Skip to main content Accesibility Help
×
×
Home

Toward a theory of social dialect variation

  • Anthony S. Kroch (a1)
Extract

Over the past ten years the study of language in its social context has become a mature field with a substantial body of method and empirical results. As a result of this work we are arriving at new insights into such classical problems as the origin and diffusion of linguistic change, the nature of stylistic variation in language use, and the effect of class structure on linguistic variation within a speech community. Advances in sociolinguistics have been most evident in the study of co-variation between social context and the sound pattern of speech. The results reported in numerous monographs have laid the basis for substantial theoretical progress in our understanding of the factors that govern dialect variation in stratified communities, at least in its phonological aspect. The formulation of theories of the causes of phonological variation that go beyond guesswork and vague generalities appears at last to be possible. Therefore, we offer the following discussion, based on the material that is now available, as a contribution to the development of an explanatory theory of the mechanisms underlying social dialect variation. Although we shall state our views strongly, we know that they are far from definitive. We present them, not as positions to be defended at all costs, but as stimuli to further theoretical reflection in a field that has been, thus far, descriptively oriented.

Copyright
References
Hide All
Barber, C. (1964). Linguistic change in present-day English. Birmingham, Alabama: University of Alabama Press.
Bloomfield, L. (1933). Language. London: George Allen and Unwin.
Bloomfield, L. (1964). Literature and illiterate speech. In Hymes, D. (ed), Language in culture and society. New York: Harper and Row.
Bright, W. (1960) Linguistic change in some Indian caste dialects. In Ferguson, C. and Gumperz, J. (eds), Linguistic diversity in South Asia. (Publication of the Research Center in Anthropology, Folklore and Linguistics, No. 13.) Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Bright, W. (1964). Social Dialect and Language History. In Hymes, D.(ed.), Language in culture and society. New York: Harper and Row.
Bright, W. & Ramanujan, A. K. (1964). Socio-linguistic variation and language change. In Lunt, H. (ed.), Proceedings of the Ninth International Congress of Linguists. The Hague: Mouton.
Cedergren, H. (1970) Patterns of free variation: the language variable. Mimeo.
Chen, M. & Wang, W. (1975). Sound change: actuation and implementation. Language 51. 225–81.
Chomsky, N. & Halle, M. (1968). The sound pattern of English. New York: Harper and Row.
Ferguson, C. & Gumperz, J. (eds) (1960). Linguistic diversity in South Asia. (Publication of the Research Center in Anthropology, Folklore and Linguistics, No. 13.) Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Fischer, J. L. (1964). Social influence in the choice of a linguistic variant. In Hymes, D. (ed.), Language in culture and society. New York: Harper and Row.
Fowler, H. W. (1944) A dictionary of modern English usage. Oxford University Press.
Guy, G. & Braga, M. L. (1976). Number concordance in Brazilian Portuguese. Paper presented at the fifth annual Conference on New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Hymes, D. (1964). Language in Culture and Society. New York: Harper and Row.
Joos, M. (1952). The medieval sibilants. Language 28, 222–31.
Kemp, W. & Pupier, P. (1976). Socially based variability in consonant cluster reduction rules. Paper presented at the fifth annual Conference on New Ways of Analyzing Variation in English at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.
Labov, W. (1966) The social stratfication of English in New York City. Washington, D.C.: Center for Applied Linguistics.
Labov, W. (1972). Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Labov, W. (1974). Language change as a form of communication. In Silverstein, M. (ed.), Human communication: theoretical explorations. Hillsdale, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates
Labov, W., Yaeger, M. & Steiner, R. (1972). A quantitative study of sound change in progress. (Report on contract NSF-GS-3287.) Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania.
Lieberman, P. (1973). On the evolution of language: a unified view. Cognition 2. 5994.
Lindblom, B. (1963) On vowel reduction. Report 29 of the Speech Transmission Laboratory. Stockholm: Royal Institute of Technology.
Lindblom, B. (1971). Phonetics and the description of language. Mimeo.
Mahl, G. (1972). People talking when they can't hear their voices. In Siegman, P. and Pope, B. (eds), Studies in dyadic communication. New York: Pergamon Press.
Miller, P. (1972). Vowel neutralization and vowel reduction. In Peranteau, P., Levi, J., and Phares, G. (eds.) Papers from the Eighth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
Postal, P. (1968). Aspects of phonological theory. New York: Harper and Row.
Schane, S. (1972). Natural rules in phonology. In Stockwell, R. and Macaulay, J. (eds), Linguistic change and generative theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Schogt, H. G. (1961). La notion de loi dans la phonétique historique. Lingua 10. 7292.
Shuy, R., Wolfram, W. & Riley, W. (1967). A study of social dialects in Detroit. Washington, D.C.: Office of Education.
Stampe, D. (1972). On the natural history of diphthongs. In Petanteau, P., Lavi, J., and Phares, C. (eds.). Papers from the Eighth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
Trudgill, P. (1974). The social differentiation of English in Norwich. Cambridge University Press.
Weinreich, U., Labov, W. & Herzog, M. (1968). Empirical foundations for a theory of language change. In Lehmann, W. and Malkiel, Y. (eds), Directions for historical linguistics. Austin: University of Texas Press.
White, D. (1972). Social dialect formation. Unpublished ms.
Wolfe, P. (1972). Linguistic change and the Great Vowel Shift in English. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Zwicky, A. (1972). On casual speech. In Peranteau, P., Levi, J., and Phares, C. (eds.). Papers from the Eighth Regional Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Language in Society
  • ISSN: 0047-4045
  • EISSN: 1469-8013
  • URL: /core/journals/language-in-society
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed