18--19世紀の Industrial Revolution （産業革命）は，英国社会の構造を大きく変えた．その社会言語学的な帰結は，端的にいえば伝統方言 (traditional dialects) から都市変種 (urban varieties) への移行といってよい．交通・輸送手段の発達により，人々の行動様式や社会的ネットワークが様変わりし，各地域の内部における伝統的な人間関係が前の時代よりも弱まり，伝統方言の水平化 (dialect_levelling) と共通語化 (koinéization) が進行した．一方で，各地に現われた近代型の都市が地域社会の求心力となり，新しい方言，すなわち都市変種が生まれてきた．都市変種は地域性よりも所属する社会階級をより強く反映する傾向がある点で，伝統方言とは異なる存在である．
Gramley (181) が，この辺りの事情を以下のように説明している．
[The Industrial Revolution and the transportation revolution] were among the most significant social changes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Partly as a prerequisite for and partly as an effect of industrialization there were fundamental changes in transportation. First, in the period after 1750 there was the establishment of turnpikes, then canals, and finally railroads. Among their consequences was the development of regional and supra-regional markets and, concomitant with this, greater labor force mobility in a money rather than barter economy with the potential for consumption. It hardly seems necessary to point out that this led to a weakening of the rural traditional dialects and an upsurge of new urban varieties in the process of dialect leveling or koinéization.
As industrialization continued, new centers in the Northeast (mining) and in the Western Midlands (textiles in Manchester and Birmingham and commerce in Liverpool) began to emerge. Immigration of labor from "abroad" also ensured further language and dialect contact as Irish workers found jobs in the major projects of canal building in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and then in the building of the railways. Enclaves of Irish came into being, especially in Liverpool. Despite linguistic leveling the general distinctions were retained between the North (now divided more clearly than ever between the English North and Scotland), the East Midlands and the now industrializing West Midlands, and the South. The emergence of a new, mostly working-class, urban population in the North in the nineteenth century was accompanied by a literature of its own. Pamphlets, broadsides, and almanacs showed local consciousness and pride in vernacular culture and language. As the novels of Elizabeth Gaskel demonstrate, language --- be it traditional dialect or working-class koiné --- was a marker of class solidarity.
関連する話題として，「#1671. dialect contact, dialect mixture, dialect levelling, koineization」 ([2013-11-23-1])，「#2028. 日本とイングランドにおける方言の将来」 ([2014-11-15-1])，「#2023. England の現代英語方言区分 (3) --- Modern Dialects」 ([2014-11-10-1]) も参照．
・ Gramley, Stephan. The History of English: An Introduction. Abingdon: Routledge, 2012.
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