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Ch. 6 Language Variation

Chapter 6 (Language Variation) of An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Wardhaugh & Fuller 2015)
by

Tiffany Judy

on 16 February 2016

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Transcript of Ch. 6 Language Variation

The Linguistic Variable
Types:
Regional Variation
Importance:
Social Variation
Social Class Membership
Data Collection and Analysis
How do we obtain data that allows us to answer our Research Questions?
IDEA
http://www.dialectsarchive.com/south-dakota-1-2
Linguistic Variables
What phonological linguistic variables did you hear?

Syntactic?
Morphological?
Intonational?
Lexical?
Ch. 6 Language Variation
Limitations
Examples
Methods
informs diachronic (i.e. historical) linguistics
informs society regarding their dialect
http://www.jotamartin.byethost33.com/alpi0_e.php
The Rhenish Fan
Ceceo, Seseo and Ceseo boundaries
The pail-bucket isogloss
Sampling:
survey (face-to-face, online, mail)
may be very focused or
may be very broad
elderly and untraveled persons preferred
rural areas preferred
But why?
Sampling:
may not be representative of the population
e.g. young speakers, women
categorization of participants (pg. 145)
e.g. what participant data is gathered?
e.g. are subjective classifications made?
the axiom of categoricity (pg. 146)
'all-or-nothing mentality'
Methodological:
will the necessary data obtain from the sampling?
data analysis
how will data be coded and analyzed?
Examples:
Phonological
Morphological
Syntactic
Indicator
Definition: "a linguistic item which has identifiable variants" (Wardhaugh & Fuller 2015, p. 149)
Phonological
with vs. wit vs. wif
-ing vs. -in
orange
Morphological
fists vs. fistes / costs vs. costes
quick vs. quickly
Syntactic
double negation
positive
anymore
Marker
carries little to no social import
no variation across different styles of speaking
neither stigmatized nor praised
speakers generally not aware
carries social import
variation according to style
speakers are generally aware but do not comment
Social Networks
Methodological issues
circularity (p. 154)
replicability
generalizability (p. 155)
Traditional
Alternative
Observer's Paradox (Labov 1972)
Researcher's Bias
Priming
Random Sample
Stratified Sample
Apparent-time study
Real-time study
Panel: the same subjects are tested (longitudinal study)
Trend: different subjects are tested
Correlation ≠ Causation
(1) Well-defined RQs
(2) Well-defined predictions
(3) Methodology that captures the data we are interested in
Methodology and Sampling
"everyone in the population...has an equal chance of being selected." (Wardhaugh & Fuller 2015, p. 159)
Judgment sample
subjects are chosen based on some criterion/criteria
after dividing a population into mutually exclusive and comprehensive subgroups, a random sampling is taken of each subgroup
subjects are grouped according to age; differences in performance are attributed to age differences
data is collected after a certain amount of time has passed since the first testing
Issues
"The greatest challenge to any thinking is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." --Bertrand Russel
Quantitative Data
Variables
the idea that merely observing an event affects it, yet without observation, we have no data
the tendency to find what we are looking for
intentionally or unintentionally exposing a subject to the stimulus under investigation; intentionally or unintentionally biasing the subjects' response via methodology
Dependent: what we are interested in a study
reporting averages eliminates the purpose of many sociolinguistic studies: determining where variation exists!
Independent: the factors that may affect/influence the dependent variable
the standard deviation must be provided
individual data is often times beneficial
data must be valid (it is what it says it is)
data must be reliable (objective and consistent)
How do we define class?
age
social class
gender
race
education
network relationships
leisure activities
community organizations
conflicts
religion
Thank you!
International Dialects of English Archives
http://www.dialectsarchive.com/iowa-1
http://www.dialectsarchive.com/north-carolina-18
As we listen to these archives, please listen for

phonological
syntactic
morphological
intonational
lexical

linguistic variables
Did you notice a difference between the former versus the latter portion of the sound clip?
What social variables did you gather from listening to the sound clips?
Stereotype
highly stigmatized
speakers are highly aware and comment
How does the linguistic variable relate to social variation?
one-dimentional (p. 156)
Milroy
frequency of connections
density of connections
may be more accurate reflection than group membership
Interview
casual interview; 'danger of death' question for unfocused speech; readings or minimal pairs for focused speech
http://www.fastcodesign.com/3030529/infographic-of-the-day/hilarious-graphs-prove-that-correlation-isnt-causation#7
Full transcript