Journal of Sociolinguistics

Publisher: Wiley

Journal description

In four issues of 160 pages each per year the Journal of Sociolinguistics is an international forum for multidisciplinary research on language and society. The journal promotes sociolinguistics as a thoroughly linguistic and thoroughly social-scientific endeavour. We encourage submissions which forge innovative links theoretically or empirically between social systems and linguistic practices. The journal is concerned with language in all its dimensions macro and micro as formal features or abstract discourses as situated talk or written text. Data in published articles represent a wide range of languages regions and situations - from Alune to Xhosa from Cameroun to Canada from bulletin boards to dating ads. The journal publishes occasional thematic issues on new topics of wide relevance to sociolinguistics such as 'Styling the Other' (1999 edited by Ben Rampton) and 'Non-standard orthographgy and non-standard speech' (2000 edited by Alexandra Jaffe). We publish and encourage articles that build or critique sociolinguistic theory and the application of recent social theory to language data and issues. The journal's Dialogue section carries opinion pieces and exchanges between scholars on topical issues including in 2000 Jan Blommaert Tove Skutnabb-Kangas and Robert Phillipson on sociolinguistics and linguistic human rights.

Current impact factor: 0.89

Impact Factor Rankings

Additional details

5-year impact 1.60
Cited half-life 8.10
Immediacy index 0.04
Eigenfactor 0.00
Article influence 1.02
Website Journal of SocioLinguistics website
Other titles Journal of sociolinguistics (En ligne)
ISSN 1467-9841
OCLC 299335489
Material type Periodical, Internet resource
Document type Internet Resource, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details


  • Pre-print
    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author cannot archive a post-print version
  • Restrictions
    • 2 years embargo
  • Conditions
    • Some journals have separate policies, please check with each journal directly
    • On author's personal website, institutional repositories, arXiv, AgEcon, PhilPapers, PubMed Central, RePEc or Social Science Research Network
    • Author's pre-print may not be updated with Publisher's Version/PDF
    • Author's pre-print must acknowledge acceptance for publication
    • On a non-profit server
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Publisher source must be acknowledged with citation
    • Must link to publisher version with set statement (see policy)
    • If OnlineOpen is available, BBSRC, EPSRC, MRC, NERC and STFC authors, may self-archive after 12 months
    • If OnlineOpen is available, AHRC and ESRC authors, may self-archive after 24 months
    • Publisher last contacted on 07/08/2014
    • This policy is an exception to the default policies of 'Wiley'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • Journal of Sociolinguistics 04/2015; 19(2). DOI:10.1111/josl.12113
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    ABSTRACT: By focusing on everyday use of spatial ‘frames of reference’ (FOR) in route instruction, we propose some possible explanations for the seemingly contradictory trends observed in FOR-based and deixis-based spatial expressions in Japanese. We examined the data obtained in a series of longitudinal surveys conducted in Japan over 50 years (1953, 1972 and 2008). Our GoldVarb analysis confirmed what is called a ‘retrograde’ lifespan change. This indicates that, first, synchronically, the preference for External FOR (that is, based on North-South-East-West) increases as community members grow older. This means they shift toward the local norm through ‘age-grading’. Secondly, diachronically, the preference for Internal FOR (based on Right-Left-Front-Back) has gradually increased over the past century. There is, therefore, a ‘generational change’ motivated by the linguistic marketplace. In contrast, as a community-wide preference for Internal FOR expressions prevails, there is an accompanying gradual decrease in the use of deictic expressions such as ‘here/there/over there’. This indicates a partially complementary relationship between deixis and Internal FOR.
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 04/2015; 19(2). DOI:10.1111/josl.12116
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    ABSTRACT: This paper investigates the effect of persona-based information on implicit linguistic perceptions of a sociolinguistic feature – the backed trap vowel. trap-backing is associated both with macro-social region (California) and with a particular persona that inhabits this region (the Valley Girl). An eye-tracking paradigm is used to examine these associations in early, automatic stages of perception. One group of listeners was told the speaker was from California, while another group was told that the speaker had been described as a Valley Girl. Findings demonstrate that both the California information and the Valley Girl information caused listeners to expect the speaker to exhibit trap-backing. While previous studies have highlighted the influence of macro-sociological categories on linguistic perception, the present study suggests that persona-based social meanings can also serve to influence perception, supporting theories that foreground personae as social constructs crucial to interaction.
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 04/2015; 19(2). DOI:10.1111/josl.12115
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    ABSTRACT: This article examines the construction of zine producer identities (self and other) during a research interview. Zines are self-published texts that circulate in mainly underground communities. In this study, I draw on dialogic understandings of the notion of ‘stance’ to show how a zine producer accomplishes a situated identity performance in the interview that also functions as an interdiscursive move in a larger conversation about the role Do-It-Yourself (DIY) ethics should play in zine communities. Specifically, I show how this speaker displays stances in relation to recognizable social types within zine communities but also the canonical stances associated with these social types. I unpack the features that work in support of this stancetaking, including discourse markers, constructed dialogue, referring terms, and prosodic cues. The analysis also foregrounds how the interviewer's turns contributed to these emergent stance displays, which furthers our understanding of the dynamic social context of the research interview.
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 04/2015; 19(2). DOI:10.1111/josl.12118
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    ABSTRACT: Trauma can be defined as an event that goes beyond ordinary modes of experience and linguistic representation. It represents a break not just with a particular form of representation but with the possibility of representation at all. Drawing on a large corpus of domestic migrant worker narratives, the article analyses trauma narratives in which migrant women share their experiences while working for abusive employers. The stories deal with unspeakable suffering and humiliation, and the article attempts to outline the narrative structures that characterise trauma storytelling: broken narratives with voids in the narrative flow. It also analyses the emotional component of trauma narratives focusing on crying, which is seen as an authentication of feeling and meaning. Finally, the article considers how the women make sense of their traumatic experiences, and how peer support becomes essential in the narrators' attempts to rewrite their life stories from victimhood to survival and beyond.創傷可定義為超越恆常經歷與語言表達的事件,其表達模式不但會脫離特定的形 式,更可能完全談不上是一種表達行為。本文取材自一個結集大量外籍家庭傭工 敍事的語料庫,分析女性外籍家傭表述如何受僱主虐待的創傷敍述。這些經歷記 錄了令人髮指的傷痛與凌辱;本文嘗試分析此類創傷敍述的特有敍事結構:敍事 流程破碎,中間每每留下段段空白。本文亦會分析創傷敍事的情感表述,聚焦痛 哭這一行為,因為此種表現一般被認為是真實感覺與意義的佐證。最後,本文會 探討女性如何理解自己的創傷經歷,而同儕支援又如何有效地協助敍事者走出受 害者的陰霾,轉而以倖存者或更超然的態度重寫自己的親身經歷。[Chinese]
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 04/2015; 19(2). DOI:10.1111/josl.12117
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    ABSTRACT: Social media features a wide range of non-standard spellings, many of which appear inspired by phonological variation. However, the nature of the connection between variation across the spoken and written modalities remains poorly understood. Are phonological variables transferred to writing on the level of graphemes, or is the larger system of contextual patterning also transferred? This paper considers orthographic coda deletions corresponding to the phonological variables of (ing) and (t,d). In both cases, orthography mirrors speech: reduction of the -ing suffix depends on the word's syntactic category, and reduction of the -t,-d suffix depends on the succeeding phonological context. These spellings are more frequently used in informal conversational contexts, and in areas with high proportions of African Americans, again mirroring the patterning of the associated phonological variables. This suggests a deep connection between variation in the two modalities, necessitating a new account of the production of cross-modal variation.
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 04/2015; 19(2). DOI:10.1111/josl.12119
  • Journal of Sociolinguistics 04/2015; 19(2). DOI:10.1111/josl.12114
  • Journal of Sociolinguistics 02/2015; 19(1). DOI:10.1111/josl.12110
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    ABSTRACT: In this paper, we analyse linguistic variables which are well-established in British English, the vowels in the trap and bath lexical sets. We demonstrate that the social meanings of these variables are both historically substantiated and locally-elaborated. Our data is taken from the speech of individuals living on the Isles of Scilly, a group of islands off the south-west coast of England. Our initial analysis shows that trap and bath variants found on the islands are linked to contact with Standard English English, on the one hand, and the nearest neighbouring variety of Cornish English, on the other. The general distribution of variants is shown to reflect educational differences amongst our speakers. However, two case studies show speakers using forms atypical of their education type in order to position themselves in interactionally-dynamic ways. This reveals how speakers exploit the multidimensional meanings of linguistic variants to reflect and construct local practices and alignments.
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 02/2015; 19(1). DOI:10.1111/josl.12107
  • Journal of Sociolinguistics 02/2015; 19(1). DOI:10.1111/josl.12100
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    ABSTRACT: This article examines the collective language shift from Swedish to Ukrainian in the Swedish-ethnic community of Gammalsvenskby, Ukraine. The Gammalsvenskby language shift is used to argue that language shift is such a complex social practice that it cannot be satisfactorily explained by the use of preconceived, deductive analytical frameworks. The argument is probed through a study of selected themes in the life story interviews of 16 last-generation Swedish-speakers, making use of the framework of nexus analysis. The study shows that the different kinds of discourses involved in the Gammalsvenskby language shift have resulted in a complex network of interrelated processes of change on various levels. These processes are so intertwined and have had such different scalar effects, that they cannot be simply grouped as factors which are classed as either micro or macro.I artikeln studeras det kollektiva språkbytet från svenska till ukrainska i den svensketniska gruppen i Gammalsvenskby (Ukraina) för att visa att språkbyte är en så komplex social praktik att på förhand uppställda deduktiva analysmatriser inte kan förklara den på ett tillfredsställande sätt. Detta argument utforskas med nexusanalys som referensram genom en studie av några utvalda teman i levnadsberättelser av 16 personer ur den sista svensktalande generationen. Studien visar att de olika slags diskurser som var inblandade i språkbytet i Gammalsvenskby resulterade i ett komplext nät av sammanlänkade förändringsprocesser på olika nivåer. Dessa processer var så sammanflätade och hade så olika skalära effekter, att det inte förefaller meningsfullt att gruppera dem som faktorer som kan hänföras till separata mikro- och makronivåer. [Swedish]
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 02/2015; 19(1). DOI:10.1111/josl.12112
  • Journal of Sociolinguistics 02/2015; 19(1). DOI:10.1111/josl.12095
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    ABSTRACT: This paper presents an insight into two Farsi complementary language classrooms in Copenhagen, Denmark, characterised by political sensitivities. We illustrate a number of characteristic features of the classrooms concerning language use, pedagogical methods and cultural phenomena, which were related to key adults’ preferences, and we consider possible interpretations of them as indexical signs. In particular, we emphasise ideological interpretations (e.g. the monolingualism norm and language purism) and we relate the classroom characteristics to the contemporary state of Iran as well as to the time and place in which the classes occurred. We analyse both explicit metapragmatic messages and implicit ways of indicating ideologies, and see both types as characterised by avoidance of particular referents, that is, by unmentionables.
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 02/2015; 19(1). DOI:10.1111/josl.12106
  • Journal of Sociolinguistics 02/2015; 19(1). DOI:10.1111/josl.12096
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    ABSTRACT: There is great variability in whether foreign sounds in loanwords are adapted, such that segments show cross-word and cross-situational variation in adaptation. Previous research proposed that word frequency, speakers' level of bilingualism and neighborhoods' level of bilingualism can explain such variability. We test for the effect of these factors and propose two additional factors: interlocutors' level of bilingualism and the prestige of the donor language in the loanword's domain. Analyzing elicited productions of loanwords from Spanish into Mexicano in a village where Spanish and Mexicano enjoy prestige in complementary domains, we show that interlocutors' bilingualism and prestige influence the rate of sound adaptation. Additionally, we find that speakers accommodate to their interlocutors, regardless of the interlocutors' level of bilingualism. As retention of foreign sounds can lead to sound change, these results show that social factors can influence changes in a language's sound system.Existe una gran variación en la forma en la que los sonidos ajenos a una lengua receptora se adaptan en préstamos lingüísticos, de tal forma que los segmentos muestran variación en la adaptación a través de diferentes tipos de palabras y entre distintos tipos de situaciones. Investigaciones previas proponen que la frecuencia de palabra y el nivel de bilingüismo, tanto individual como el de la localidad de los hablantes, pueden explicar dicha variabilidad. Probamos el efecto de estos factores y propusimos dos variables adicionales: el nivel de bilingüismo de los interlocutores y el prestigio de la lengua donante en el ámbito de los préstamos. Al analizar una muestra de producción de préstamos del español en el mexicano de Tagcotepec, una comunidad donde ambas lenguas tienen prestigio en ámbitos complementarios, mostramos que el bilingüismo de los interlocutores y el prestigio influencian el porcentaje de adaptación de sonidos. Asimismo, encontramos que los hablantes adaptan su forma de hablar a sus interlocutores, según el nivel de bilingüismo. Puesto que retener un sonido ajeno en la lengua receptora puede llevar al cambio lingüístico, estos resultados muestran que los factores sociales pueden influenciar los cambios en el sistema de sonidos de una lengua determinada.
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 11/2014; 18(5). DOI:10.1111/josl.12102
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    ABSTRACT: Making use of three data sets of Newfoundland English, this paper uncovers the linguistic and social motivations and strategies used by young speakers to reclaim and re-shape a traditional, local, relic language feature (verbal –s attachment, as in I goes). While each group that we discuss (young females, drag queens, and a sample of the Newfoundland population) is differently situated with respect to the broader local culture (i.e. they each have their own social identities), similarities and parallels in the reclamation and use of verbal –s indicate important processes that occur in the enregisterment and reappropriation of a salient, traditional linguistic form. Results indicate that the local social and linguistic reconstruction of a speech feature can change a path of decline and prove fertile ground for creating a unique identity that moves toward the global while still motioning to the past of a community.Cette étude s'appuie sur trois ensembles de données de l'anglais terre-neuvien pour révéler les motivations linguistiques et sociales ainsi que les stratégies dont se servent les jeunes locuteurs pour revaloriser un archaïsme local traditionnel (à savoir, l'emploi de la terminaison en –s à toutes les personnes, p. ex. I goes ‘je vais’, alors que la langue normée la réserve uniquement à la troisième personne du singulier) et lui donner des sens nouveaux. Bien que les trois groupes étudiés (jeunes femmes, drag queens et un échantillon général de la population de Terre-Neuve) se situent différemment vis-à-vis la culture locale générale (c'est-à-dire qu'ils possèdent tous une identité sociale distincte), leurs emplois respectifs de la terminaison verbale en –s et les revalorisations de cette construction qui en résultent reflètent des ressemblances et des parallélismes signalant des procédés importants qui sous-tendent la réification dialectale et la réappropriation d'une forme linguistique saillante traditionnelle.
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 11/2014; 18(5). DOI:10.1111/josl.12094
  • Journal of Sociolinguistics 11/2014; 18(5). DOI:10.1111/josl.12099
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    ABSTRACT: Schneider's (2007) ground-breaking Dynamic Model is widely regarded as the most comprehensive and coherent theory to account for the evolution of postcolonial Englishes, but has yet to be validated by evidence from detailed historical research. This article seeks to bridge this gap by presenting an empirically-grounded case study of the evolution of Hong Kong English based on the four parameters in Schneider's (2007) framework, viz. sociopolitical background, identity constructions, sociolinguistic conditions, and linguistic effects. Whereas previous applications of the framework have relied on synchronic data, this study draws on sets of primary data spanning 170 years. These diachronic datasets make it possible to demarcate distinct phases in the use of English in society and the evolution of its community of users. The study casts doubt on the accuracy of Schneider's account of the evolution of Hong Kong English and, more generally, the applicability of the Dynamic Model to Outer Circle contexts.施奈德(Schneider) 2007 年提出的具有開創性的動態模式被廣泛認為是對後殖民英語的演化闡釋最為全面詳盡、清晰連貫的範疇模式。然而,該模式還未經具體的歷史角度的實證研究加以佐證。為填補這一研究空白,本文基於施奈德動態模式的四個維度(社會政治背景、身份構建、社會語言條件和語言使用影響)對香港英語的演變過程進行詳細的實證考察。前人研究基於共時性數據對施耐德的理論應用進行檢驗。而與此不同的是,本研究采用時間跨度為170年的歷時性數據資料,清晰地劃分英語在社會中的使用與其使用者特征演變的不同階段。文章對施奈德關於香港英語演變的相關論述的准確性提出質疑。更廣泛地說,本文認為其動態模式對闡釋”外圈”國家中英語變體演變的適用性存在質疑
    Journal of Sociolinguistics 11/2014; 18(5). DOI:10.1111/josl.12104
  • Journal of Sociolinguistics 11/2014; 18(5). DOI:10.1111/josl.12098