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ERIC Number: ED010871
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1966
Pages: 21
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
THE LINGUISTIC VARIABLE AS A STRUCTURAL UNIT.
LABOV, WILLIAM
RESEARCH ON ENGLISH PHONOLOGY IN NEW YORK CITY IS DESCRIBED. CURRENT LINGUISTIC THEORY IS CONSIDERED UNABLE TO ACCOUNT FOR MASSIVE "FREE VARIATION" IN THE PHONOLOGY OF THE SPEECH OF THAT AREA. ISOLATED WERE PHONOLOGICAL VARIABLES WHICH ARE ASSOCIATED WITH SOCIAL, STYLISTIC, ETHNIC, AND INDIVIDUAL FACTORS IN NEW YORK CITY. QUANTITATIVE INDEXES WERE CONSTRUCTED AND INTERVIEWING TECHNIQUES DEVISED TO ISOLATE CONTEXTUAL STYLES. THE FINDINGS SHOW THAT THE SPEECH OF NEW YORKERS IS HIGHLY DETERMINED BY CONTEXT AND SOCIOECONOMIC CLASS. THE RESEARCH PERMITTED ESTABLISHMENT OF A STRUCTURAL UNIT, THE LINGUISTIC VARIABLE, WHICH IS A CLASS OF VARIANTS SUCH AS MORPHS OR PHONES, WHICH IS ORDERED ALONG A CONTINUOUS DIMENSION, AND WHOSE POSITION IS DETERMINED BY AN INDEPENDENT LINGUISTIC OR EXTRALINGUISTIC VARIABLE. THE THEORETICAL CONSEQUENCE OF INTRODUCING THIS CONSTRUCT IS THE ENLARGEMENT OF LINGUISTIC THEORY. THE AUTHOR SUGGESTS THE ADDITION OF THE LINGUISTIC VARIABLE TO THE REPERTORY OF STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS TO DESCRIBE REGULARITIES IN LINGUISTIC BEHAVIOR WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE REMAIN INACCESSIBLE. THIS ARTICLE IS PUBLISHED IN THE "WASHINGTON LINGUISTICS REVIEW," VOLUME 3, SPRING 1966. (KL)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: New York (New York)