ERIC Number: ED030103
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1969-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Linguistic Correlates of Social Differences in the Negro Community.
Wolfram, Walter A.
The regularity with which much variation between forms, formerly dismissed as "free variation," can be accounted for on the basis of extra-linguistic and independent linguistic factors has made the concept of the linguistic variable an invaluable construct in the description of patterned speech variation. The linguistic variable, itself an abstraction, is realized in actual speech behavior by variants (individual items which are members of a class of variants constituting the variable). The particular value of a given linguistic variable may be viewed as the function of its correlation with extra-linguistic or independent linguistic variables. The extra-linguistic variables considered in the Detroit Dialect Study were socio-economic class, sex, age, contextual style, and racial isolation. Independent linguistic factors taken into account were linear environment and construction type. The author also summarizes in this paper several basic research questions concerning the function of the linguistic variable as a marker of social status in the black community: (1) the intersection of various social factors in accounting for patterned speech variation, (2) the extent to which social differentiation is quantitative or qualitative, (3) the relation between socially diagnostic phonological and grammatical variables, and (4) the effect of independent linguistic constraints on variability. (See related document ED 028 431.) (DO)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Detroit Dialect Study; Linguistic Variables
Note: Paper delivered at meeting of the Washington Linguistics Club, Washington, D.C., March 1969.