Journal of Sociolinguistics
About: Journal of Sociolinguistics is an academic journal published by Wiley-Blackwell. The journal publishes majorly in the area(s): Sociolinguistics & Variation (linguistics). It has an ISSN identifier of 1360-6441. Over the lifetime, 1024 publications have been published receiving 35914 citations.
Topics: Sociolinguistics, Variation (linguistics), Identity (social science), Sociology, Multilingualism
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: The authors argue that the meanings of variables are not precise or fixed but rather constitute a field of potential meanings, any one of which can be activated in the situated use of the variable, and each new activation has the potential to change the field by building on ideological connections.
Abstract: This paper argues for a focus on the social meaning of variation, based in a study of stylistic practice. It is common in the study of variation to interpret variables as reflections of speakers’ membership in social categories. Others have argued more recently that variables are associated not with the categories themselves, but with stances and characteristics that constitute those categories. The paper reviews some variation studies that showthatvariablesdonothavestaticmeanings,butrathergeneralmeanings that become more specific in the context of styles. Building on Michael Silverstein’s notion of indexical order, I argue that the meanings of variables are not precise or fixed but rather constitute a field of potential meanings ‐ an indexical field, or constellation of ideologically related meanings, any one of which can be activated in the situated use of the variable. The field is fluid, and each new activation has the potential to change the field by building on ideological connections. Thus variation constitutes an indexical system that embeds ideology in language and that is in turn part and parcel of the construction of ideology.
TL;DR: This article explored ways in which the globalized new economy has resulted in the commodification of language and identity, sometimes separately, sometimes together, and explored the emerging tensions between State-based and corporate identities and language practices, between local, national and supra-national identities, and between hybridity and uniformity.
Abstract: The globalized new economy is bound up with transformations of language and identity in many different ways (cf., e.g. Bauman 1997; Castells 2000; Giddens 1990). These include emerging tensions between State-based and corporate identities and language practices, between local, national and supra-national identities and language practices, and between hybridity and uniformity. Ethnolinguistic minorities provide a particularly revealing window into these processes. In this paper, I explore ways in which the globalized new economy has resulted in the commodification of language and identity, sometimes separately, sometimes together. The paper is based on recent ethnographic, sociolinguistic research in francophone areas of Canada.
TL;DR: This paper explored the effects of the standard language ideology on attitudes to language of nonlinguists and of language specialists, and considered how far linguists themselves have been affected by and have contributed to this ideology.
Abstract: This paper explores the effects of the standard language ideology on attitudes to language of nonlinguists and of language specialists, and considers how far linguists themselves have been affected by – and have contributed to – this ideology. The primary definition of standardization is taken to be the imposition of uniformity upon a class of objects. Attitudes to language within standard language cultures are then reviewed and contrasted with unstandardized situations, in which the boundaries of languages are indeterminate. It is therefore suggested that determinate languages, such as English, may be defined more by ideologies than by their internal structures. Some effects of standardization on the work of linguists are then reviewed. This is followed by a discussion of the importance of the process of legitimization in contributing to the standard language culture, and of the contribution of language specialists themselves to this process. Finally, certain matters arising are reviewed.
TL;DR: Sociolinguistic nostalgia and the authentication of identity as discussed by the authors have been identified as an implicit theory of identity in sociolinguistics, and they have been studied as an alternative to the traditional notion of authenticity.
Abstract: Sociolinguistic nostalgia and the authentication of identity 1 Mary Bucholtz University of California, Santa Barbara INTRODUCTION Although sociolinguistics has become a fragmented ®eld since its initial broad conceptualization in the 1960s (e.g. Bright 1966; Gumperz and Hymes 1972), the now-divergent strands of sociolinguistic research continue to share a concern with something that has been called `real language.' Against the idealism of the Chomskyan paradigm, sociolinguistics positioned itself as an empirical discipline in which language was taken to mean the systematic use of language by social actors in social situations. I employ the term sociolinguistics here in its original wide reference to include not only the disparate quantitative and qualitative approaches that claim this name but also linguistic anthropo- logy, conversation analysis, and other socially and culturally oriented forms of discourse analysis. For despite the many dierences that divided these research traditions, `real language' remains central to each. And although methods of data collection and analysis vary widely across these approaches, what is meant by real language (or by some more theoretically elaborated equivalent term) has remained for the most part remarkably consistent: real language ± that is, authentic language ± is language produced in authentic contexts by authentic speakers. For this reason, authenticity underwrites nearly every aspect of sociolinguis- tics, from our identi®cation of socially meaningful linguistic phenomena, to the de®nition of the social groups we study, to the methods we use to collect our data, to the theories we draw on in our analysis. Yet despite its pervasiveness in the ®eld, this pivotal concept is rarely a topic of investigation in its own right. In addition, because researchers frequently assume some notion of authenticity in the sociolinguistic study of identity, the latter concept too remains theoretically underdeveloped within sociolinguistics. In the following discussion, I consider the sociolinguistic investment in authenticity as an implicit theory of identity. I then explore the original reasons for this investment and discuss some of the problems and limitations associated with it in the current context of socio- linguistic research. Finally, I oer an alternative vision for the sociolinguistic study of authenticity ± one that, rather than presupposing the authentic as an # Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 2003
TL;DR: The authors argue against the widespread assumption that the English language in its role as lingua franca is a serious threat to national languages and to multilingualism, and make a distinction between languages for communication and languages for identification.
Abstract: In this paper I argue against the widespread assumption that the English language in its role as lingua franca is a serious threat to national languages and to multilingualism. I support this argument by making a distinction between ‘languages for communication’ and ‘languages for identification’. Further support for the stance against one-sidedly attacking English as a killer language will be drawn from the findings of three research projects currently being carried out at Hamburg University, one on the impact English has on discourse norms in influential genres in other languages; the second one on the nature of interactions in English as a lingua franca; and the third one on so-called ‘international degree programmes’, in which English is the language of instruction. Finally, I make some tentative suggestions for a new research paradigm for English as a lingua franca.