense for older speakers but a more peripheral sense for their younger counterparts.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Anglo-Cornish; levelling; lexis; reallocation; UK dialects
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