Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5cfd469876-kgr8m Total loading time: 0.201 Render date: 2021-06-24T01:25:56.098Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true }

The apparent time construct

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 November 2008

Guy Bailey
Affiliation:
Oklahoma State University
Tom Wikle
Affiliation:
Oklahoma State University
Jan Tillery
Affiliation:
Oklahoma State University
Lori Sand
Affiliation:
Oklahoma State University

Abstract

The use of apparent time differences to study language change in progress has been a basic analytical construct in quantitative sociolinguistics for over 30 years. The basic assumption underlying the construct is that, unless there is evidence to the contrary, differences among generations of similar adults mirror actual diachronic developments in a language: the speech of each generation is assumed to reflect the language more or less as it existed at the time when that generation learned the language. In providing a mirror of real time change, apparent time forms the basis of a conceptual framework for exploring language change in progress. However, the basic assumptions that underlie apparent time have never been fully tested. This article tests those assumptions by comparing apparent time data from two recent random sample telephone surveys of Texas speech with real time data from the Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, which was conducted some 15 years before the telephone surveys. The real time differences between the linguistic atlas data and the data from the telephone surveys provide strong support for the apparent time construct. Whenever apparent time data in the telephone surveys clearly suggest change in progress, the atlas data show substantially fewer innovative forms. Whenever the apparent time data suggest stable variation, the atlas data are virtually identical to that from the more recent surveys. Whenever the relationships between real and apparent time data are unclear, sorting out mitigating factors, such as nativity and subregional residence, clarifies and confirms the relationships. The results of our test of the apparent time construct suggest that it is unquestionably a valid and useful analytical tool.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1991

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below.

References

Bailey, Guy & Bernstein, Cynthia. (1989). Methodology for a phonological survey of Texas. Journal of English Linguistics 22:616.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bailey, Guy & Dyer, Margie. (1992). An approach to sampling in dialectology. American Speech 67:118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bailey, Guy & Tillery, Jan. (forthcoming). The social status of two southernisms. Journal of English Linguistics.Google Scholar
Bailey, Guy, Wikle, Tom, Tillery, Jan & Sand, Lori, (forthcoming). Methodology for a Survey of Oklahoma Dialects. Proceedings of the Mid-America Linguistics Conference.Google Scholar
Bernstein, Cynthia. (1990, 07). A phonological survey of Texas: Cluster analysis of Texas poll data. Paper presented at the International Congress of Dialectologists,Bambery.Google Scholar
Bernstein, Cynthia. (1991, 04). Measuring social causes of phonological variation. Paper presented at the Southeastern Conference on Linguistics,Knoxville.Google Scholar
Chambers, J. K. & Trudgill, Peter. (1980). Dialectology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Gauchat, Louis. (1905). L'unité phonétique dans le patois d'une commune. In Aus Romanischen Sprachen und Literaturen: Festschrift Heinrich Mort. Halle: Max Niemeyer. 175232.Google Scholar
Hermann, M. E. (1929). Lautveränderungen in der Individualsprache einer Mundart. Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen, Philosophisch-historische Klasse 11:195214.Google Scholar
Hockett, Charles F. (1958). A course in modern linguistics. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
Labov, William. (1963). The social motivation of a sound change. Word 19:273309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Labov, William. (1966). The social stratification of English in New York City. Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics.Google Scholar
Labov, William. (1972). Sociolinguistic patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.Google Scholar
Labov, William. (1981). What can be learned about change in progress from synchronic descriptions. In Sankoff, David & Cedergren, Henrietta (eds.), Variation omnibus. Edmonton: Linguistic Research, Inc.Google Scholar
Pederson, Lee, Leas, Susan, Bailey, Guy & Bassett, Marvin. (1981). LAGS: The basic materials. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms.Google Scholar
Pederson, Lee, Leas, Susan, Bailey, Guy & Bassett, Marvin. (1986). Linguistic Atlas of the Gulf States, Vol. 1: Handbook. Athens: University of Georgia Press.Google Scholar
Thibault, Pierrette & Daveluy, Michelle, (1989). Quelques traces du passage du temps dans le parler des Montréalais, 1971–1984. Language Variation and Change 1:1946.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Thomas, Erik & Bailey, Guy. (1990, 10). A phonetic description of monophthongal /ai/. Paper presented at the NWAVE XIX,Philadelphia.Google Scholar
139
Cited by

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The apparent time construct
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

The apparent time construct
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

The apparent time construct
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *