Sociolinguistic Theory: Linguistic Variation and Its Social Significance


Sociolinguistic Theory presents a critical synthesis of sociolinguistics, centering on the study of language variation and change.

  • Synthesizes the most important descriptive and theoretical findings concerning linguistic variation from the last forty years.

  • Provides ...
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Sociolinguistic Theory presents a critical synthesis of sociolinguistics, centering on the study of language variation and change.

  • Synthesizes the most important descriptive and theoretical findings concerning linguistic variation from the last forty years.

  • Provides an integrated framework for studying language variation and its social significance.
  • Expands on the first edition's discussion of communicative competence and developmental sociolinguistics.
  • Is written by one of the world's foremost scholars in the field of variation studies and includes data from his own work.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780631228813
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/28/2002
  • Series: Language in Society Series
  • Edition description: 2ND
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 344
  • Product dimensions: 6.32 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Meet the Author

J. K. Chambers is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Toronto. He is co-editor of The Handbook of Language Variation and Change (with Peter Trudgill and Natalie Schilling-Estes, Wiley-Blackwell, 2002), co-author (with Peter Trudgill) of Dialectology (2nd edition, 1998), and also author of other books and scores of articles. He works extensively as a forensic consultant, and maintains a parallel vocation in jazz criticism, including the prizewinning biography Milestones: The Music and Times of Miles Davis (1998).
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Table of Contents

List of Figures
List of Tables
Series Editor's Preface
Preface to the Second Edition
1 Correlations 1
1.1 The Domain of Sociolinguistics 2
1.2 The Variable as a Structural Unit 11
1.3 Variation and the Tradition of Categoricity 26
2 Class, Network, and Mobility 39
2.1 Social Class and Sociolinguistic Sampling 41
2.2 Indexing Social Class 47
2.3 Class Markers 54
2.4 The Effects of Mobility 59
2.5 Homogenization 65
2.6 Networks 74
2.7 Linguistic Correlates of Network Integration 86
2.8 Interaction of Network and Other Independent Variables 89
2.9 Oddballs and Insiders 93
3 Expressing Sex and Gender 116
3.1 The Interplay of Biology and Sociology 117
3.2 Sex Patterns with Stable Variables 121
3.3 Language, Gender, and Mobility in Two Communities 126
3.4 Causes of Sex and Gender Differences 139
3.5 Male and Female Speech Patterns in Other Societies 153
3.6 Linguistic Evidence for Sex and Gender Differences 161
4 Accents in Time 163
4.1 Aging 164
4.2 The Acquisition of Sociolects 169
4.3 Family and Friends 175
4.4 Declarations of Adolescence 186
4.5 Young Adults in the Talk Market 194
4.6 Changes in Progress 203
5 Adaptive Significance of Language Variation 226
5.1 The Babelian Hypothesis 227
5.2 Global Counteradaptivity and Local Adaptivity 232
5.3 Dialects in Lower Animals 235
5.4 The Persistence of the Non-standard 241
5.5 Traditional Theories of the Sources of Diversity 247
5.6 A Sociolinguistic Theory of the Sources of Diversity 252
5.7 Vernacular Roots 265
5.8 Linguistic Variation and Social Identity 274
Notes 279
References 283
Index 303
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