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Style-shifting in a Cardiff work-setting

  • Nikolas Coupland (a1)

Despite ample evidence which proves the existence of stylistic stratification in the speech of monoliguals, little is know about the nature of stylistic variation in everyday settings. Data from a Cardiff travel agency suggest that a speaker's stylistic repertoire can be statistically characterised using a method that combines Labov's frequency-counts of linguistic variants and Hymes' and others' taxonomies of situational components. A second study using subjects' responses to stylistic variation in the original data overcomes certain limitations inherent in the correlational method. It shows how style-shifting can be a dynamic resource for a speaker, not necessarily the automatic correlate of contextual features. (Stylistic variation; sociolinguistic variables in Cardiff English; linguistic repertoire; reactions to style.)

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Language in Society
  • ISSN: 0047-4045
  • EISSN: 1469-8013
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