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Ch. 6 Language Variation
Transcript of Ch. 6 Language Variation
Social Class Membership
Data Collection and Analysis
How do we obtain data that allows us to answer our Research Questions?
What phonological linguistic variables did you hear?
Ch. 6 Language Variation
informs diachronic (i.e. historical) linguistics
informs society regarding their dialect
The Rhenish Fan
Ceceo, Seseo and Ceseo boundaries
The pail-bucket isogloss
survey (face-to-face, online, mail)
may be very focused or
may be very broad
elderly and untraveled persons preferred
rural areas preferred
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)
will the necessary data obtain from the sampling?
how will data be coded and analyzed?
Definition: "a linguistic item which has identifiable variants" (Wardhaugh & Fuller 2015, p. 149)
with vs. wit vs. wif
-ing vs. -in
fists vs. fistes / costs vs. costes
quick vs. quickly
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
circularity (p. 154)
generalizability (p. 155)
Observer's Paradox (Labov 1972)
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)
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
"The greatest challenge to any thinking is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution." --Bertrand Russel
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?
International Dialects of English Archives
As we listen to these archives, please listen for
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?
speakers are highly aware and comment
How does the linguistic variable relate to social variation?
one-dimentional (p. 156)
frequency of connections
density of connections
may be more accurate reflection than group membership
casual interview; 'danger of death' question for unfocused speech; readings or minimal pairs for focused speech