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Lecture: Sociolinguistics Professor Dr. Neal R.

Norrick _____________________________________


Universitt des Saarlandes Dept. 4.3: English Linguistics WS 2008/09

Organization Website: script, bibliography, PowerPoint presentation attendance, quiz, certificates/credits

1. Introduction
1.1 What is Sociolinguistics? Sociolinguistics is the study of language in relation to society.

Sociolinguistics studies: the social importance of language to groups of people, from small sociocultural groups to entire nations and commonwealths language as part of the character of a nation, a culture, a sub-culture the development of national standard languages and their relation to regional and local dialects attitudes toward variants and choice of which to use where

how individual ways of speaking reveal membership in social groups: working class versus middle class, urban versus rural, old versus young, female versus male how certain varieties and forms enjoy prestige, while others are stigmatized ongoing change in the forms and varieties of language, interrelationships between varieties
See Trudgill's "two Englishmen on a train" story

Sociolinguistics also studies: language structures in relation to interaction how speakers construct identities through discourse in interaction with one another how speakers and listeners use language to define their relationship and establish the character and direction of their talk how talk conveys attitudes about the context, the participants and their relationship in terms of membership, power and solidarity

Compare: Could I ask you to bring me the paint, please? Get me the paint, wouldja?

how listeners interpret talk and draw inferences from it about the ongoing interaction Sociolinguists describe how language works in society to better understand society, but also to investigate the social aspect of language to better understand its use, structure and development

1.2 The Sociolinguistics of Society versus the Sociolinguistics of Language The Sociolinguistics of Society concerns the role of languages in societies:
societal multilingualism attitudes toward national languages and dialects language planning, language choice, language shift, language death, language education

The Sociolinguistics of Language concerns language function and variation in the social context of the speech community:
forms of address speech acts and speech events language and gender, language and power, politeness, language, thought and reality language varieties and change

My treatment of Sociolinguistics of Society will focus on England, USA and Commonwealth nations Main focus on the Sociolinguistics of Language: particularly forms, functions and varieties of English Labov and Trudgill as premiere sociolinguists hence: variation in New York City, Black English, language and social stratification in Norwich Really we'll be doing the Sociolinguistics of English

1.3 Sociolinguistics within Linguistics Sociolinguistics as "hyphenated linguistics" compare:

psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, cognitive linguistics, computational linguistics

Sociolinguistics as interdisciplinary:
roots in dialect geography anthropology and sociology philosophy of language linguistic pragmatics and discourse analysis

Since language is the basic vehicle of social cohesion and interaction, any linguistics should be sociolinguistics As Labov puts it: sociolinguistics is "a somewhat misleading use of an oddly redundant term language always exists in varieties language is always changing any adequate linguistic theory should be sociolinguistic describing variation by speaker, class, region and time failure to account for variation and change should render a linguistic description useless but Sociolinguistics outside "mainstream linguistics" till recently

1.4 Saussure's dichotomies and non-socio-linguistics The Neo-Grammarians (Junggrammatiker) insisted:

speakers are unaware of change and change can not be observed in progress

Saussure inaugurated "modern linguistics" around 1900, distinguishing synchronic and diachronic linguistics This useful distinction in the 1900s became a program for ignoring the fundamentally dynamic nature of language Like binary distinctions generally, this dichotomy privileged one half of the pair, namely synchronic linguistics

Saussure also distinguished langue and parole This dichotomy privileged langue, the language as a system, and marginalized parole, language in use

this distinction became a program for ignoring the fundamentally social and behavioral nature of language

Linguistics as the synchronic study of langue:

language as an abstraction without variation by speaker, region or time language as a non-cultural, non-social, static, depersonalized fact independent of context and discourse

"Saussurian Paradox"
If we all share knowledge of the communal langue, one can obtain all the data necessary for linguistic description from a single person--perhaps oneself; but one can obtain data on individualistic parole only by studying linguistic behavior in the community. The social aspect of language is studied by observing a single speaker, but the individual aspect only by observing language in its social context. Labov (1972: 185-87)

"categorial" versus "variationist" views with regard to language history and description: Phonological: room with long u as in pool with short u as in book -ing with velar nasal ng (-ing) with alveolar nasal n (-in)


1.5 Development of Sociolinguistics in USA Structuralist linguistic theory in US (like Saussure)

stressed synchronic study of langue focused on the system of language

American structuralism also followed Logical Positivism Bloomfield insisted on scientific linguistics
linguistic description as mathematical formal rules discrete input and output no variables or "free variation"

But in descriptions of native Amerindian languages, social factors appeared as part of the anthropological context

from late 1950's, Chomsky's generative transformational grammar further marginalized sociolinguistics grammar as creative aspect of language and the center of linguistic attention restatement of Saussure's dichotomy of langue and parole as a distinction between competence and performance
Competence: language user's innate knowledge of grammar, and the only proper object of linguistic research Performance: disorganized, error-ridden talk not amenable to systematic description

the speaker was "an ideal speaker-listener, in a completely homogeneous speech community, who knows its language perfectly" (Chomsky 1965: 3)

These idealizations:
banished variation from linguistics removed talk from society and local context made language an abstraction

But Ethnography of Speaking recognized:

language functions and speech events linguistic behavior, social function, context

Communicative competence versus Chomsky's grammatical competence

Dialect geographers (or dialectologists, areal linguists) continued to describe systematic variation by region Sociological research on language and society:
Fishman on language contact, societal multilingualism Goffman, Sacks on language in social interaction

From mid 1960's: Sociolinguistics of language:

Weinreich, Labov Urban dialectology, Black English Vernacular Linguistic Pragmatics, conversation analysis Interactional Sociolinguistics

1.6 Development of Sociolinguistics in UK Linguistic theory in UK never really followed Saussure; philological tradition and applied linguistics in language teaching and anthropology Dichotomies of synchronic and diachronic, langue and parole not systematically observed

phatic communion as social meaning context of situation basis of meaning

context of situation central to meaning meaning central to language description conversation as key to understanding language

interpersonal meaning alongside ideational Language as a social semiotic

Trudgill: social stratification and variation Sinclair, Crystal, Quirk et al.:

conversational organization transactional analysis

2. Linguistic Variation
Variation through time: stages or periods of a language
Old English 449-1150 Middle English 1150-1500

Variation in space: regional dialects

English as spoken in Norwich, Norfolk, New England, New York City

Variation by group: sociolects (social dialects)

English as spoken by upper working class women in Norwich, by saleswomen in New York department stores

Variation by situation: register

English as spoken in television sports reporting as written in business letters in personal e-mail

variation even occurs in the speech of a particular person from a particular place in a particular group and situation so varieties often differ by high versus low probability for specific items (this indicates necessity of counting!)

variety = set of linguistic items with characteristic social distribution

Varieties may differ in any kind of linguistic item: pronunciation, word choice, word form and syntax
Working class men in Norwich tend to pronounce thin and thing the same way in conversation BE speakers say tube, while AE speakers say subway White rural speakers in the Midwest U.S. say She come home yesterday instead of the standard She came home yesterday Black vernacular speakers say I aks her did she know him, while standard speakers say I asked her if she knew him

Sociolinguistic Variables are particular items known to reflect particular social contrasts
Presence or absence of 3rd person singular -s in constructions like: she goes versus she go

Presence or absence of [r] in pronunciations of words and phrases like: theater theater is the idea of

Again we find patterns of variation

from group to group from one speaker to the next from one style to the next in the group

(again indicates necessity for quantification)

2.1 Class and style In sociolinguistic studies, class is determined by rating status characteristics like occupation, education, residence, and income on numerical scales Styles reflect different degrees of formality and awareness of speakers about how they're speaking versus what they're saying Most formal is word list style, next reading style, then careful style as in an interview, and finally casual style A particular sociolinguistic variable will display class stratification across social classes and styles, as shown in diagrams like the one below

Labov (1972: 239) ing

In every style, class members differ predictably In every class, style shifting occurs predictably the same variable distinguishes classes and styles a single signal has no fixed value a single variable may mark
a casual middle-class speaker a careful lower-class speaker

Syntactic, morphological and phonological factors: monosyllabic verb sing indefinite something present participle suffix ing at the end of a phrase preceding a vowel preceding a consonant She tried to find something She tried to find something in town She tried to find something she liked

2.2 Variation and change Some variation leads to permanent change one variant gains acceptance and others disappear

The "embedding problem"

describe the matrix of social and linguistic behavior (changes and constants) in which language change takes place

Linguistic factors
Universal constraints on change (based on past changes)
front vowels tend to rise stop consonants tend to lose voicing

Local changes may affect the whole system, e.g.

change in diphthong /ay/ leads to parallel change in /aw/

Social factors:
group member with high prestige provides model pressure from outside group encourages solidary behavior

2.3 Prestige and stigmatization

Change begins as irregular fluctuation below level of conscious awareness no stylistic stratification When variation comes to conscious awareness, due to association with certain groups or speakers, one variant gains prestige, another is stigmatized Pronouncing "aitches" versus "dropping aitches" in words like hotel and house

General axiom of sociolinguistic structure:

uniform agreement in subjective reactions to a variable correlate with regular stratification one finds stylistic stratification speakers use more prestige variants in careful styles than in casual styles

hypercorrection speakers insert prestige variants where they don't belong (where prestige speakers don't use them) pronouncing "aitches" in words like honor, hour and if

2.4 The actuation of change "The actuation problem" What sets change in motion? Social factors account for change in a general way, e.g. A. Pressure from new group produces greater solidarity in original group, and members signal this through distinctive behavior, including speech patterns B. Commuters accommodate speech patterns to focal point, usually a major city, and introduce patterns at home C. "Linguistic missionaries" return from living in focal point city with high status and new speech patterns

Linguistic factors may favor certain changes

regularizing a pattern like /ay/ causing parallel change in /aw/

but even taken together they can't predict that change will occur or in which direction even knowing the linguistic and social matrix doesn't explain why one specific feature changes and another doesn't

pronunciation of vowel in words like craft

changed from [] in OE to [a] in ME back to [] in EModE back to [a] in the 18th Century (in southern England, but not in America or northern England)

speakers in southwest England drop -r in posh pronunciation, careful speakers in NYC are reintroducing the sound historically stigmatized constructions like the comparative and superlative forms funner and funnest become standard in the course of a single generation (in AE)

2.5 Variable rules Language as a system of rules

Constitutive rules versus regulative rules

Assume full forms are stored in memory and reduced in speech, e.g. by rules for contraction: She + is she's we + have + been we've been and by rules for deletion: we've been we been last + time las' time

Phonological rule for final consonant cluster simplification, as in las' time: C / C ___ ## C Read: delete a consonant following a consonant at the end of a word, if the next word begins with a consonant.

Some dialects allow consonant cluster simplification even if the next word begins with a vowel, as in las' of all, so we could write: C / C ___ ##
This rule fails to say that deletion is far more likely before a consonant than a vowel - in every dialect; so we need variable rules, relating differences in application to differences in the environment, as in: C <> / C ___ ## <C> Read: delete a consonant following a consonant at the end of a word, more often before a consonant than a vowel.

In addition, the rule is far less likely if the consonant to be deleted represents the past tense suffix -t,d, as in: liked [laykt] seemed [simd]) This suggests a revision of the rule as: C <> / C <~#> ___ ## <C> Read: delete a consonant following a consonant at the end of a word, more often if there's no morpheme boundary between the consonants, and more often before a consonant than a vowel.

Further, deletion is more likely for speakers of Black Vernacular than for white speakers, and more likely for younger speakers than for older speakers. Labov itemizes such constraints on variable rules in tables includes both internal linguistic factors and external social factors

Labov 1972: 222

Thus variable rules can describe the behavior of a sociolinguistic variable for a whole speech community.

3. The social motivation of language change (Labov 1972b)

Till Labov, no one had tried to explain language change When linguists described change, they cited internal (systematic linguistic), not external (social) factors Linguists claimed language change was imperceptible, its origins obscure to speakers and linguistics alike (Saussure: language as mutable and immutable) Linguists claimed language change proceeded from above, from higher classes to lower classes

But according to popular belief, vernacular speakers cause language change, or language deterioration, through lack of education, laziness, unclear thinking
Double negation: She never saw nobody try it aint for am not, arent, isnt, hasnt, havent I aint going, she aint seen them, it aint me

so-called language experts see change as corruption any deviation from standard is undesirable standard language is pure, better, more logical than dialects

Labov's questions:

What causes language change? Internal versus external factors in change? Who propagates language change? Does it really proceed from above? How can language change be imperceptible if people talk about undesirable features and changes in progress? Is language change dysfunctional or does it have positive influence? Why do some groups maintain stigmatized features after centuries of condemnation?

3.1 Social motivation versus free variation: A case study of Martha's Vineyard, Massachussetts In structuralist and generative phonology, sounds (phonemes) written in / / to show variation is irrelevant Audible differences count as "free variation" Labov writes sounds in ( ) to show variation has social significance Apparent "free variation" increasingly tied to groups and attitudes as analysis progresses

Case study: Martha's Vineyard Island off Massachussetts coast, separate from mainland Clear social structure: natives versus summer residents Variables: (r) as elsewhere in New England Diphthongs (ay aw) with clear local pattern




Note quick rise, esp. in (aw) variable, for younger speakers table comparing four 15-year-old students

Interviews include questions to determine attitudes about Martha's Vineyard and staying on the island.

centralized diphthong marks identification as native islander rather than as "Yankee" (of English descent)

Labov describes the stages of language change as:

Apparently, pressure from outside causes language change as a mechanism of group identity. Immediate group status plays primary role, not status within culture as a whole, i.e. not from above as such Internal factors may play a role in spreading change: change in (ay) stimulates parallel change in (aw) Members of language community aren't explicitly aware which features are in flux (though they may identify someone's speech as "fishermen's talk" or "dockworkers' talk") But linguists can see change in progress; it's especially clear in diagrams calibrated for age differences

3.2 Social stratification in New York

Hypothesis: any two subgroups of NYC speakers ranked on a scale of social stratification will be ranked in the same order by their differential use of (r) Retroflex pronunciation of (r) is a change from above, reflecting pattern of national standard stigmatizing the traditional r-lessness of NYC speech
Note: loss of r in New York City was also change from above, borrowing r-less pattern from London speech in early 1800s

Rapid and anonymous speech events as data Employees of three large department stores as test group:
Sacks Macy's S. Klein

Department stores ranked by pricing, advertising, wages, working conditions, physical appearance of store


Ask question to elicit answer fourth floor Say excuse me to elicit emphatic response

This gives four variants:

Preceding final consonant and word final Casual and emphatic

Less differentiation shows greater security as a speaker Greater differentiation shows less security as a speaker

Compare just white, native born saleswomen:

Advantages of rapid and anonymous interviews

Easy access, breadth of data

Disadvantages of rapid and anonymous interviews

Not much differentiation between styles

Reading aloud and word list needed

In follow-up interviews Labov found for the (r) variable:

for a white female Sacks employee STYLE A B C D 00 03 23 53 % retroflex r STYLE A = casual, STYLE B = interview, STYLE C = reading, STYLE D = word list
for a Jewish male taxi driver STYLE A B C 12 15 46

D 100

% retroflex r

for a Black middle class female STYLE A B C D 00 31 44 69

% retroflex r

Cross-over pattern in diagram of multiple styles and social classes: Second highest class typically displays cross-over pattern, hypercorrection and hypersensitivity

3.3 Social variation, language structure and change Based on research on Martha's Vineyard and in NYC, Labov summarizes "Mechanism of language change"

1. Change from below originates in subgroup due to external pressure. 2. Change begins as generalization of feature to all members of the subgroup. The variable acts as indicator of membership, and it shows no stylistic variation. 3. Succeeding generations carry variable beyond the model set by parents (=hypercorrection from below). 4. The variable becomes a marker showing stylistic variation.

5. Movement of variable in system leads to readjustments in system, and hence to new change. 6. Other subgroups interpret first change as part of community system and new change as stage 1. This recycling stage is primary source for continual origination of new changes. 7. If the change did not originate in the highest-status group, this group will stigmatize the change through control of institutions and communication network. 8. The highest-status group provides prestige model for all speakers. The variable now shows social stratification as well as stylistic variation.

9. Speakers shift, especially in careful styles, to imitate the

prestige model (=hypercorrection from above). 10. Extreme stigmatization can lead to stereotype, and the stigmatized form may disappear. 11. Change originating in highest-class group (change from above) usually represents borrowing or influence from outside community. 12. When change originates in highest-class group, it becomes prestige model for all speakers. The change is then adopted by other groups in proportion to their contact with the users of the prestige model.

3.4 Change and Gender Women as traditional caregivers have special influence over propagation of change Women usually lead in change from above, while men usually lead change from below. Women show greater stylistic shifting, esp. to imitate the prestige model (=hypercorrection from above). Within a single class, women use more prestige forms, fewer stigmatized forms.

3.5 Attitudes toward variation and change Evaluation of variants are uniform across classes and groups; they assign character traits to speakers and groups, e.g.
New York dialect sounds impolite and tough Bostonian sounds refined and snooty Southern drawl sounds lazy and ignorant

Those who use highest degree of stigmatized form also condemn it most

Pre-adolescents are aware of prestige and stigmatized forms, they monitor their speech accordingly; they usually settle back into established class patterns lower class group know prestige forms, but choose not to use them; they continue to use forms they know to be stigmatized covert norms opposed to those of the middle class; attribute positive values to use of the vernacular

3.6 Language change as positive influence Language change as deterioration and leveling of distinctions is only half the story; change also introduces new distinctions and features Language change must have value for the group, because it requires extra learning and monitoring of forms; change from below strengthens position of vernacular Language change appears dysfunctional only if we view language as a purely ideational system; for language to serve as a social marker, it must have variation and undergo change

4. Black English Vernacular (Labov 1972a)

Black English Vernacular (BEV) versus Nonstandard Negro English (cf. Ebonics) Labov began from failure of Blacks in school, esp. in reading BEV as fully elaborated system but also symbol of conflict Participant-observer in Black street gangs (Ethnomethodology) BEV as regional southern dialect becoming class/ethnic marker in northern cities BEV versus Standard American English (SAE)

Phonological differences: 1. r-lessness (like New England, New York, the South) no post-vocalic r, e.g. in sore, fort so that sore = saw fort = fought but BEV may not pronounce r even between vowels, as in: Carol, terrace which sound just like Cal, test

and BEV may not pronounce r after th, as in: throw through throat

2. l-lessness (no post-vocalic l) so that toll = toe all = awe

fault = fought

3. Simplification of consonant clusters e.g. -st -ft -nt -nd -ld -zd -md in passed past soft bent bend hold raised aimed so that past = pass meant = men hold = hole Note: Consonant cluster simplification can combine with l-lessness to yield: told = toll = toe

4. Other consonant variables Some single consonants are glottalized or lost completely: seat = seed = see poor = poke = pope

Final th realized as /f/ or /v/: death = deaf Ruth = roof

Grammatical correlates of phonological variables 1. Missing possessives (through cluster simplification, loss of final r) Mick book they book you book 2. Missing future markers (through loss of final l) you'll = you they'll = they he'll = he but gonna I'm'na I'ma

3. Missing copula, except with I you're = you they're = they he's = he but I'm 4. Missing past tense markers (through loss of final t d following consonants) passed = past = pass fined = find = fine but irregular forms remain: told/tol' kept/kep'

4.1 BEV as a separate system BEV negative inversion: Ain't nobody gone let you walk Don't nobody break up a fight Embedded questions retain inversion in BEV (without complementizers if and whether): I asked Alvin could he go She asked us did we know how

BEV loss of r even before vowels, as in: our own and word-internally, as in: borrow (= bow) unlike any white New York dialect, BEV consonant cluster simplification yields a distinct tense paradigm: SAE BEV kicks kick tells tell kicked kick told tol'

Also special BEV tense and aspect forms:

Habitual be in: she always be messing around If you be beating on him, he cry she done left him I been know you a long time

Intensive done in: Extended time been in:

Contraction and deletion of copula: Where SAE can contract is/are, BEV can delete them, and where SAE can't contract is/are, BEV can't delete them: SAE SAE SAE SAE she's the first one she's wild, though you're out of the game *here he's/they're BEV BEV BEV BEV she the first one she wild, though you out the game *here he/they

Labov (1972: 64) concludes: "The gears and axles of English grammatical machinery are available to speakers of all dialects." He explicitly rejects BEV as "dialect mixing" performance General Principle of Accountability: any variable form must be reported with the proportion of cases where the form occurred in the relevant environment compared with the number where it might have occurred

Labov accepts categorial challenge of describing a homogeneous speech community this makes it necessary to account for community variation in explicit rules Labov may be seen as overreacting to formalism of generative grammar and to claim that BEV is a separate, creolized language (and hence inferior to Standard English)

4.2 Variability and variable rules To describe BEV, Labov invented variable rules The rule for contracting the copula (am/is/are) favored by:
a preceding pronoun versus a full noun a preceding vowel or glide versus a consonant a following verb, esp. gonna

thus contraction is most likely in: she's gonna/they're gonna far less likely in: Ruth's tough/life's tough and we could assign values to the probability of contraction for each environment and for different styles

The BEV rule deleting contracted forms ('s/'re but not 'm) is favored by:
a preceding consonant versus a vowel a preceding pronoun a following verb, esp. gonna

thus deletion is most likely in: it gonna and somewhat less likely in: they gonna again we could assign values to the probability of deletion for each environment and for different styles

As formulated in Labov's variable rules, BEV is a dialect of SAE with its own characteristic constraints on general rules. Variable rules are integrated into the community grammar, they operate within general grammatical categories, so that they must represent competence (rather than performance). Thus, the grammar of the speech community as a whole is more regular than the grammar of any dialect or member. Variation is part of competence: knowing a language means knowing what varies, how and when.

4.3 Members versus lames, system versus ideolect Lames are relative outsiders who act as informants for linguists and sociologists to avoid the Observer's Paradox Observer's Paradox: How can we observe the way people act/speak when they're not being observed? When members leave group, they generally orient toward SAE and away from BEV; they lose insider's knowledge of the group and its folklore, their intuitions are no longer trustworthy

Labov found for lames versus members of Black street gangs: For ing versus in: Lames use 25% ing members use 4% ing For contraction and deletion of is/are: Contraction about the same: lames 65% members 73% But deletion: lames 12% members 52% For 3rd person does versus do, doesn't versus don't doesn't: lames 36% members 3% does: lames 13% members 0 In each case the lames were closer to or even the same as white SAE speakers.

Linguists themselves tend to be lames vis-a-vis their own speech community, they are bad informants on their own dialect even if some intuitions are correct, we can check them only by researching the real community This leads back to the participant-observer within group to overcome Observer's Paradox (as ethnomethodology suggests). Only members are embedded in community, practice its language skills and folklore

Labov turns to members and their folklore

to defend BEV as systematic and valuable to find clear examples of BEV unaffected by SAE

Hence: investigation of soundings/dozens and fight stories

4.4 Analyzing narratives Labov became interested in narrative as community folklore and as a source of natural BEV speech unaffected by observer Narrative as method of recapitulating past experience by matching a verbal sequence of clauses to the sequence of events reported.

narrative as a sequence of past tense clauses sequentially ordered with respect to each other, minimal narrative as at least two such clauses So he get all upset. Then I fought him. Reversing the order destroys the sequence as a narrative proper--or changes it into a different story: Then I fought him. So he get all upset.

Beyond skeleton of temporally ordered narrative clauses, other free clauses are typically found in stories, assigned to specific function elements: Abstract: answers the question What was this about? Orientation: answers the questions Who, what, when, where? Complicating action Evaluation: answers the question So what? Resolution: answers the question What finally happened? Coda: puts off any further questions about what happened or why it mattered.

A "fight story" illustrates the central elements ABSTRACT A When I was in fourth grade--no--it was third grade-There was this boy, he stole my glove.

ORIENTATION B He took my glove, C and say that his father found it downtown on the ground.

COMPLICATING ACTION D I told him that he--it's impossible for him to find downtown, 'cause all those people were walking by, and just his father is the only one that find it? E So he get all upset. F Then I fought him. G I knocked him out all in the street. H So he say he give. I And I kept on hitting him. J Then he start crying K And run home to his father.

RESOLUTION L And his father told him, he ain't find no glove.

Labov identifies the primary sequence with the most explicit statement of the a-then-b relation, as: D E F G H I J K I told him that he . . . So he get all upset. Then I fought him. I knocked him out all in the street. So he say he give. And I kept on hitting him. Then he start crying And run home to his father.

Evaluation particularly important

establishes the point of interest emphasizes its unusual character demonstrates the teller's involvement with event reported elicits interest and belief from listeners

EVALUATION Semantic: Explains teller's attitude, suspends action D I told him that he--it's impossible for him to find downtown, 'cause all those people were walking by, and just his father is the only one that find it? Symbolic action: Hitting someone after he says he gives indicates the teller's anger was great H So he say he give. I And I kept on hitting him.

External: Statement by third person L And his father told him, he ain't find no glove.

5. Developmental linguistics
By contrast with Labov, view of variation as one property of a language system Developmental linguistics is a comprehensive linguistic theory
it includes variation and change as central facts of language relates them to language acquisition, language death, pidginization and creolization

C.-J. Bailey (1973, 1982 etc) sees sociocommunicational factors like ethnicity, gender, style etc balancing neurobiological factors in language development

Sociocommunicational factors depend on local speech community Neurobiological factors are universal and appear in language acquisition and loss, pidginization and creolization, e.g.Marking (or Markedness), as in:

Unmarked /t, d, n/ initial Marked /k, g, ng/ initial

/k, g, ng/ final in syllable /t, d, n/ final in syllable

Unmarked terms acquired first, lost last; found in more languages; more robust in language contact

Usually, marked term predicts presence of unmarked term, e.g. syllable initial /k/ syllable initial /t/ In Developmental Linguistics:
Rules form a panlectal grammar predictive for language acquisition and change Categories are gradient, not just + or variation is built into rules

gradient morpheme boundary in the rule for consonant cluster simplification cited above: C <> / C <~#> ___ ## <C>

says deletion becomes more likely as the morpheme boundary becomes less clear from laughed to leftPst Tns to leftAdv to draft

rules reflect neurobiological influences, they describe connatural change, versus abnatural change due to sociocommunicational influence

6. Community of Practice (CoP)

Communities of Practice (Wenger 1998) fishermen on Marthas Vineyard members of a Black street gang We all participate in various CoPs:
in the family at home at work at school in casual groups and organizations

CoP ways of speaking are the most closely coordinated CoP is the primary place for doing gender; for constructing social identity generally

Newer research on variation focuses on the CoP and the social meaning of speech styles (based on linguistic variables) By contrast, Labovs correlational sociolinguistics
uses survey and quantitative methods examines correlations between linguistic variability and major demographic categories (class, age, sex class, ethnicity) develops the "big picture" of the social spread of sound change across groups and regions.

Later variation studies describe the relation between variation and local, participant-designed categories. give local meaning to the demographic categories, still focus on some kind of speech community, examine linguistic variables in their role as local/regional dialect features

Newest research oriented to CoP views practices and styles, rather than variables, as directly associated with identity categories explores the contributions of variables to styles takes social meaning as primary examines any linguistic material with a social/stylistic purpose (not just changes in progress) often explores the style in relation to gender

Eckert (1998) shows how adolescents use language practices to construct their social (gendered) identity if CoP (rather than class) defines speech style, its no surprise that women and men in the same class display different styles. re-interpret Labovs findings on Marthas Vineyard:
Fishermen as members of a CoP use vowel quality to express social meaning other islanders orient toward the shift to position themselves socially

female identities and alignment among members of CoP Notice: repetition, overlap, markers of agreement, tags, details, dialogue

TIPSY Annie: and I always thought that her and Vance just were great [together.] Jean: [yeah.] used to [get s-] Helen: [they were both] good. Annie: yeah. they were really good. Jean: you could go over there around the holidays and get smashed before you left [the place.] Helen: [oh yeah.] Jean: we used to have the last appointment, right? remember, the two of us would go? Annie: yeah, yeah.


Annie: Jean:

Annie: Jean: Annie: Jean: Annie:


"want some wine girls?" "sure we'll have a glass of wine." you walk out of there you're half tipsy. you were under the dryers. well sure. and he'd be pouring the wine and we were tipsy by the time we walked out of that place. then he moved all the way out at Rand Road. near the town show, remember? yeah. [we went there.] [we used to go there.] and then we went on to Union Road, when he was there. yeah. yeah. we followed him around.

7. Ethnography of communication
Ethnography of communication (or Ethnography of speaking) studies uses, patterns and functions of speaking as an activity in concrete social settings in the speech community Defining speech community:
shared rules for speaking and shared speech variety we all inhabit different, overlapping speech communities

Methodology: participant-observer description Etic versus Emic (from phonetic versus phonemic) Communicative competence versus Chomsky's grammatical competence

7.1 Language functions Bhler (1933) "Organon Modell": 3 factors, 3 functions

Malinowski (1935): phatic communion, interaction, magic language as instrument in "context of situation" Jakobson (1960): 6 factors, 6 functions

Hymes (1962, 1964): extends Jakobson, expands Reference into: Topic & Setting (hence: referential & contextual functions) splits Sender into Speaker and Addressor

7.2 Speech acts and speech events Speech situation: scene (cultural) and setting (physical) Speech event: within Speech situation, composed of Speech acts Speech act: minimal unit of speech event By contrast with turns, pairs, sentences etc

For example: speech situation market place conversation ceremony

speech event transaction story prayer

speech act offer preface invocation

Components defining speech events: Participants: Addressor, Addressee, Audience Form: dialect, variety, register Ends: purpose of event, goals of participants Key: mock versus serious, perfunctory versus painstaking

Form: dialect, register etc Dialect is "what you speak" based on "who you are," i.e. where you were born/where you live, your age, group memberships etc; Register is "what you are speaking" based on "what you are doing," i.e. the particular activity and context Genre: poem, proverb, lecture, advertisement Norms: "no gap, no overlap" in conversation, "speak only when you're spoken to" for children

The SPEAKING GRID: a schema of the components of speech

SITUATION: setting scene physical circumstances psychological setting; subjective definition of an occasion speaker or sender / address or hearer or receiver or audience / addressee outcomes purpose of the event from cultural point of view goal purposes of individual participants message form and content tone and manner Channel verbal, non-verbal, physical Form variety of language drawn from community repertoire of interaction of interpretation Textual categories




Apply the Speaking Grid to various speech events

written invitation to child's birthday party internet chat room interaction talk at work telephone sex

8. Interactional Sociolinguistics
Interactional Sociolinguistics grows out of Ethnography of Speaking and Sociology of everyday life, esp. the notion of the participant-observer

8.1 Sociology of everyday life Order at every level of interaction Garfinkle, Goffman Through ways of speaking we define ourselves and our relationships with others we present a self for ratification in interaction, and we take a line (or stance) Goffman defines face as the positive social value a person claims by the line others assume he/she has taken: we can save face or lose face in interaction

Social interaction is then face work

we have face wants and needs positive face: desire to be liked negative face: desire to be left alone

interaction may threaten our face in various ways some acts are inherently face threatening acts (ftas) e.g. requests, invitations the requester risks loss of face, if addressee refuses, but addressee also loses face in refusing

8.2 Involvement and Contextualization cues Involvement is successful ongoing interaction co-produced by interactants negotiating selves, relationship and interactional goals

Gumperz defines contextualization cues:

ways of signaling our attitudes toward what we say prosody (tempo, volume, intonation, hesitation) repetition formulaicity shifts in style code-switching

contextualization cues frame interaction in terms of our contextual presuppositions:

serious/humorous important/trivial hurried/leisurely

contextualization cues bracket individual acts or stretches of interaction perception of contextualization cues allows us to draw inferences about other participants and their interactional goals

So: Interactional Sociolinguistics studies:

prosody disfluencies discourse markers repetition formulaicity code-switching style

and their effects on talk in interaction regarding: construction of identity power versus solidarity control alignment among participants

concern with intercultural and inter-ethnic communication effects of sociolinguistic variables on communication:
male/female old/young insider/outsider power/solidarity

Consider an example from Gumperz: Following an informal graduate seminar at a major (US American) university, a black student approached the instructor, who was about to leave the room accompanied by several other black and white students, and said: Could I talk to you for a minute? Im gonna apply for a fellowship and I was wondering if I could get a recommendation? The instructor replied: O.K. Come along to the office and tell me what you want to do. As the instructor and the rest of the group left the room, the black student said, turning his head ever so slightly to the other students: Ahma git me a gig!

the student frames his two utterances in different ways his presuppositions about interaction with the instructor differ from those about interaction with the other students code-switch from Standard American to Afro-American Vernacular English appropriate contextualization cues (prosody, formulaicity, lexis) align student first with the instructor, then with the students, AAVE aligns him directly with other black students.

8.3 Conversational Style Tannen (1984) sees involvement as a scalar factor, partially determined by social variables: gender, age, background, profession, class
High-involvement: fast, no pause or overlap, joint production Low-involvement (High-considerateness): slow, long pauses, no interruption

High versus low involvement style

type of speaker passage of talk type of discourse

New Yorkers exhibit higher involvement than Californians talk between friends exhibits higher involvement than talk among strangers women exhibit higher involvement than men, storytelling exhibits higher involvement than a report Style differences are heard as social (class) differences

high involvement between co-narrators: James: Lois: James: we were in this we were in a peat bog uh in Ire- in Ireland. eh no it wasnt in Ireland [it was on the Isle of Skye] [no, we were on the Isle of Skye] [sorry, on the Isle of Skye] [right next to the west] coast of Scotland we were right on the north[right in the north] [new years eve] new years eve freezing cold freezing cold

Lucy: James: Lucy: James: Lucy: James: Lucy: James:

Lucy: James:


Emma: Lucy:

in the middle of nowhere just nothing and we got stuck in this terrible bog. {laughs} and jusas far as the eye could see it was just bog and we were like walking through it and [it was quite late] [and it was late] and it was becoming dark about five oclock aw and it was really really cold and we were on our way home after a long walk . . .

Note particularly overlap, joint production, speaker change, repetition

Tannen: womens and mens styles of involvement systematic study of male versus female involvement men and women engage in cross-cultural communication Women higher involvement
closer together more eye contact more understanding checks more attention signals shorter gaps more overlap shorter turns more frequent speaker change more egalitarian less appeal to expert knowledge

Men lower involvement

farther apart less eye contact fewer understanding checks fewer attention signals longer gaps less overlap longer turns less frequent speaker change Less egalitarian more appeal to expert knowledge

Mens and womens conversational styles clash causing systematic misunderstandings in everyday interaction attention to stylistic differences and realization of their effects, reframing and meta-talk about differences can smooth interaction

9. Conversation
9.1 Conversation Analysis Conversation Analysis (CA) from ethnography and the Sociology of everyday life (Garfinkle, Goffman) order at every level of interaction, at every point in the system Where others had seen conversation as too messy for analysis, Sacks found it highly systematic at the micro-level

Turn-taking system:
to avoid gaps and overlap to determine who speaks next

Adjacency pairs: as basis of organization

first part: question second part: answer

Preference structure: describes differences in form and frequency of possible second pair parts
first part: invitation preferred second part: acceptance dispreferred second part: rejection

preferred responses are more frequent and shorter A: B: A: B: Please come to my party on Thursday. Okay. Please come to my party on Thursday. Uh, Thursday, gee, thats a bad day for me.

Conversational repair
system for handling problems, for clarification and correction

Self-repair: I saw Judy last Tuesday- sorry, Monday. Other-initiated repair: A: I saw Judy last Tuesday. B: Uh:, Tuesday? A: Oh, yeah, I saw her Monday at the party. Other-repair: A: I saw Judy last Monday. B: You mean Tuesday. A: Yeah, I saw her at Nancys.

Insertion sequence

Nan: Aaron: Nan: Aaron: Nan:

what time do you get to work? Friday? yeah. oh, between seven thirty and eight, quarter to eight. well, I might not be there the second you get to work

Double insertion sequence A: B: A: B: A: B: Where can I catch the Saarbahn? Do you know where Landwehrplatz is? Is it just over on Mainzer Strasse? Yeah. Then I know how to get there. Well, thats where you catch the Saarbahn.

Recurrent pairs, sequences, exchange types, preferences, repair, cues and signals all work together to create coherence in conversation

9.2 Conversation as a type of discourse Conversation is a special speech event or discourse type characteristic cohesive devices coherent structure

Understanding checks: y'know, right?, huh?, tags Attention signals: m'hm, uh-huh, wow, really? move, turn, pair, exchange; pre-sequence

Sue: Jill: Sue: Jill: Sue: Jill: Sue: Jill: Sue: Jill: Sue: Jill:

Hi. Hi. So, how have you been. Not so well really. Oh I'm sorry to hear that. How about you? Not too bad, I guess. Yes, one muddles through. By the way, Im looking for Al. I just saw him at Lous. Really? Who else was there? Fred.

greeting greeting question answer response question answer response statement/request response response, question answer

Sue: Jill: Sue: Jill: Sue: Jill: Sue: Jill:

Wow. Are you busy right now? Not really. Would you do me a favor? Sure. Would you call Al for me? Sure. No problem. Great. Thanks. No problem.

response, question (pre-sequence) answer question (pre-request) answer (commitment) request agree, comment comment, thanks comment

10. Politeness
Politeness as a historical phenomenon (recall Brown & Gilman) Politeness as in-group behavior Politeness as code of civility Politeness in Linguistic Pragmatics Grice: politeness as a "social maxim" Lakoff: revises Grice's account of implicature

Cooperative Principle and Maxims as Negative politeness:

Negative politeness:
Maintain distance, don't impose (respect) Give options (deference)

Positive politeness:
Be friendly (solidarity)

Lakoff introduces Power and Solidarity into description of inference in conversation Paradox of power and solidarity (Tannen)

Brown and Levinson: Positive and negative face, face wants and face threats going off record, embedding, pre-sequences

politeness and politic behavior (Watts) politeness, impoliteness and identity (Spencer-Oatey)

11. Language and Gender

Gender as social construct versus biological sex Grammatical gender as a linguistic feature

11.1 Sexism in language So-called "generic" man; also chairman, congressman Cf. you guys plural "generic" 3rd person pronoun he gender-marked forms of address: Mrs/Miss versus Mr, Madam chairman gender-marking in noun pairs: governor versus governess, major versus majorette, poet versus poetess, steward versus stewardess vocabulary unbalanced toward male body, male point of view

Binary Distinctions and Markedness

Langue versus parole (competence versus performance) Synchrony versus diachrony Man versus Woman Male versus Female

Feminist Linguistics 1st Stage: Accept binaries, attempt to eliminate bias

eliminate man, generic he, introduce Ms for Mrs/Miss, introduce "splitting": she or he his/her (s)he eliminate stewardess (substitute flight attendant) eliminate poetess in favor of poet invent new female-oriented vocabulary: herstory

Note:English drops differences; German accentuates them

Chairperson or chair versus Vorsitzenderin Judy and Jill are authors versus Judy and Jill sind Autorinnen

Splitting with nouns:

alle Autoren und Autorinnen alle Autor/innen or alle AutorInnen

2nd Stage: Question binaries, reduce to power differential

Argue for women's language as more involved, more cohesive, women as better listeners, linguistic Innovators

3rd Stage: Reject Binary Thinking

Reveal traditional male/white/hetero-sexual bias in prevailing discourses Study power relations in particular texts Ask how language system and practice construct gender


Women's talk versus men's talk

Traditional gender stereotypes Women talk faster, more expressively, more overall, interrupt more, swear less, use more color words, more hedges, tags all signs of lower status

Rules for feminine speech

From etiquette books to self-help manuals Little girls taught to talk "like ladies" Polite speech as women's key to success Women as "better communicators" Women as responsible for successful conversation

Early linguistic writing on gender and language

Jespersen, Lakoff: largely introspective, confirms stereotypes, looks for differences, finds deficiencies

Research on gender and language

general results are contradictory must look at specific types of interactions specific groups of speakers:
female and male executives in business meeting two women college students talking about shared problems Black male gang members telling stories to interviewer

11.3 Gayspeak Sexism in language:

not just male bias hetero bias pejoration of homoerotic terms

Homosexuals multiply marginalized:

default male/he, default "male or female", men and women, boys and girls, he and she, him and her

Functions of Gayspeak
Gayspeak as a secret language
Simultaneous mutual recognition and exclusion of outsiders

Gayspeak as an in-group language

the "closet metaphor flaming

Gayspeak as a political instrument

As with feminists: Reject binary thinking Attempt to disrupt traditional male/hetero-sexual bias Invent new vocabulary: gay, transgendered, straights, breeders Reclaim pejorative terms: queer, dyke, faggot

12. Language and Power

Power and Solidarity Power: superior, equal, inferior Solidarity: solidary versus unsolidary Solidarity implies closeness, unsolidarity implies distance closeness also implies control (power), distance renders power differences irrelevant Paradox of Power and Solidarity (Tannen)

power as a transitive feature of relationships, though power is ultimately reciprocal (Foucault) power as socially constructed through language/discourse, not given a priori in nature power is encoded in the discourses of a community

12.1 The PC debate Political Correctness (PC) is a label from opposed side Those in favor of practices labeled PC favor:
guidelines for non-discriminatory language affirmative action in hiring and admissions etc

PC as public, community stance

style sheets, company and college policies, court cases

Miss + Mrs Ms queers/homosexuals gays Colored People Negros Blacks African-Americans Crippled handicapped physically challenged

Note: people in power decide which features of PC to enforce PC as public etiquette versus "linguistic hygiene" (Cameron)

As public etiquette PC = avoiding offense to addressees through exclusion or through differential treatment exclusion: mankind; the right man for the job differential treatment: host versus hostess poet versus poetess

12.2 Linguistic hygiene "linguistic hygiene" or "linguistic interventionism"

PC attracts attention to naming, solicits political or moral judgments, forces speakers/writers to take sides and go on record

Do public naming and forms of address influence attitudes? Cameron's example: Pardon me, Madam. versus Hey, bitch! Linguistic prescription, language change and backlash

13. Forms of Address

Forms of Address as socially (not linguistically) motivated variation 13.1Speech as social marker 2nd person pronouns: Sie versus du, vous versus tu, Lei versus tu honorifics and 1st person pronouns last name versus first name (and nick names) Titles like Mrs, Ms, Dr, Professor, Herr Oberregierungsrat Kin terms like Aunt Mary and Oma Schmidt Address versus reference versus summons reciprocal versus nonreciprocal

13.2 Power and solidarity Brown & Gilman (1960): semantics of power and solidarity in use of 2nd person pronouns in European languages In clearly stratified society, "power semantic" developed:
non-reciprocal V to mark deference then reciprocal V spread among nobility

In more mobile society, "solidarity semantic" developed

reciprocal "non-solidary" V even among common people reciprocal "solidary" T even among powerful people

Also: reciprocal T to mark "shared fate"

"power semantic" still determines who initiates T "shared fate" only works when fate is lack of power pronoun use interacts with other systems English lost 2nd person pronoun distinction

13.3 American English address FN (first name) versus TLN (title last name) FN includes common nicknames like Cindy, Penny, Jim, Bill MN (multiple names) to signal intimacy Factors:
Age difference (15 years or more) Status (e.g. boss - secretary; executive - shop worker) Age more important in kinship groups; status more important at work, in public

Ervin-Tripp's flow chart

System fails if FN is unknown Title + = Title e.g. professor, father (priest) Mr, Ms + = But also Generic Terms of address:
First Names like Bud, Mac, Jane Informal titles like chief, sister, brother, dude Terms of endearment like dear, honey

13.4 Universals of address Intimacy and Solidarity: FN, T-Pronoun

T-Pronoun (versus V-Pronoun) for solidarity FN more significant for intimacy than T-Pronoun MN even more significant for intimacy

Age and Power determine Nonreciprocal forms of address

But Age and Power may be contradictory, e.g. Grandmother receives TLN but lacks real power

Gender and Politeness may also contradict power

e.g. Women receive more TLN even when men have more power

Politeness as code calling for certain forms despite power differences; PC as Politeness in public behavior generally

14. Critical Discourse Analysis

Critical Discourse Analysis (Fowler, Fairclough, Coulthard) analytical tool and mode of social engagement opposed to Correlation Socio-linguistics (Labov, Trudgill) Power is constructed in the discourses of a community, Discourse Analysis can reveal it Deconstruction, demystification can influence power (hence linguistics is essential, and socially responsible)

Linguistic Indicators (Fowler's Checklist) (1) Lexical processes: abstract versus concrete: Force may be used - The cops will be there general versus specific: The media expect - The SZ predicts (2) Transitivity John opened the door - The door opened Circumstances dictate the raising of taxes

(3) Syntax: deletion, nominalization, passivization We want you to arrive early - Please arrive early Early arrival will be appreciated (4) Modality: modals, permit, predict, likelihood (5) Implicature: The party is low on funds > Please send money


Presupposition BY how much were you exceeding the speed limit when you ran the stop sign? > you were exceeding the speed limit > you ran the stop sign


Turn taking: length and number of turns, selection of next speaker, backchanneling and interruption etc

15. Language, culture and thought

Language as expression and medium of thought Language behavior as mirror and basis of culture

15.1 Concepts and propositions "Culture" consists in what a person must know and believe to function as a normal member of society Knowing-how versus knowing-that

"Culture" breaks down into concepts like family and walking and propositions like People live in houses Concepts usually correspond to words in a language, while propositions usually correspond to sentences

Thus language serves as the medium of expressing and understanding culture, and functioning in society

Jakobson: Languages differ not in what they can express but in what they must express, e.g. grammatical gender and number The red table is high Der rote Tisch ist hoch Il tavolo rosso alto no gender; singular number in verb gender & number in subject NP; number in verb gender & number in subject NP and in predicate adjective; number in verb


The Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis

Sapir: Language not just guide to social reality for linguist, but shaper of reality for members of the language community; The "real world" is unconsciously built up on language habits Whorf: Standard Average European (SAE) versus Hopi, Nootka, naming and segmentation of reality, e.g. snow, colors, but also grammar, esp. nouns versus verbs, duration, tense Strong versus weak versions of the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis:
Strong: Language determines the way we think Weak: Language influences the way we think

15.3 Linguistic relativity "New principle of relativity, which holds that all observers are not led by the same physical evidence to the same picture of the universe, unless their linguistic backgrounds are similar." (Whorf 1940) Cultural relativity versus Linguistic relativity Compare: kinship systems and vocabulary

Norwegian: farfar 'father-father = paternal grandfather' farmor 'father-mother = paternal grandmother' mormor 'mother-mother = maternal grandmother' morfar 'mother-father = maternal grandfather' farbror 'father-brother = paternal uncle' morbror 'mother-brother = maternal uncle'


abuela 'grandmother' abuelo 'grandfather' tia 'aunt tio 'uncle' prima cousin, female primo cousin, male

Gaps in vocabulary and culture, evident in borrowing and translating problems:

Cooking terminology: saut marinate grill filet German animal terms: fressen saufen trchtig

15.4 Prototypes and basic-level concepts As Wittgenstein noted, no list of properties suffices to identify all the activities we call games. Apparently, we learn prototypes and extrapolate from them.

Labov's cups:

Prototype effects (in grammar): My daughter's a real fish/a regular fish Strictly speaking, a dolphin isn't a real/regular fish Basic-level concepts (lowest level where single term applies): pine in hierarchy: plant - tree - pine - ponderosa pine chair in hierarchy: piece of furniture - chair - kitchen chair "basic-level = single term" holds even when hierarchy differs city dweller: tree - pine tree - ponderosa pine forester: tree - pine - ponderosa