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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Differentiate between change from above and change from below 


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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

-change from above:

 - Changes taking place in a speech community above the level of individuals’ conscious awareness. Able to be commented on. One variant is clearly standard or has clear overt prestige. It does not refer to changes led by higher social classes (though this may often be the case). (See also Change from below.)

- Speakers are more aware of the alternation between the innovative constricted [r] and the local r-less vernacular, and the incoming form is generally considered ‘better’. When New Yorkers are asked to evaluate a sentence with constricted [r] and without, they give strong, positive evaluations to the r-ful version. Changes like this, which people are consciously aware of, have been dubbed change from above. ‘Above’ means ‘above the level of conscious awareness’, not necessarily that they originate in higher status social groups (the two may go together, but it is important not to confuse these two senses of ‘above’).


-change from below: 

- Changes taking place in a speech community below the level of conscious awareness. Not the subject of overt comment. It does not refer to changes led by lower social classes

- New Yorkers do not have the same attitudes to the raised variants of short (a). When they are asked to evaluate pairs of sentences that differ only in the use of raised or low (a) variants, they give strong, negative evaluations to the sentences with raised (a). Moreover, even speakers who use raised variants of short (a) claim that they don’t. Their negative evaluations seem to act as a filter, and they ‘hear’ themselves sounding not as they really are but as how they would like to be

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

What problems are seen with earlier studies on social class that we are aware of nowadays?

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

-e.g. in early study made by Labov in 1966 (NYC) they used the SEI (socioeconomic index) to determine the social class of a person 

-SEI is a score a person gets on the basis of persons education/occupation of familiys breadwinner/ family income 

-this makes total sense, but if looking closer there are some problems

-> 

-socioeconomic scales are critizised nowadays, yet a strong alternative this straightfrward is missing

-scales often focused on male and eurocentric point of view, not very good at representing a diverse group of people

-in some scales from 1961 the man was automatically viewed as the breadwinner 

-another example would be that oftentimes women nowadays for the same occupation have more education and earn less money 

-> that leads to unclear results 


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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

What kind of research did Mallinson do in Texana?

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-application of Ackers approach to social class

-analyzing data from two groups of women from Texana, North Carolina

-live in NCs largest black Appalachian community

-around 150 residents

-collected data from 2002-2005

-interviewing approx 40 residents, found two interesting groups

-church ladies: 

met formally once a week 

-porch sitters:

-friendship group of women that gathered informally most evenings

-focus on 4 core members

-first analysis of social status displays, lifestyle, norms 

-then connecting these to variationist analysis of their speech patterns

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Summarize and explain the features of AAE

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN
-habitual "be" for intermittent activity

(sometimes my ears be itching)

-absence of copula for contracted forms of is and are 

(She nice, they acting all strange)

-present tense third person -s absence

(she walk down the street)

-possesive -s absence 

(that man hat)

-general plural -s absence 

(a lot of time for a lot of times)

-aint for didnt 

(He aint going there)

-been to mark a state or action that was a long time ago

(I been known him for a long time)

-skr for str

(down the skreet)

v or f for th

(smoof for smooth)


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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

What were Mallinsons results regarding the linguistic features of the church ladies and porch sitters?

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Mallinson looked at

-use of vernacular features: 

3 sg -s absence ( There he go)

copula absence with is (I don't think you ready, She nice)

past tense be levelling (We was healthier, We wasn't home)

their use of expletives (cursing)


-> -s absence and copula absence is a characteristic of AAE and much more used by the porch sitters than church ladies

-expletives: church ladies used only 5 curse words in 15 hours material, always just quoting others

-porch sitters used 15 expletives in the same time, 3 times as many 


-this swearing shines a light on how the women construct themselves

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Describe Labov´s work on Martha´s Vineyard in the early 1960s.


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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

- first social dialect study was conducted in the summer of 1961 on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts by William labov

- Martha’s Vineyard was then already something of a summer playground for people who live most of the year on the mainland US – in the 1960s, the number of residents during the summer increased nearly seven times over the winter population

-in the year 2000, the year-round population on the Vineyard was arpound  10,000, but during the summer the population of the island ballooned to 100,000

- there is a big discrepancy between the circumstances of the summer-only people and the year-rounders

- cost of housing on the Vineyard is expensive, driven up by the intense demand of summer residents, yet the island has the second-lowest per capita income in the entire state of Massachusetts

- Many year-rounders on the Vineyard struggle quite hard to get by and increasingly have to do so by providing services for the summer visitors


-> big difference in class and power between summer/winter guests


-the pronunciation of all year rounders of certain key variables differs to the mainland, they do have dialect

-Labov became aware of the different pronunciation of the prize vowel (although he didn`t have wells standard lexical set yet)

- he introduced a new convention: he used parentheses to represent the sociolinguistic variable; that is, he talks about the (ay) variable which is realised by different phonetic variants

-. On the Vineyard, the price words were very often pronounced with a more raised, centralised onset (i.e., [əi [)

- however, Labov noticed that not all the year-round residents of the Vineyard used the centralised pronunciation, 

- some of them used a lower, fronted onset, more like the mainland norm (i.e., [ai])

- The same variability occurred in words with the back-gliding diphthongs such as south and loud ; that is, the mouth set or what Labov called the (aw) variable

-but: he noticed that speakers who used the centralised variants didn’t always do so. Sometimes a speaker would use a centralised variant and then in the next sentence use something more like the mainland variant


- not only was there variation between individual speakers ( interspeaker variation ) on the Vineyard, there was also variation within individual speakers ( intraspeaker variation ).


-he decided first to record people engaged in fairly formal, language-oriented tasks like reading lists of words out loud

-once  this was completed he would shift to a more informal frame of conversation in which he asked them about their life on the Vineyard

-> this was a change from collecting in a formal way but in the end built the basis for many other studies

 -he interviewed cross section of the whole island, then gave lower scores to more lower onsets of mouth and price, and higher scores to more raised and centralised onsets

-was able to use these scores to obtain averages for each speaker


-the variation Labov observed could mostly be explained by linguistic factors


-there were some linguistic factors that determined the pronunciation, e g what consonant followed the diphtong

-> but there were also some factors that were of non-linguistic nature


-> sociolinguistic factors


- He had discovered that among the islanders, centralisation was highest among people who: 

(i) lived in the more rural, Up-island areas; 

(ii) engaged in the traditional island occupation of fishing; 

(iii) were in their thirties and forties; and

 (iv) liked living on the Vineyard and felt fondly towards life there.


- Labov proposed that centralisation was a means by which speakers could subtly but clearly stake a claim to being different from the mainlanders who come over for the summer only (to distance)


-> by combining the linguistic facts with the social facts he had learnt about the island, Labov was able to argue that the variation was not free and unconstrained. 

He argued that the intraspeaker variability reflected and constructed an underlying social opposition: an opposition between locals and non-locals. Linguistic differentiation seems to serve the purpose of social differentiation.

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Explain the following term: interspeaker variation


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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Differences and variation that is measured between different speakers (individuals or social groups)

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Summarize Britain´s work in the Fens in the late 1980s

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

-sociolinguist Dave Britain shows how the features of different regional varieties intersect with a range of non-linguistic features 

-he studied the English spoken in Fens, a low-lying part of England near London

-for a long time the Fens where covered in swamps which made it difficult to cross from one village to another, the contact in between the villages was nearly non-existent


-> then: - in the eighteenth century the swampy areas of the Fens began to be drained

- communication between villages in the north-west and the south-east parts of the region became much easier and increasingly frequent

- Britain recorded the casual speech of a large number of people in the central Fens in the late 1980s

- was also able to compare this with earlier records from regional dialect surveys of what speakers sounded like in the villages he studied

- found there was a clear reduction in the amount of regional variation in the central Fens in the 1980s compared to previous records

- the Fens ceased to be such a big barrier to the movement of peoples and communication, some of the regional differences began to disappear

- they disappeared in rather different ways for the strut/ foot words and the price words


-> speakers had reallocated (umverteilen) the regional forms according to regular linguistic principles


-there were also social factors involved in resolving the contact between these pronunciations of strut/foot


-most speakers,seem to not be aware of this variable and the differences between strut/foot

-> this study shows: sociolinguists have to be sensitive to aspects of linguistic structure, aspects of social structure and aspects of how speakers conceive of themselves and relate to others

-> because of this linguists have to be not only aware of linguistic rules but also sociolinguistic aspects of speech

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Define language

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

Language: -umbrella term, fuzzy concept-> language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), sign, or often writing

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TESTE DEIN WISSEN

What is an indicator?

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Indicator

 A linguistic variable which shows limited or no style-shifting. Stratified principally between groups.

- show no evidence that speakers are even subconsciously aware of them, and speakers consistently favour one variant over another regardless of who they are talking to or where 

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Define the envelope of variation

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Envelope of variation: All, and only, the contexts in which a variable occurs.

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Define free variation 

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free variation: - The idea that some variants alternate with each other without any reliable constraints on their occurrence in a particular context or by particular speakers.

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Q:

Differentiate between change from above and change from below 


A:

-change from above:

 - Changes taking place in a speech community above the level of individuals’ conscious awareness. Able to be commented on. One variant is clearly standard or has clear overt prestige. It does not refer to changes led by higher social classes (though this may often be the case). (See also Change from below.)

- Speakers are more aware of the alternation between the innovative constricted [r] and the local r-less vernacular, and the incoming form is generally considered ‘better’. When New Yorkers are asked to evaluate a sentence with constricted [r] and without, they give strong, positive evaluations to the r-ful version. Changes like this, which people are consciously aware of, have been dubbed change from above. ‘Above’ means ‘above the level of conscious awareness’, not necessarily that they originate in higher status social groups (the two may go together, but it is important not to confuse these two senses of ‘above’).


-change from below: 

- Changes taking place in a speech community below the level of conscious awareness. Not the subject of overt comment. It does not refer to changes led by lower social classes

- New Yorkers do not have the same attitudes to the raised variants of short (a). When they are asked to evaluate pairs of sentences that differ only in the use of raised or low (a) variants, they give strong, negative evaluations to the sentences with raised (a). Moreover, even speakers who use raised variants of short (a) claim that they don’t. Their negative evaluations seem to act as a filter, and they ‘hear’ themselves sounding not as they really are but as how they would like to be

Q:

What problems are seen with earlier studies on social class that we are aware of nowadays?

A:

-e.g. in early study made by Labov in 1966 (NYC) they used the SEI (socioeconomic index) to determine the social class of a person 

-SEI is a score a person gets on the basis of persons education/occupation of familiys breadwinner/ family income 

-this makes total sense, but if looking closer there are some problems

-> 

-socioeconomic scales are critizised nowadays, yet a strong alternative this straightfrward is missing

-scales often focused on male and eurocentric point of view, not very good at representing a diverse group of people

-in some scales from 1961 the man was automatically viewed as the breadwinner 

-another example would be that oftentimes women nowadays for the same occupation have more education and earn less money 

-> that leads to unclear results 


Q:

What kind of research did Mallinson do in Texana?

A:

-application of Ackers approach to social class

-analyzing data from two groups of women from Texana, North Carolina

-live in NCs largest black Appalachian community

-around 150 residents

-collected data from 2002-2005

-interviewing approx 40 residents, found two interesting groups

-church ladies: 

met formally once a week 

-porch sitters:

-friendship group of women that gathered informally most evenings

-focus on 4 core members

-first analysis of social status displays, lifestyle, norms 

-then connecting these to variationist analysis of their speech patterns

Q:

Summarize and explain the features of AAE

A:
-habitual "be" for intermittent activity

(sometimes my ears be itching)

-absence of copula for contracted forms of is and are 

(She nice, they acting all strange)

-present tense third person -s absence

(she walk down the street)

-possesive -s absence 

(that man hat)

-general plural -s absence 

(a lot of time for a lot of times)

-aint for didnt 

(He aint going there)

-been to mark a state or action that was a long time ago

(I been known him for a long time)

-skr for str

(down the skreet)

v or f for th

(smoof for smooth)


Q:

What were Mallinsons results regarding the linguistic features of the church ladies and porch sitters?

A:

Mallinson looked at

-use of vernacular features: 

3 sg -s absence ( There he go)

copula absence with is (I don't think you ready, She nice)

past tense be levelling (We was healthier, We wasn't home)

their use of expletives (cursing)


-> -s absence and copula absence is a characteristic of AAE and much more used by the porch sitters than church ladies

-expletives: church ladies used only 5 curse words in 15 hours material, always just quoting others

-porch sitters used 15 expletives in the same time, 3 times as many 


-this swearing shines a light on how the women construct themselves

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Q:

Describe Labov´s work on Martha´s Vineyard in the early 1960s.


A:

- first social dialect study was conducted in the summer of 1961 on Martha’s Vineyard, an island off the coast of Massachusetts by William labov

- Martha’s Vineyard was then already something of a summer playground for people who live most of the year on the mainland US – in the 1960s, the number of residents during the summer increased nearly seven times over the winter population

-in the year 2000, the year-round population on the Vineyard was arpound  10,000, but during the summer the population of the island ballooned to 100,000

- there is a big discrepancy between the circumstances of the summer-only people and the year-rounders

- cost of housing on the Vineyard is expensive, driven up by the intense demand of summer residents, yet the island has the second-lowest per capita income in the entire state of Massachusetts

- Many year-rounders on the Vineyard struggle quite hard to get by and increasingly have to do so by providing services for the summer visitors


-> big difference in class and power between summer/winter guests


-the pronunciation of all year rounders of certain key variables differs to the mainland, they do have dialect

-Labov became aware of the different pronunciation of the prize vowel (although he didn`t have wells standard lexical set yet)

- he introduced a new convention: he used parentheses to represent the sociolinguistic variable; that is, he talks about the (ay) variable which is realised by different phonetic variants

-. On the Vineyard, the price words were very often pronounced with a more raised, centralised onset (i.e., [əi [)

- however, Labov noticed that not all the year-round residents of the Vineyard used the centralised pronunciation, 

- some of them used a lower, fronted onset, more like the mainland norm (i.e., [ai])

- The same variability occurred in words with the back-gliding diphthongs such as south and loud ; that is, the mouth set or what Labov called the (aw) variable

-but: he noticed that speakers who used the centralised variants didn’t always do so. Sometimes a speaker would use a centralised variant and then in the next sentence use something more like the mainland variant


- not only was there variation between individual speakers ( interspeaker variation ) on the Vineyard, there was also variation within individual speakers ( intraspeaker variation ).


-he decided first to record people engaged in fairly formal, language-oriented tasks like reading lists of words out loud

-once  this was completed he would shift to a more informal frame of conversation in which he asked them about their life on the Vineyard

-> this was a change from collecting in a formal way but in the end built the basis for many other studies

 -he interviewed cross section of the whole island, then gave lower scores to more lower onsets of mouth and price, and higher scores to more raised and centralised onsets

-was able to use these scores to obtain averages for each speaker


-the variation Labov observed could mostly be explained by linguistic factors


-there were some linguistic factors that determined the pronunciation, e g what consonant followed the diphtong

-> but there were also some factors that were of non-linguistic nature


-> sociolinguistic factors


- He had discovered that among the islanders, centralisation was highest among people who: 

(i) lived in the more rural, Up-island areas; 

(ii) engaged in the traditional island occupation of fishing; 

(iii) were in their thirties and forties; and

 (iv) liked living on the Vineyard and felt fondly towards life there.


- Labov proposed that centralisation was a means by which speakers could subtly but clearly stake a claim to being different from the mainlanders who come over for the summer only (to distance)


-> by combining the linguistic facts with the social facts he had learnt about the island, Labov was able to argue that the variation was not free and unconstrained. 

He argued that the intraspeaker variability reflected and constructed an underlying social opposition: an opposition between locals and non-locals. Linguistic differentiation seems to serve the purpose of social differentiation.

Q:

Explain the following term: interspeaker variation


A:

Differences and variation that is measured between different speakers (individuals or social groups)

Q:

Summarize Britain´s work in the Fens in the late 1980s

A:

-sociolinguist Dave Britain shows how the features of different regional varieties intersect with a range of non-linguistic features 

-he studied the English spoken in Fens, a low-lying part of England near London

-for a long time the Fens where covered in swamps which made it difficult to cross from one village to another, the contact in between the villages was nearly non-existent


-> then: - in the eighteenth century the swampy areas of the Fens began to be drained

- communication between villages in the north-west and the south-east parts of the region became much easier and increasingly frequent

- Britain recorded the casual speech of a large number of people in the central Fens in the late 1980s

- was also able to compare this with earlier records from regional dialect surveys of what speakers sounded like in the villages he studied

- found there was a clear reduction in the amount of regional variation in the central Fens in the 1980s compared to previous records

- the Fens ceased to be such a big barrier to the movement of peoples and communication, some of the regional differences began to disappear

- they disappeared in rather different ways for the strut/ foot words and the price words


-> speakers had reallocated (umverteilen) the regional forms according to regular linguistic principles


-there were also social factors involved in resolving the contact between these pronunciations of strut/foot


-most speakers,seem to not be aware of this variable and the differences between strut/foot

-> this study shows: sociolinguists have to be sensitive to aspects of linguistic structure, aspects of social structure and aspects of how speakers conceive of themselves and relate to others

-> because of this linguists have to be not only aware of linguistic rules but also sociolinguistic aspects of speech

Q:

Define language

A:

Language: -umbrella term, fuzzy concept-> language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), sign, or often writing

Q:

What is an indicator?

A:

Indicator

 A linguistic variable which shows limited or no style-shifting. Stratified principally between groups.

- show no evidence that speakers are even subconsciously aware of them, and speakers consistently favour one variant over another regardless of who they are talking to or where 

Q:

Define the envelope of variation

A:

Envelope of variation: All, and only, the contexts in which a variable occurs.

Q:

Define free variation 

A:

free variation: - The idea that some variants alternate with each other without any reliable constraints on their occurrence in a particular context or by particular speakers.

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