Pop Goes American: A Study of Language Features and Motivations in British Pop Music
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Abstract This paper examines the use of three language features in 16 songs of six British pop bands over the past 50 years. The analysed features are: intervocalic /t/, post-vocalic /r/ pronunciation and vowel usage. The data are derived from songs as well as interviews with the bands concerned: The Rolling Stones, The Who, David Bowie, Blur, Kids in Glass Houses and Bloc Party. The data and analysis of pronunciation patterns and tendencies showed that The Rolling Stones and Kids in Glass Houses use an American model of pronunciation in songs, whereas the other four bands use their native language model. This difference can be explained by the concept of convergence and divergence, overt and covert prestige, the globalisation of the American entertainment industry and the British Invasion.