ERIC Number: ED155913
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Dec
Reference Count: 0
Where Does the Sociolinguistic Variable Stop? Working Papers in Sociolinguistics, No. 40.
Lavandera, Beatriz R.
The nature of linguistic variation is examined, particularly the ways in which phonology, morphology, syntax, and other aspects of language vary according to social and situational contexts. A distinction must be made between a difference in frequency of a linguistic variable that carries meaning, and a difference in frequency which carries no meaning but is the manifestation of the more or less frequent usage of a form in a situational context. Although the analysis of variation in phonology by defining phonological variables can be accepted as contributing to a better understanding of the kinds of information that differences in form may be conveying, the parallel extension of the notion of variable to non-phonological variation may in many cases be unrevealing. One difference between phonological and non-phonological variables is that phonological variables with social and stylistic meaning need not have referential meaning, while non-phonological variables are defined so that all variants of this variable must have the same referential meaning. It is proposed that the notions of sociolinguistic variables and variable rules be restricted to the analysis of forms that communicate social and stylistic significance through their variation. (AM)
Descriptors: Language Styles, Language Usage, Language Variation, Linguistic Theory, Morphology (Languages), Phonology, Semantics, Social Influences, Sociolinguistics, Standard Spoken Usage, Syntax
Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 211 East 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Inst. of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Southwest Educational Development Lab., Austin, TX.