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Lecture 8

LING 320 Lecture 8: ling320_02.02.17

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LING 320
Charles Boberg

Chapter 7 02/02/17 LING 320 LECTURE 8: review: - methodological issues with data gathering - sample gathering ; samples must be both small enough to be manageable, but large enough to be representative of the targeted group - elicitation, observer’s paradox - issue of overlapping distributions - means for different response curves may be close together with wide distribution (lots of overlap) or far apart with narrow distribution (less overlap) Quantitative Studies of Sociolinguistics - Fischer, 1958 -ing endings in children - Labov, 1972 r-use in NYC department stores Fischer 1958 - first systemic, quantitative study of language variation - dependent variable is -ing (walkin’ vs walking vs walkeen) - variability had previously been treated as “free variation” in formal linguistics - “free variation” is a label, not an explanation; seeks to explain this variation - looks at 24 children in new england village, equally boys and girls, grouped ages 3-6 and 7-10 (early and middle childhood) - had them making up stories and a formal questionnaire for older children - informal interviews for a subset of older children - results not surprising in retrospect, but striking as the first report on this topic in a systematic way for the time - more boys prefer the nasal form than girls - within the boys, “typical boys” have higher frequency of nasal form than “model boys” - use of apical nasal increases as formality decreases - “informal” verbs tend to have apical nasals and “formal” verbs tend to have velar nasals - first empirical observations of sex, attitude, social class, and speech style on variation - “socially symbolic variants” = variants of the variable in social terms Labov 1972 - “father” of modern sociolinguistics - 1963 study of Martha’s vineyard - 1972 ; 2 studies of NYC language variation, specifically r-use - rapid and anonymous study (department store study) - lower east side survey (sociolinguistic interviews) *included other phonological variables Department Store Study -
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