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Lvc & Ethnicity

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My slides about Language Variation and Change with respect to speaker Ethnicity, given for the lectures on Sociolinguistics at the University of Oxford in Fall 2009.

My slides about Language Variation and Change with respect to speaker Ethnicity, given for the lectures on Sociolinguistics at the University of Oxford in Fall 2009.

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  • 1. Linguistic Variation& Ethnicity
    Sociolinguistics
    Week 7
    Dr. Lauren Hall-Lew
  • 2. correlates of linguistic variation
    Age
    SEC
    Gender
    Ethnicity
  • 3. “Many discussions of ethnicity begin with the struggle to define ‘it’.” – Fishman 1985
    vs. race
    vs. nationality
    vs. religion
    vs. culture
    vs. language
  • 4. “Many discussions of ethnicity begin with the struggle to define ‘it’.” – Fishman 1985
    vs. race
    vs. nationality
    vs. religion
    vs. culture
    vs. language
    “The expression of ‘collective, intergenerational
    cultural continuity,’ i.e. the sensing and expressing
    of links to ‘one’s own kind’ … collectivities that …
    share putative ancestral origins.”
  • 5. Barth 1969
    An ethnic group:
    is largely biologically self-perpetuating
    shares fundamental cultural values …
    makes up a field of communication and interaction
    has a membership which identifies itself, and is identified by others, as constituting a category distinguishable from other categories of the same order
  • 6. Joseph 2004
    ethnic identity is focused more on common descent and on a cultural heritage shared because of common descent …
    national identity is focused on political borders and autonomy …
    racial identity [is] focused, like ethnic identity, on common descent and cultural heritage, but conceived on a grander scale, for example ‘black’ identity as opposed to Wolof identity.
  • 7. Labov 1963 (1972):Martha’s Vineyard
  • 8. Labov 1963 (1972):Martha’s Vineyard
  • 9. Labov 1963 (1972):Martha’s Vineyard
    Centralization of vowels in price & mouth
    English, Portuguese, Wampanoag Indians
  • 10. Labov 1963
    Centralization of the price vowel
  • 11. Labov 1963
    Centralization of the mouth vowel
  • 12. determining categories
    The analysis depends on the choosing the appropriate categories
    The task of the sociolinguist is to determine what matters to speakers, themselves
    One way to do this is to see how categories are constructed in discourse
  • 13. ideological processes
    Iconization naturalizes the link between a category and a property
    Erasureis the process in which ideology, in simplifying the sociolinguistic field, renders some persons or activities invisible.
    Fractal recursivity involves the projection of an opposition, salient at some level of relationships, onto come other level.
    Irvine & Gal 2000
  • 14. determining categories
    Identifying these processes helps the analyst determine which social categories are most likely relevant to interpreting language variation and change
    The linguist must be careful to not engage in further processes of erasure, recursivity, or iconization
    First-wave sociolinguistics is guilty of this:
    e.g., treating African American English (AAE) as regionally homogenous
  • 15. ethnicity & LVC
    First Wave claims: “participation”
    Labov 2001:506
    “All speakers who are socially defined as white, mainstream, or Euro-American, are involved in the [sound] changes to one degree or another … But for those children who are integral members of a sub-community that American society defines as ‘non-white’ -- Black, Hispanic, or native American – the result is quite different. No matter how frequently they are exposed to the local vernacular, the new speech patterns of regional sound change do not surface in their speech.”
  • 16. ethnicity & LVC
    First Wave claims: “participation”
    Labov2001:506
    “All speakers who are socially defined as white, mainstream, or Euro-American, are involved in the [sound] changes to one degree or another … But for those children who are integral members of a sub-community that American society defines as ‘non-white’ -- Black, Hispanic, or native American – the result is quite different. No matter how frequently they are exposed to the local vernacular, the new speech patterns of regional sound change do not surface in their speech.”
  • 17. ethnicity & LVC
    First Wave definitions of community
    Labov2001:216
    “…the limits of the speech community here defined are confined to the white majority, excluding African American and most Hispanic speakers.”
    Erasure: ethnicity among whites; regional variation among non-whites
  • 18. ethnicity & LVC
    Second Wave argumentation
    ethnographic methods
    reliance on categories important to the members of the community
    correlations with variants reveal these categories, and how they’re related to one another
  • 19. ethnicity & LVC
    Third Wave argumentation
    ethnographic methods
    linguistic variables are part of speakers’ own construction of (ethnic) identities and categories
    linguistic variables are just one set of social practices, part of whole combined styles
    correlations between ethnic categories and linguistic variables provide a window into how ethnic identities are constructed
  • 20. Current Studies
  • 21. Studies in the UK
    Historically less focus on ethnicity compared to linguistics in North America
    Increasing interest, especially in London
    Shifts and increases in immigration
    WWII & related economic pressures
    Majority EU immigrants, but (more) saliently immigrants from former colonies
  • 22. Foreign-born population: by ethnic group, April 2001, UK
    UK born in 2001: 92% White
    Foreign born in UK in 2001: 53% White
    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=1312&Pos=1&ColRank=2&Rank=480
  • 23. The non-White population: by ethnic group, April 2001, UK
    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=764&Pos=2&ColRank=2&Rank=224
  • 24. Sharma 2009: London Asians
    Some London communities are > 75% South Asian
    Southall: one of these; primarily Punjabi-heritage
  • 25. Sharma 2009
    Lx variable
    /t/-retroflection (as well as glottalization, and vocalic variables)
    3 groups
    Gen 1 (all ages)
    Gen 2-mid & Gen 2-young
    Contrasting social conditions & ethnic experiences in London
  • 26. Sharma 2009: Word position
    • Competence of Punjabi English in Gen 2-mid
    • 27. (Also, competence of British English in Gen 2-mid; so adual competence group, maintaining both systems; greater use of style shifting.)
    • 28. Gen 2-young reinterprets
    the Punjabi English
    feature as part of a new,
    young British Punjabi style
  • 29. Sharma 2009: Gender
    • Reinterpreted social meaning of Panjabi English feature has acquired a gendered meaning, too.
  • Sharma 2009: Context
    • Young Women still use retroflex-/t/ at home,
    • 30. a fact that would’ve been missed with traditional methods of data collection!
  • Studies in the US
  • 31. Studies in the US
    The non-white population: by ethnic group, est. 2006, U.S.
    (U.S. = 26% non-white, vs. 8% in the U.K.)
  • 32. Studies in the US
    Vast majority of work on African American English (and varieties of it)
    Increasing work on Spanish-influenced varieties of English (e.g., Chicano English) as well as U.S. varieties of Spanish
    Very little work on English LVC among Asian Americans (or among Native American Indians)
  • 33. Hall-Lew 2009: San Francisco Asians
    Chinese Americans: Largest & longest in-residence group of Asians in the U.S.
    Some San Francisco communities are > 50%
  • 34. Hall-Lew 2009
    The Sunset District:
    Asian (mostly Chinese)
    European (many Irish)
    Lx variables
    merger & fronting
    known features of California English
    30 people, ages 16-76
  • 35. Hall-Lew 2009
    The Merger of lot & thought:
    Enid, Chinese American, age 76: unmerged
    … we shop, we walk …
    Maya, Chinese & Filipino, age 24: merged
    … talk a lot …
  • 36. Hall-Lew 2009
    Merger:
    Enid, Chinese American, age 76: unmerged
    … we shop, we walk …
    Maya, Chinese & Filipino, age 24: merged
    … talk a lot …
  • 37. Hall-Lew 2009
    Merger:
    Enid, Chinese American, age 76: unmerged
    … we shop, we walk …
    Maya, Chinese & Filipino, age 24: merged
    … talk a lot …
  • 38.
  • 39. Hall-Lew 2009
    The Fronting of goat:
    April, European American, age 18
    … I kind of associate that …
    Monica, Chinese American, age 16
    … um, so Stern Grove has this like …
  • 40. Hall-Lew 2009
    Fronting:
    April, European American, age 18
    … I kind of associate that …
    Monica, Chinese American, age 16
    … um, so Stern Grove has this like …
  • 41. Hall-Lew 2009
    Fronting:
    April, European American, age 18
    … I kind of associate that …
    Monica, Chinese American, age 16
    … um, so Stern Grove has this uh rep …
  • 42.
  • 43. Other Current LVC Topics
    Pan-ethnic styles (e.g., MLE)
    Ethnic resources gaining broader social meanings, available for wider use
    Style-switching & the role of the interviewer
  • 44. A Promising LVC Topic
    Bi-/Multiethnic or Mixed Race identities
  • 45. Further Topics Beyond LVC
    • Language & Racism
    • 46. mock styles
    • 47. crossing & passing
    • 48. accent hallucination
    • 49. linguistic profiling
    Above variation
    discourse structure
    conversation structure
    Language contact
    Bi-/Multilingualism
    code-switching
  • 50. lauren.hall-lew@ell.ox.ac.uk