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Since the 1800s, linguistics have been using Reed-Kellogg diagramming to teach about English syntax, but in 1916 we have Ferdinand de Saussure’s “Langue vs. Parole.” In 1954 we have John Gumpers’s and Dell Hymes’s S.P.E.A.K.I.N.G. model for language variation. In 1955 we have George Trager’s and Henry Lee Smith’s –eme and allo- forms (phoneme, allophone, etc.). In 1957 we have Noam Chomsky’s Generative Transformational grammar. In 1959, we have Kenneth Pike’s “Particle, Wave, and Field” grammar. In 1966 we have Charles Fillmore’s Deep Cases. In 1969 we have John Searle’s and J. L. Austin’s “Speech Acts” grammar. In 1980 we have George Lakoff’s “Metaphors we Live By.” In 1989 we have H. P. Grice’s “Conversational Implicatures.” In 2000 we have George Lakoff’s Embodiment. In 2000 we have Victor Raskin’s Script-Model Grammar, Salvatore Attardo’s adaption of Script-Model Grammar to long and sophisticated discourses, and Christian Hempleman’s adaption of Script-Model Grammar to Artificial Intelligence. So what is next in the continuing history of linguistics?
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Michal Mistecky: Excellent link. Thanks.
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If I’m looking at language variation, and expecting a gender difference between ‘style’ and ‘content’, and how does that interact with different meanings of a specific terms used by male or female? i.e. one would be more content-ful than the other?
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Jinan F. B. Al-Hajaj Thank you so much! :)
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Naturally, a combination of criteria should be taken into account but I am trying to include all relevant literature, be it quantitative, pragmatic, or semantic approaches. The goal is to have objective criteria and avoid the usual clash between prescriptivists who reject everything, and anti-prescriptivists who say that recurrent errors are just idiolects. I know that many idioms and phrases (e.g. I could care less vs I couldn't care less) have been debated but I am trying to work out a generic solution. Thanks a lot for your help.
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Some (few) errors in synchrony become variations in diachrony. Which are the characteristics of those exceptional cases? A well remembered origin? A wide, pleasant reception? A subsequent re-production as meta-speech?
I'm sorry. I have added new questions, but I cannot offer any answer
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I would like to know if the analysis includes level of intelligibility of the interlocutor. Or does it focus only on the language variation and its social surroundings? (does sociophonetics (in general) covers intelligibility anyway?)
I am new on sociophonetics so please correct any idea that does not match on sociophonetics concept.
I hope hearing the answer soon. Thank you.
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Hello! Analysis generally covers accent of the interolocuter (which could include intelligibility). In the case of my study, there is only one interviewer (me) which is kept at a constant. It is certainly true that Sociophonetics addresses who the speaker is talking to. Jen Hay has written an article called "Sociophonetics: The Role of Words, the Role of Context, and the Role of Words in Context" (this appeared last year in the journal "Topics in Cognitive Science". It addresses the relationship between speaker and hearer, amongst other things.
Thanks for your question!
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Any tips on running small-scale research projects with undergrads as part of coursework component? (It will be something on sociolinguistic variation). I want them to collect some data which we will pool together and analyse. What have you learnt from past successes/failures?
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Hi. "Face and facework in daily conversation and debates". This can also be informed using Arundale, whose article introduces an innovative approach to analyzing the way participants in a verbal interaction preserve or violate face. It is beyond Brown & Levinson' s (1987) good framework to deal with face and politeness. Hope you will find it more useful. Good Luck and keep up encouraging your students to do and find novel issues.
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I'm aware of some projects in sociolinguistics and historical linguistics that share their data either in an open access format, without any substantial restrictions or delays, or without any "application" process as long as the work is for non-profit purposes. The idea is that everything that goes beyond a simple "Safeguard" letter hinders the maximal exploitation of limited and valuable resources.
These best practice examples, which make (often publicly-funded) data collections available to the public deserve recognition. While I can think of many historical data collection, the Helsinki Corpora Family or the BYU corpora, the more contemporary the data get, the fewer resources are publicly accessible. On the more contemporary end, I can think of, as exceptions,
* the Linguistic Atlas Project (http://www.lap.uga.edu)
and our own
* J. K. Chambers Dialect Topography database (http://dialect.topography.chass.utoronto.ca)
* Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles (www.dchp.ca/dchp2).
Which other projects of active data sharing do you know?
I'd appreciate your input for a list of Best Practice Data Collections that I'm preparing.
Best wishes,
Stefan D.
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MICASE (the Michigan Corpus of Academic Spoken English) has been open access since completion. No registration required!
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I'm considering using Twitter data I've collected for one research project to also do a study of orthographic variation. It seems like a topic that could be treated in much the same way as phonetic variation is treated in sociolinguistics, but I'm not familiar with any studies that treat it as such or that even consider the pitfalls of such an approach. What would be some relevant literature to review on the topic, assuming that any literature even exists on it?
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This is a fascinating question and just starting to be investigated over the last few years. So much more to be done!
Best place to start, in my opinion:
Tatman, Rachael (2015). #go awn: Sociophonetic variation in variant spellings on Twitter. Working Papers of the Linguistics Circle of the University of Victoria, 25(2), 97-108. <https://journals.uvic.ca/index.php/WPLC/article/view/13645/5912>
Tatman, Rachael (2016). "I'm a spawts guay": Comparing the use of sociophonetic variables in speech and Twitter. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics, 22(2), Article 18. <http://repository.upenn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1938&context=pwpl>
Work-in-progress that I know about:
Dinkin, Aaron (2014). A phonological variable in a textual medium: (ING) in online chat. Paper presented at Change and Variation in Canada 8 (Kingston, Ontario, Canada - May 31-June 1, 2014). <http://www.ling.upenn.edu/~dinkin/IMinHandout.pdf>
Lamontagne, Jeffrey, and Gretchen McCulloch (2017). Wayyy longgg: Orthotactics and phonology in lengthening on Twitter. Paper presented at the 91st Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (Austin, Texas, USA - January 5-8, 2017).
McCulloch, Gretchen, and Jeffrey Lamontagne (2017). Troppppp loooongueuuhhhh: Orthographic lengthening across French dialects. Poster presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 46 (Madison, Wisconsin, USA - November 2-5, 2017).
Dalola, Amanda (2017). #YouAreWhatYouTweet: Identity and vowel devoicing in French-language tweets. Poster presented at New Ways of Analyzing Variation (NWAV) 46 (Madison, Wisconsin, USA - November 2-5, 2017).
Some background sources likely to be helpful:
Tagliamonte, Sali A., and Derek Denis (2008). Linguistic ruin? LOL! Instant messaging and teen language. American Speech, 83(1), 3-34.
Squires, Lauren (2012). Whos punctuating what? Sociolinguistic variation in instant messaging. In Alexandra Jaffe, Jannis Androutsopoulos, Mark Sebba, and Sally Johnson (eds.), Orthography as social action: Scripts, spelling, identity and power, 289-324. Mouton de Gruyter.
Tagliamonte, Sali A. (2016). So sick or so cool? The language of youth on the internet. Language in Society, 45(1), 1-32.
Squires, Lauren (2016a). Computer-mediated communication and the English writing system. In Vivian Cook and Des Ryan (eds.), The Routledge handbook of the English writing system, 471-486. Routledge.
Squires, Lauren (ed.) (2016). English in computer-mediated communication: Variation, representation, and change. De Gruyter.
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Most of the studies looked at main/subordinate clauses to infer clausal architecture of a given language and how it has evolved over time. One of the most discussed topics is pragmatic domain and the interplay between syntactic structure and information structure, e.g. topicalization, clefting etc. Would you agree or disagree that infinitival clauses may be a better source to look at the word order change, as it is a reduced clause and we are not "distracted" by some stylistic variation? Looking forward for your opinions! Thank you!
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I would differentiate between grammar and semantics. From one side, I doubt that Infinitival Clauses or word order as syntactic elements play an important role in variation and change since grammatical rules are very specific for every concrete language.
From the other side, I would study their semantic meaning to get rid of language-dependence. For instance, in the emotion domain repetition of words must be studied to localize "hot spots". Below is an abstract from my PhD thesis (p.21):
[Leech & Svartvik, 2003] describe grammatical means to express emotions (the code of a mean referred to hereafter is designated in brackets): interjections (299), e.g. Oh, what a beautiful present!; exclamations (300a), e.g. What a wonderful time we’ve had!; emphatic so and such (300b), e.g. I’m so afraid they’ll get lost!; repetitions (300c), e.g. This house is ‘far, ‘far too expensive!; intensifying adverbs and modifiers (301), e.g. We are utterly powerless!; emphasis (302), e.g. How ever did they escape?; intensifications of negative sentences (303a), e.g. She didn’t speak to us at all; negative noun phrases beginning with not a (303b), e.g. We arrived not a moment too soon; fronted negations (303c), e.g. Never have I seen such a crowd of people!; exclamatory and rhetorical questions (304, 305), e.g. Hasn’t she grown! and What difference does it make?. Note that this thesis uses findings by [Leech & Svartvik, 2003] for appraising emotions.
Similarly, Infinitival Clauses or word order markers could be used as identification anchors to localize variation and change since they identify conspicuous points through the syntactic structure. I would assume there are also more grammatical elements in a language to be investigated comprehensively. Not only Infinitival Clauses that do not "distract" by some stylistic variation.
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Are there any articles dealing with variation in (English as) a foreign language? Sociolinguistic approach to language variation mostly focus on shift between languages, or between standard and dialect. Do fellows here find any research talk about (conscious) variation in a foreign language? Or Could any one suggest any study on language variation from a CDA approach? Thanks.
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Hi Wenge!
For Singapore English, I think you might find works by Lionel Wee, Zhiming Bao, and Lisa Lim useful. I am also reminded of Anne Pakir for a more sociolinguistic side of things. In 2000, Kingsley Bolton has a special volume for Hong Kong English in the journal World Englishes. I think there are some papers there that discusses syntactic and genre issues.
I have a recent paper on how the inner voices of poets are suppressed when their variety of English is not recognised. (The abstract it available at  http://www.l3-conference.org/docs/abstract_assoc_prof_lianheewee.pdf ). I can't give you the full paper yet because it is a keynote talk for a conference in May. If you are interested, I can send you the paper if you remind me in mid-May after it has been delivered.
Best wishes,
Lian-Hee
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I am working with intonational bilingualism, but I am addressing the linguistic issue in a general way and answers from segmental phonology are welcome:
if on one hand I have a pair of synonymous (due to bilingualism), phonetically similar but phonologically distinct patterns that converge phonetically in a gradient way, creating a continuity of in-between forms without creating new phonological categories (gradent phonetic fudging), thus progressively (in time) eliminating their phonological distinction, and on the other hand I have another synonimous pair which creates a third intermediate fusion-form but also a fusion-category associated to it (phonological discrete fudging), am I allowed to say that (or is there a possible way to assess, and in this case, are there studies assessing whether) the first process is a more "below the level of awareness" than the second one (and therefore, is more bound to result in permanent change)?
Probably the very definition of phonological implies a "more" conscious process, but I mean specific self-awareness tasks, which in intonation may be of the kind "have you said it with an accent?" giving clearly polarized answers in some cases and many "I don't know"s or "sort of"s in others.
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Interesting but complex questions! Without going into any of them directly, I would like to mention an unpublished (and now lost, alas!) paper I wrote on the ability of a speaker who made the COT:CAUGHT distinction regularly and natively, to distinguish it after having lived among speakers who lacked it. The surprising result (to me) was that the speaker failed to recognize the distinction when listening to recorded word lists. I am sure that I have seen this point documented elsewhere, but I don't recall where just now. The moral is that what happens in production does not necessarily always mirror what occurs in reception. (Sometimes the result runs the other way: the hearer recognizes the distinction in the speech of others, but does not produce it -- pointing to the hazards of making internal psycholinguistic inferences based on external events.)
    --Rudy
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I m interested in finding out if anyone has any information or a location where I can get my mind on writings between the time frame of the Greek Empire to the Roman Empire. The goal is to trace the symbols in the book back to its original Algorithm, which again is between the Greek Empire and the Roman Empire.
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Could you be more specific? The Voynich manuscript dates from the 15th century, and theories that it is in some way based upon classical Greek do not use "writings between the time frame of the Greek Empire to the Roman Empire". First, the most widespread "Greek" of antiquity was a 2nd language (a lingua franca) after Alexander's conquest, but centuries later authors self-consciously attempted (and largely failed) to replicate the Attic Greek of Plato, Antiphon, Xenophon, Andokides, Isocrates, etc. In the centuries after both classical and koine Greek died out and Byzantine Greek emerged, knowledge of Greek faded in the West and many of our texts survive thanks only to copies and translations produced by the Islamic empire. The symbols are no more Greek than they are Sindarin, and early modern/late medieval Greek of the 15th century had comparatively little in common with classical Greek. Finally, the Greek scripts of the period you mention are all majuscule. Some ~5 centuries after the end of classical Greek we still find the majuscule of the Codex Sinaiticus (http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/). I'm not sure how you intend to trace the symbols themselves back to this period, given that even if there is Greek influence in what isn't a forgery, the characters are not majuscule.