Download Principles of Linguistic Change, Volume 2: Social Factors by William Labov PDF

By William Labov

This quantity offers the long-anticipated result of numerous a long time of inquiry into the social origins and social motivation of linguistic swap.

  • Written via one of many founders of recent sociolinguistics
  • Features the 1st entire document at the Philadelphia undertaking designed to set up the social position of the leaders of linguistic change
  • Includes chapters on social classification, local, ethnicity, gender, and social networks that delineate the leaders of linguistic switch as girls of the higher operating classification with a excessive density of interplay inside their neighborhoods and a excessive percentage of vulnerable ties outdoors of it

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Sample text

It is not simply the existence of statistical regularity 10 which leads to this conclusion; it is the apparent impossibility of saying which words have a better chance of surviving and which do not, whether abbreviations will persist, and whether 9 The New York City and Philadelphia rule that laxes the vowel of auxiliary can and distinguishes it from the tense vowel in can't does not operate here. 10 That is, the lexicostatistic finding that roughly 19% of the basic vocabulary is replaced every 1000 years (Swadesh 1971).

It is laziness when it gives up more than it gains; economy, when it gains more than it abandons. (1904:70) Syllable length is regularly associated with degree of approximation to target articulations, not only for the syllable nucleus, but for syllable margins as wellY The low level of effort associated with laziness would generally be correlated with slow speech, while the low level of effort attributed to carelessness would be associated with rapid speech. Thus for the careless speaker, a low level of attention or effort directed to the norms of correct speech would combine with the mechanical temporal effect of shorter time to reduce the phonetic information produced, while for the lazy speaker, the temporal effect would operate in the opposite direction.

Thus De Gaulle once declared in a public speech, Je m'addresse aux peuples ... As a result of French sound changes completed many centuries ago, the x of aux in pre-consonantal position and the s of peuples in final position exist only in writing: singular au peuple and plural aux peuples are homonymous. De Gaulle was forced to recognize the inability of spoken French to distinguish singular and plural at this point by adding the meta-comment au pluriel. One of the most widely studied processes of consonant reduction in English is the simplification of clusters ending in It/ or /d/.

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