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Outward bound: Language as a property of the speech community. William Labov University of Pennsylvania. Pozna n 2010 . WL home page www.ling.upenn.edu/~labov. The central dogma of sociolinguistics: . The community is conceptually and analytically prior to the individual. .

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outward bound language as a property of the speech community
Outward bound: Language as a property of the speech community

William Labov

University of Pennsylvania

Poznan 2010

the central dogma of sociolinguistics
The central dogma of sociolinguistics:

The community is conceptually and analytically prior to the individual.

In linguistic analysis, the behavior of an individual can be understood only through the study of the social groups of which he or she is a member.

durkheim s social facts
Durkheim’s social facts

. . .ways of behaving, thinking and feeling, exterior to the individual, which possess a power of coercion by which they are imposed on him (1937, p. 5, my translation)

durkheim on individualists
Durkheim on individualists

“. . . the word compelling, by which we define [social facts], has a risk of irritating the zealous partisans of an absolute individualism. As they believe that the individual is perfectly autonomous, they feel that the individual is diminished each time that it seems that he does not act entirely by himself. (Durkheim 1937:6).

the individual as primary input
The individual as primary input

“The linguist should be able to pin-point the development of a language as a result of individual choices, and that the sociolinguist should try to relate changes in social structure to changes in individual cultural values as expressed through speech in social interaction. Individual behavior is thus seen as the proper starting point for sociolinguistic investigation.”

–Janet Holmes, Sociolinguistics and the Individual

what is to be learned
What is to be learned?

1. What comes first. The learner copies faithfully the forms first acquired and makes minimal modification thereafter

what is to be learned1
What is to be learned?

2. Everything. Within the critical period, the learner is sensitive to each exposure and continually modifies the linguistic system in proportion to the frequency of each type observed in interaction.

what is to be learned2
What is to be learned?

3. What is local. The learner is oriented towards the linguistic forms of a given social group with which he or she is in contact.

what is to be learned3
What is to be learned?

4. What is new. When the language learners perceive change in progress. they are oriented to acquire new forms in preference to the old.

what is to be learned4
What is to be learned?

5. What is general. Language learners exhibit a preference for forms and patterns that are the general medium of communication across all subgroups of the speech community.

1 evidence against imprinting children do not acquire non native features from their parents
1. Evidence against imprinting: children do not acquire non-native features from their parents.
slide15
Acquisition of Philadelphia variables by children of out-of-state families in King of Prussiabyage of arrival

from Payne 1976

slide17
Development of local phonetic forms for the GOAT vowel in Milton Keynes by age. [From Kerswill and Williams 1994].
phonological variables for subjects with foreign and native born parents in new york city
. Phonological variables for subjects with foreign- and native-born parents in New York City
the philadelphia neighborhood study n 120
The Philadelphia Neighborhood Study [N=120]

Upper class Chestnut Hill

WicketSt. Kensington

Nancy Drive King of Prussisa

Mallow St. Overbrook

Clark St. So. Phila

Pitt St.: So. Phila

slide21

Stepwise regression of second formant of F2 of /aw/ in the Philadelphia Neighborhood Study with gender, age, social class, neighborhood and ethnicity factors..N=112. Adjusted r2 = 56.6

Variable Coefficient Probability

Female 122 ≤ 0.0001

Age (*25 years) -120 ≤ 0.0001

Upper working class 138 0.0026

Wicket St. neighborhood 171 0.0007

Pitt St. neighborhood 101 0.0329

Italian -14 0.804

Jewish -94 0.293

Irish 16 0.776

WASP -25 0.681

German -174 0.029

Generation in U.S. 1.6 0.945

slide24

Low back vowel systems in Seekonk children by grade and parental system. Elementary schools: A = Aitkin, M = Martin, N = North. (Johnson 2010: Fig. 5.3)

reduction of future bai baimbye in tok pisin
Reduction of future bai ( < baimbye) in TokPisin

Parent Child

embaii-go emb-i-go

he will go he will go

index of centralization on martha s vineyard as a symbol of local identity
Index of Centralization on Martha’s Vineyard as a symbol of local identity

Persons Attitude towards Centralization index the island (ay) (aw)

40 Positive 63 62

19 Neutral 32 42

6 Negative 09 08

slide32

The Northern Cities Shift

desk

busses

bosses

mat

head

block

socks

slide33
Local development of the backing of /ʌ/ in but, bunk, in Belten high school in the suburbs of Detroit (Eckert 2000)
slide34

Backing of / ʌ/ in but, bunk, etc. by gender and social group inBelten high school in the suburbs of Detroit (Table 5.7, Eckert 2000).

Factor weights for advanced tokens of backed /ʌ/

Burnout girls Burnout boys Jock girls Jock boys

.79 .63 .22 .30

slide35
Local development of the fronting of /ʌ/ in but, bunk, etc. in Farmer City, Illinois high school (Habick 1980) ,
slide36
Distribution of fronting of /ʌ/ in but, bunk, etc by social groups in Farmer City, Illinois (based on Table 9-2, Habick 1980)

Distance from /e/

Group OverlappedClose Far

Burnout 6 3 0

Redneck 3 6 1

Parents 1 2 4

Grandparents 0 1 5

Kentucky 0 0 7

all intermediate speakers under 20 in 1971 were categorical r users by the age of 33 in 1984
All intermediate speakers under 20 in 1971 were categorical [R]-users by the age of 33 in 1984

Louise L.

Louis-Pierre R.

Guy T.

Paul D.

lexical diffusion of short a tensing in philadelphia
Lexical diffusion of short-a tensing in Philadelphia

Tense Lax

pan panning panel

ham hamming hammer

plan planning planet

fan fanning flannel

slide44

Lexical diffusion of tensing of planetamong adults and children in Philadelphia (Roberts and Labov 1995)

lexical diffusion of planet among younger and older children in philadelphia roberts and labov 1995
Lexical diffusion of planet among younger and older children in Philadelphia (Roberts and Labov 1995)
proportion of t d deletion for eleven members of the jets in single interviews
Proportion of –t,d deletion for eleven members of the Jets in single interviews

Labov, Cohen, Robins and Lewis 1968

slide48
Proportion deleted of monomorphemic –t,d clusters before consonants and vowels for eleven members of the Jets.
slide50

Tensing of short-a in Philadelphia in closed syllables

mad, bad glad

pttʃk

bddʒg

mnŋ

fθsʃ

vðzʒ

slide51

Tensing and laxing of short a before /d/ in the spontaneous speech of 112 adults in the Philadelphia Neighborhood Study, including speakers from all social classes

Tense Lax

bad 143 0

mad 73 0

glad 18 1

sad 0 14

dad 0 10

slide54
Mean F1 and F2 for vowels with age coefficient in the Philadelphia Neighborhood Study 1973-1979 (Labov 2001)

Head of arrow = estimated value for speakers 25 years younger than the mean; tail of arrow for speakers 25 years older than the mean.

slide55

Scatterplot of the fronting of (eyC) by age and socioeconomic class, with partial regression lines for social classes, from the Philadelphia Neighborhood Study 1972-1979 [N=112].

slide56

The individual creates his systems of verbal behavior so as to resemble those common to the group or groups with which he wishes from time to time to be identified, to the extent that:

(a) he is able to identify those groups

(b) his motives are sufficiently clear-cut and powerful

(c) his opportunities for learning are adequate

(d) his ability to learn -- that is, to changes his habits where necessary -- is unimpaired.

--R. Le Page & A. Tabouret-Keller, Acts of Identity (1985)

slide58

Scatterplot of the fronting of (eyC) by age and socioeconomic class, with partial regression lines for social classes, from the Philadelphia Neighborhood Study 1972-1979 [N=112].

2207

30

slide59

The Northern Cities Shift

desk

busses

bosses

mat

head

block

socks

u s at night u in bunk
U.S. at Night: u in bunk

The Inland North vs. the Midland: short u in bunk

Milwaukee

Syracuse

Flint

Columbus

Terre Haute

Indianapolis

Evansville

slide63

Uniformity of the Inland North as defined by four coinciding isoglosses. Black symbols: speakers satisfying the UD criterion: /ʌ/ is backer than /o/. White symbols: /o/ is backer than /ʌ/

what is to be learned5
What is to be learned?

The general

The new

The local

The local

The parental

slide67

Border identification based on currency flux. Blue = modularity maximum. Links are drawn from the frequency with which they appear in shortest-path tree clustering. Red =height in the clustering tree. (from Thiemann et al. 2010, Figure 4b).

North/Midland

the meddling yankee
The meddling Yankee

Taxed with being busybodies and meddlars, apologists own that the instinct for meddling, as divine as that of self-reservation, runs in the Yankee blood; that the typical New Englander was entirely unable, when there were wrongs to be corrected, to mind his own business.

--Power, Richard Lyle. 1953. Planting corn Belt Culture: The Impress of the Upland Southerner and Yankee in the Old Northwest. Indianapolis; Indiana Historical Society.

yankee ideology and american reform movements
Yankee ideology and American reform movements

Imbued with the notion that their was a superior vision, Yankees dutifully accepted their responsibility for the moral and intellectual life of the nation and set about to do what needed to be done, with or without an invitation from the uneducated, the undisciplined, the disinterested, or the unmotivated

Cultural uplift Yankee style also meant attacking sin and sloth. The initial settlement of Iowa coincided with three very active decades for American reform movements. Health fads, prison reform, women’s rights, crusades for new standards of dress---the northern states teemed with advocates of one cause or another

Most important among the reform movements of the day were the issues of abolition and temperance

--Morain, Thomas J. 1988. Prairie Grass Roots: An Iowa Small Town in the Early Twentieth century. The Henry A. Wallace Series on Agricltural History and Rural Studies. Ames, IA: Iowa State University Press.

the individualism of the upland southerner
The individualism of the Upland Southerner

The [Upland] Southerner was, by Yankee standards, content to let matters take their course, content to let others alone and he wished to be left alone.

Lacking the New Englander’s zeal for improvement and reform, he could enjoy rest with a free conscience. -- Charles S. Sydor

a yankee view of the upland southerner
A Yankee view of the Upland Southerner

In McLean County, Illinois, “the Northerner thought of the Southerner as a lean, lank, lazy creature, burrowing in a hut, and rioting in whiskey, dirt and ignorance”

--History of McLean County 1879:97

westward settlement streams as shown by building material source kniffen and glassie 1966 fig 27
Westward settlement streams as shown by building material. Source: Kniffen and Glassie 1966: Fig.27.
slide73

Distribution of political cultures in North America (from Kilpinen 2009, based on Elazar 1972, Fig. 11distinct from the general population.

elazar s political cultures
Elazar’s political cultures

Moralistic. This group expects the government to help people achieve good lives.  Governmental service is "public service."  The community can intervene in private affairs if it serves communal goals.

Individualistic.  This group views government in utilitarian, individualist terms. Politics is a business, like any other, which is dominated by "firms" (parties). Government should not interfere much in individuals' lives.

Traditionalistic. This group combines hierarchical views of society with ambivalence about the "government-as-marketplace."  Popular participation is scarcely important in comparison with elite participation. There is also a strong preference to maintain the status quo, as evidenced by the South's general resistance to the Civil Rights movement.

--Elazar, Daniel J. 1972. American Federalism: A View from the States. 2nd edition. New York: Thomas Y. Crowell.

cognition
Cognition

What is said

How it is said

(variable behavior)

Sociolinguistic Monitor

(storage and correlation)

Grammatical analysis

Cultural factors

(abstract polarities)

Social factors

(directly observable)

Age, gender, ethnicity, race, neighborhood

Jocks, Burnouts

North/Midland

slide76
Payne, Arvilla. 1976. The acquisition of the phonological system of a second dialect. U. of Pennsylvania dissertation.
slide77
Payne, Arvilla. 1976. The acquisition of the phonological system of a second dialect. U. of Pennsylvania dissertation.
some further conditions on the tensing of short a in philadelphia
Some further conditions on the tensing of short-a in Philadelphia
  • a. Function word constraint: Function words with simple codas (an, and, I can) are lax while corresponding content words are tense (tin can, hand, add), while can’t with a complex coda, remains tense. This preserves the contrast of tense can’t vs. lax can in environments where the /t/ is elided or neutralized.
  • b. Irregular verbs. The irregular verbs ran, swam, began are lax.
  • c. Open syllable constraint: Short-a is lax in open syllables, yielding tense ham, plan, pass, but lax hammer, planet, passive).
  • d Inflectional boundary closing: Syllables are closed by inflectional boundaries, so that tense forms include planning as well as plan, staffer as well as staff,
  • e. Learned words: Many learned or late-learned words with short-a in tense environments are lax: alas, carafe.
similarities and differences between philadelphia features and those of families places of origin
Similarities and differences between Philadelphia features and those of families’ places of origin
slide81
Percent glottal stop or zero for intervocalic /t/ in Milton Keynes by age and style. [from Kerswill and Williams 1994: Table 6].
slide83
Payne, Arvilla. 1976. The acquisition of the phonological system of a second dialect. U. of Pennsylvania dissertation.
the inland north vs the midland cot vs caught
The Inland North vs. the Midland: cot vs. caught

The Inland North vs. the Midland: the contrast of cot and caught

Milwaukee

Syracuse

Buffalo

Detroit

Kenosha

Columbus

Terre Haute

Indianapolis

Evansville

the acquisition of the philadelphia vowel system by children of out of state parents
The acquisition of the Philadelphia vowel system by children of out-of-state parents

Payne, Arvilla. 1976. The acquisition of the phonological system of a second dialect. U. of Pennsylvania dissertation

slide88
Percent deletion of all final monomorphemic clusters by African American struggling readers, 3-5th grade

Philadelphia

Atlanta

So. California

language learning target bound to father s system among the sui
Language learning target bound to father’s system among the Sui

me2 tsop7 ni4 ow1 tsop7 pu4

not be-like mother should be-like father

Stanford, James N. 2009. "Eating the food of our place": Sociolinguistic loyalties in multidialectal Sui villages. Language in Society 38:287-310.

northern 1 st sg pronoun j 2 vs southern ju 2
Northern 1stsg. Pronoun ɛj2 vs. Southern ju2

He only says ɛj2. If he said ju2 people would laugh at him, ‘You speak like your mother.’ They would laugh, and he would be embarrassed. He’s not willing to speak like his mother. He speaks like his father. (p. 572)

“They said ɛj2. If they said ju2, then others would scold them. ‘You eat our food, but you aren’t like us.”

slide94
Distinctness scores for Attleboro 8th grade subjects cross tabulated by parents’ dialect origins (Johnson 2010)

distinct mother merged mother

distinct father 2.59 (N=24) 0.83 (N=6)

merged father 1.67 (N=6) 0.70 (N=37