On Functions of Dialect in The Mayor of Casterbridge from a Sociolinguistic Perspective



Dialect is often employed in fiction writing to achieve special effects, as it is a social indicator, carrying social connotations and reflecting aspects of the speaker’s identity. Sociolinguistics is a sub-discipline of linguistics, which examines the relationships between language and society, with the speech variation (especially dialect) and the accompanying social significance or functions as the main focus. Therefore, sociolinguistic theories and research findings may play an effective role in the analysis of functions of dialect in fictional conversations. The Mayor of Casterbridge is considered Hardy’s first masterpiece; some critics regarded it as his greatest tragic novel. One of the distinctive characteristics of Hardy’s style consists in his masterly use of Wessex dialect in his fictional conversations. Based on relevant theories in sociolinguistics, the paper attempts to analyze the functions of dialect used in the fictional conversations in Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge and concludes that the use of dialect is not only successful in conveying a vivid fictional world, adding the local color, mirroring social significance, but is also consistent with Hardy’s social and artistic pursuits.

Key words: The Mayor of Casterbridge; Dialect; Sociolinguistics


The Mayor of Casterbridge; Dialect; Sociolinguistics

Full Text:



Alpaugh, P. K., Parham, I. A., Cole, K. D., & Birren, J. E. (1982). Creativity in Adulthood and Old Age: An Exploratory Study. Educational Gerontology, 8(2), 101-116.

Amabile, T. M. (1982). Social Psychology of Creativity: A Consensual Assessment Technique. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43(5), 997-1013.

Amabile, T. M. (1993). What Does A Theory of Creativity Require? Psychological Inquiry, 4(3), 179-181.

Amabile, T. M. (1996). Creativity in Context: Update to The Social Psychology of Creativity. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Amabile, T. M., Hennessey, B.A., & Crossman, B. S. (1986). Social Influences on Creativity: The Effects of Contracted-For Rewards. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(1), 14-23.

Bear, J. (1993). Creativity and Divergent Thinking: A Task-Specific Approach. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Baer, J., & Garrett, T. (2010). Teaching For Creativity in an Era of Content Standards and Accountability. In R. A. Beghetto & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom (Pp. 6-23). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Baer, J., & Kaufman, J. C. (2008). Gender Differences in Creativity. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 42(2), 75-105.

Baldwin, A. Y. (2010). Creativity: A Look Outside The Box in Classrooms. In R. A. Beghetto & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Nurturing Creativity in The Classroom (pp. 73-87). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Basadur, M., Graen, G. B., & Green, S. G. (1982). Training in Creative Problem Solving: Effects on Ideation and Problem Finding and Solving in An I/O Research Organization. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 30(1), 41-70.

Brookfield, S. D. (1986). Understanding and Facilitating Adult Learning: A Comprehensive Analysis of Principles and Effective Practices. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Butler-Kisber, L., & Poldma, T. (2010). The Power of Visual Approaches in Qualitative Inquiry: The Use of Collage Making and Concept Mapping in Experiential Research. Journal of Research Practice, 6(2), 1-17.

Capps, D. (2012). Child’s Play: The Creativity of Older Adults. Journal of Religion and Health, 51(1), 630-650.

Chen, L. K., Kim, Y. S., Moon, P., & Merriam, S. B. (2008). A Review and Critique of the Portrayal of Older Adult Learners in Adult Education Journals, 1980-2006. Adult Education Quarterly, 59(1), 3-21.

Craft, A. (2003). The Limits to Creativity in Education: Dilemmas for The Educator. British Journal of Educational Studies, 51(2), 113-127. Doi:10.1111/1467-8527.T01-1-00229

Creme, P. (2003). Why Can’t We Allow Students To Be More Creative? Teaching in Higher Education, 8(2), 273-277.

Davis, G. A. (2004). Objectives and Activities For Teaching Creative Thinking. In D. J. Treffinger (Ed.), Creativity and Giftedness (pp. 97-103). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Feldman, D., & Benjamin, A. C. (2006). Creativity and Education: An American Retrospective. Cambridge Journal of Education, 36(3), 319-336.

Florida, R. (2002). The Rise of The Creative Class and How It’s Transforming Work, Leisure, Community, and Everyday Life. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Harding, T. (2010). Fostering Creativity for Leadership and Leading Change. Arts Education Policy Review, 111(2), 51-53. Doi: 10.1080/10632910903455827

He, W., & Wong, W. (2011). Gender Differences in Creative Thinking Revisited: Findings from Analysis of Variability. Personality & Individual Differences, 51(7), 807-811. Doi:10.1016/J.Paid.2011.06.027

Hirt, E. R., Devers, E. E., & Mccrea, S. M. (2008). I Want To Be Creative: Exploring fhe Role of Hedonic Contingency Theory in fhe Positive Mood-Cognitive Flexibility Link. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 94(2), 214-230.

Hodder, I. (1988). The Creative Process in Long-Term Perspective. Journal of Social and Biological Structures, 11(1), 99-101.

Houtz, J. C., & Krug, D. (1995). Assessment of Creativity: Resolving A Mid-Life Crisis. Educational Psychology Review, 7(3), 269-300.

Johnson, J. E., Christie, J. F., & Yawkey, T. D. (1999). Play and Early Childhood Development (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Addison Wesley Longman.

Kaufman, J. C., & Baer, J. (2012). Beyond New and Appropriate: Who Decides What is Creative? Creativity Research Journal, 24(1), 83-91.

Kaufman, J. C., Lee, J., Baer, J., & Lee, S. (2007). Captions, Consistency, Creativity and the Consensual Assessment Technique: New Evidence of Reliability. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 2(2), 96-106.

Kogan, N. (1974). Creativity and Sex Differences. The Journal of Creative Behavior, 8(1), 1-14.

Lee, E. A., & Seo, H. A. (2006). Understanding of Creativity by Korean Elementary Teachers in Gifted Education. Creativity Research Journal, 18(2), 237-242. Doi: 10.1207/S15326934crj1802_9

Litchfield, R. C. (2009). Brainstorming Rules as Assigned Goals: Does Brainstorming Really Improve Idea Quantity? Motivation and Emotion, 33(1), 25-31.

Livingston, L. (2010). Teaching Creativity in Higher Education. Arts Education Policy Review, 111(2), 59-62. Doi: 10.1080/10632910903455884

Mansfield, R. S., Busse, T. V., & Krepelka, E. J. (1978). The Effectiveness of Creativity Training. Review of Educational Research, 48(4), 517-536.

Merrian, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide (3rd Ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Nickerson, R. S. (1999). Enhancing Creativity. In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Handbook of Creativity (Pp. 392-430). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Nickerson, R. S. (2010). How to Discourage Creative Thinking in The Classroom. In R. A. Beghetto & J. C. Kaufman (Eds.), Nurturing Creativity in the Classroom (Pp. 1-5). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Puccio, G. J., Firestien, R. L., Coyle, C., & Masucci, C. (2006). A Review of the Effectiveness of CPS Training: A Focus On Workplace Issues. Creativity & Innovation Management, 15(1), 19-33. Doi: 10.1111/J.1467-8691.2006.00366.X

Ross, R. J. (1976). The Development of Formal Thinking and Creativity in Adolescence. Adolescence, 11(44), 609-617.

Runco, M. A. (1990). The Divergent Thinking of Young Children: Implications of the Research. The Gifted Child Today, 13(4), 37-39.

Runco, M. A. (1999). A Longitudinal Study of Exceptional Giftedness and Creativity. Creativity Research Journal, 12(2), 161-164.

Russ, S. W. (1993). Affect and Creativity: The Role of Affect and Play in the Creative Process. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Schmidt, P. B. (2006). Creativity and Coping in Later Life. Generations, 30(1), 27-31.

Shipton, H., Fay, D., West, M., Patterson, M., & Birdi, K. (2005). Managing People to Promote Innovation. Creativity & Innovation Management, 14(2), 118-128. Doi: 10.1111/J.1467-8691.2005.00332.X

Simonton, D. K. (1990). Creativity in Later Years: Optimistic Prospects for Achievement. The Gerontologist, 30(5), 626-631.

Simpson, S. (2009). Raising Awareness of Transformation: Collage, Creative Expression, and Imagination. In C. Hoggan, S. Simpson, and H. Stuckey (Eds.), Creative Expression in Transformative Learning: Tools and Techniques For Educators of Adults (pp. 75-101). Malabar, FL: Krieger Publishing.

Sternberg, R. J. (2003). Creative Thinking in The Classroom. Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research, 47(3), 325-338.

Stolitzfus, G., Nibbelink, B., Vredenburg, D., & Thyrum, E. (2011). Gender, Gender Role, and Creativity. Social Behavior & Personality: An International Journal, 39(3), 425-432. Doi:10.2224/Sbp.2011.39.3.425

Su, Y. H. (2009). Idea Creation: The Need to Develop Creativity in Lifelong Learning Practices. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 28(6), 705-717. Doi: 10.1080/02601370903293161

Taylor, K., Marienau, C., & Fiddler, M. (2000). Developing Adult Learners: Strategies for Teachers and Trainers. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Torrance, E. P., & Safter, H. T. (1990). The Incubation Model of Teaching: Getting Beyond the Aha. New York, NY: Bearly Limited.

Treffinger, D. J. (2004). Research On Creativity. In D. J. Treffinger (Ed.), Creativity and Giftedness (pp. 87-96). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press

Treffinger, D. J. (2009). Myth 5: Creativity Is Too Difficult To Measure. Gifted Child Quarterly, 53(4), 245-247. Doi: 10.1177/0016986209346829

Van Der Veen, R. (2006). Communication and Creativity: Methodological Shifts in Adult Education. International Journal of Lifelong Education, 25(3), 231-240.

Wallach, M. A., & Kogan, N. (1965). Modes of Thinking in Young Children: A Study of the Creativity-Intelligence Distinction. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Warner, S. A., & Myers, K. L. (2009). The Creative Classroom: The Role of Space and Place Toward Facilitating Creativity. Technology Teacher, 69(4), 28-34.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/j.hess.1927024020130403.1001


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:
caooc@hotmail.com; hess@cscanada.net; hess@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Higher Education of Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1020 Bouvier Street, Suite 400, Quebec City, Quebec, G2K 0K9, Canada. 
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailcaooc@hotmail.com; office@cscanada.net

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures