Download The Social Stratification of English in New York City by William Labov PDF

By William Labov

One of many first money owed of social edition in language, this groundbreaking examine based the self-discipline of sociolinguistics, offering the version on which hundreds of thousands of stories were established. during this moment variation, Labov seems to be again on 40 years of sociolinguistic study, bringing the reader brand new on its tools, findings and achievements. In over thirty pages of latest fabric, he explores the unexpected implications of his past paintings, addresses the political concerns concerned, and evaluates the good fortune of more recent methods to sociolinguistic research. In doing so, he finds the exceptional accomplishments of sociolinguistics considering that his unique research, which laid the rules for learning language edition, brought the the most important thought of the linguistic variable, and confirmed how edition throughout age teams is a hallmark of language switch. Bringing Labov's pioneering learn into the twenty first century, this vintage quantity will stay the benchmark within the box for future years.

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Extra info for The Social Stratification of English in New York City

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K. was the most successful surviving member. [Allen Walker Read taught my first linguistics course, and is responsible for my presence in the field. Though he was never engaged in theoretical linguistics, he had a keen eye for significant detail and provocative questions, such as “The grammar of double talk”(1977). K. ] One of the few quantitative studies of phonological features within a community is that of Reichstein (1960). She tested 570 Paris schoolgirls for phonemic contrast in minimal pairs involving /a–ɑ/, /ε – ε:/, /n – æn/; it was found that these phonemic contrasts are disappearing rapidly, and that 1 The study of language in its social context 17 certain working class districts in the interior of the city are leading in this respect.

Resolution of the problem The complexities found in the exploratory interviews may appear to justify the view that New York City speech is chaotic, and that “free variation” is indeed an adequate description. But free variation on a scale such as this is hardly consonant with the concept of a coherent, interrelated system. ” All of our previous studies of language indicate that phonological behavior is not amorphous: on the contrary, it is the most highly structured aspect of language. Nor can we accept the view of New York City as a disparate collection of individuals with various backgrounds, borrowing randomly from one another’s dialect.

Immunity from conscious distortion is not required, since both conscious and unconscious distortion of a native speech pattern appear to have about the same results in response to a shift of context (see Chapter 4). But if an item can be completely suppressed by most informants (such as the use of ain’t, or taboo words) it will give us a much more limited body of data for analysis. 2 First approach to the structure of NYC English 33 produced or heard; slashes/ /will continue to indicate phonemic notation, indicating a functional unit of the sound system; italics indicate a word or morpheme, without regard to its pronunciation.

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