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I'm not sure it entirely agrees with my experience. If there is a literary
standard with some longer tradition the urban varieties seem to tend to be
closer to that standard being in result more conservative. While the rural
varieties make some innovations that doesn't get included into to the
standard.

I can only give examples based on my mother tongue but I suspect it may
work in other languages more or less the same way.

Eg.
The literary standard of Polish preserves the tripartite distinction of
/s/, /s\/, /S/. Many rural dialects simplified it one way or the other, the
most widespread being the merger of /S/ and /s/ into /s/. I don't think any
of these changes ever achieved any urban dialect.
There is a dialect that got rid of palatalized labials by means of
epenthesis and so:
miasto /m'astO/ > mńasto /mJastO/, biały /b'awI\/ > bziały /bz\awI\/.
Both the innovations are quite significant and I can't recollect any
similiar innovation in any urban dialect of Polish.


2017-05-03 2:34 GMT+02:00 Matthias Wasser <[log in to unmask]>:

> See also the acronym NORM - non-mobile older rural males - from dialect
> studies, where it's generally assumed that speakers matching that
> description are most likely to speak an older form of their language.
>
> On Tue, May 2, 2017 at 6:13 PM The Scribbler <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
> > Thank you, all!
> > --------------------------------------------
> > On Tue, 5/2/17, Alex Fink <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >
> >  Subject: Re: Rural vs. Urban Dialects
> >  To: [log in to unmask]
> >  Date: Tuesday, May 2, 2017, 4:08 PM
> >
> >  On Tue, 2 May 2017 21:30:03 +0000, The
> >  Scribbler <[log in to unmask]>
> >  wrote:
> >
> >  >Is there any general tendency for
> >  urban or rural to be more conservative than the other when
> >  it comes to sound/semantic change?
> >
> >  Yes, the usual tendency is that rural
> >  varieties are more conservative.  One of the big
> >  engines of language change is social factors, i.e. speakers
> >  of less prestigious varieties taking on more prestigious
> >  words or sound changes or other characteristics (whatever
> >  the measure of prestige is), or otherwise modifying their
> >  speech to be more or less like that of another social group
> >  they wish to be more or less similar to.  Since urban
> >  areas are likely to have more diversity and social
> >  stratification, this sociolinguistic engine is more active
> >  in them.  Rural areas are more likely to be isolated,
> >  so even innovations which have become fairly general might
> >  not manage to spread to every rural area.
> >
> >  Alex
> >
>