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Ch. 7 Three Waves of Variation Studies

Chapter 7 (Three Waves of Variation Studies) of An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Wardhaugh & Fuller 2015).

Tiffany Judy

on 7 October 2018

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Transcript of Ch. 7 Three Waves of Variation Studies

Ch. 7 Three Waves of Variation Studies
Fischer (1958)
Linguistic Variable:
Labov (1966, 1972b)
Linguistic Variable:
Trudgill (1974, 1986)
Wolfram & Fashold (1974)
Milroy (1978) & Milroy (1980, 1987a)
Cheshire (1978)
Various 3rd Wave Studies
Kiesling (2009)
boys (n=12) and girls (n=12) 3-10 years of age
New England
interviews; two formal and one informal
'model' boy (n=1) and 'typical' boy (n=1)
the most formal interview favored the non-reduced form (Figure 7.2, p. 171); the 'model' boy showed a clear preference for the non-reduced form while the 'typical' boy showed no strong preference; hypothesized effect of so-called
everyday activity verbs;
boys used more reduced forms than girls
one of the earliest variation studies; hinted at variation as a function of lexical differences (pg. 171; demonstrated gender differences (pg. 172)
"r" (and [θ])
New York City, specifically
Saks, Macy's
S. Klein
department stores
personnel/people encountered in the stores (n=68, n=125 and n=71, respectively)
informal question and request for clarification
both forms used in each location, though substantially less in
S. Klein
(Table 7.1, p. 172); in general more standard forms obtained in the request for clarification (Figure 7.3, p. 173); reduced form more prevalent before a C(onsonant) (Figure 7.3, p. 173); in
, older people used more reduced forms, but in
they used less; hypercorrection by lower middle class (Figure 7.4, p. 174)
use of the standard [θ] increased as formality increased (casual speech--careful speech--reading style--word lists) (Figure 7.3, p. 172); similar behavior evidenced across socio-economic classes (SEC) (Figure 7.3, p. 172)
demonstrated (1) hypercorrection by lower-middle class and (2) regularity of patterns of pronunciation according to SEC
Linguistic Variable:
[ŋ], [tʰ], [h] i.a.
Norwich, England
lower/middle/upper working class to lower/middle middle class men and women (n=10 per SEC)
word list, reading, formal and casual speech
the [ŋ] variable is related to class (Figure 7.5, p. 176) and gender (Table 7.2, p. 177): the higher the class, the more use of the standard form; females use more standard forms)
Trudgill found convergent accommodation in his speech; demonstrated (1)"hypercorrection" by lower-middle class and (2) regularity of patterns of pronunciation according to SEC
Linguistic Variable:
deletion of final stops in clusters (e.g. [d])
Washington, D.C.
African Americans
recorded speech
the phonological environment of the variable of interest affects the variable realized (Table 7.3, p. 181); dovetail with the findings of Wolfram (1969) which examined morphological- and syntactic-based clusters (
burned up
cold out
linguistic variables were found to interact with social variables
Linguistic Variable:
8 phonological variables
46 men and women in Ballymacarrett, Hammer and Clonard; 6 point participation network scale
Belfast, Northern Ireland
modified participant-observer technique (i.e. "friend-of-a-friend")
significant correlations with strong networks were found for the linguistic variables examined in Ballymacarrett; men in Ballymacarrett used more vernacular language than women
examined the impact of local social networks and kinship ties
Various 2nd Wave Studies
addition of 3sg. verbal morphology in boys and girls in Reading, England
syntactic and lexical constraints found again
[s] added when followed by a clause with an infinitive (
I just lets her beat m
e, p. 187)
more informal verbs take [s] more frequently
social factors also found
the more "tough" a participant, the more [s] was added
Keisling (1998):
use of [ŋ] among fraternity members showed effects of desired use (identity) and formality
[n] was used in social settings; [ŋ] was used more in formal settings (e.g. meetings)
[n] was seen as characteristic of "hardwork", "practicality", "freedom", "power"
Eckert (1989, 2000)
in "Belton High'
took into account not only the speech of participants, but also their access to ability to accumulate symbolic capital via their actions and pastimes
girls supposedly had less access than boys
stance: "how interlocutors position themselves with regard to each other" (pg. 190)
Podesva (2004, 2007)
"Heath": uses some features of his speech "to position himself as someone who cares about fashion and grooming", but also a "competent and educated medical student" (pg. 109)
Goodwin & Alim (2010)
use of speech and non-verbal stylizations (gestures) to construct and maintain identity
Controversies (?)
Constraints (pg. 181-182):
first-order: a constraint that is (a) applied first and (b) has a larger effect on the linguistic variable
second-order: a constraint that is (a) applied after the first-order constraint and (b) has secondary effects
groups within groups may display different orderings of constraints (Labov 1972b)
Bailey (1973) and Bickerton (1971):
each person has their own isolect that falls on a continuum with an implicational relationship with the linguistic variables
2nd wave:"focus on speaker agency"; vernacular speech remains central; "explain the variation using ethnographically determined social categories and cultural norms" (p. 185)
"how linguistic practices are the means through which speakers position themselves as social beings" (p. 189); "focus on speaker agency" (p. 192)
1st wave:"establish correlations between predetermined macro-level social categories and particular linguistic variables" (p. 170)
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