‘Doing Cornishness’ in the English Periphery: Embodying Ideology Through Anglo-Cornish Dialect Lexis

  • Rhys J. Sandow
  • Justyna A. Robinson


In the current chapter, we explore the social meaning of onomasiological variation of the concept lunch box among males in the Cornish town of Redruth. Collected data point us towards the relevance of the Anglo-Cornish dialect forms crib box and croust tin in projecting speakers’ regional identity. Speakers with a stronger sense of Cornish identity recognise, and ultimately use, local dialect lexis more than those with a weaker sense of Cornish identity. Also, declining local dialect terms occur more frequently in careful speech styles of older speakers. We argue that this unexpected pattern occurs because, when speakers are highly aware that their vocabulary is being observed, they ‘perform’ their Cornish identity through Anglo-Cornish dialect lexis. This study also showcases a new methodological framework for collecting data which allows us to analyse socio-semantic variation.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rhys J. Sandow
    • 1
  • Justyna A. Robinson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SussexBrightonUK

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