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4. Variationist Sociolinguistics


Subject Linguistics

Place Eastern Asia » Japan

Key-Topics variation

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631234944.2001.00006.x


The present chapter is intended to provide a synthesis of the field called variationist Sociolinguistics that began in the 1960s. Within the framework proposed by Weinreich et al. (1968), attempts have been made to study linguistic change and variation in different speech communities around the world with a perspective which views the linguistic system in a fundamentally different way from any of the preceding models (Labov 1963, 1966). In this researc tradition, the most important development towards an understanding of linguistic change has been made by recognizing that historical change in progress is manifested as synchronic variation. Variationist research conducted in the past thirty years has shown that variation found in linguistic data is highly systematic and furthermore variation which occurs in the speech of individuals exhibits a regular pattern. Viewed from a traditional standpoint, linguistic variation might be regarded as mere chaos. Labov and his associates, on the other hand, have proposed the notion of orderly heterogeneity. In this school of linguistic analysis, it is believed that the investigation of the linguistic analysis of individuals within their speech community is directly relevant to diachronic linguistics. The next section begins with the discussion of the standard methodology. The section describes the data collection procedures and reviews the study ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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