Indexical cycles? Scott F. Kiesling
Renewed interest in meaning <ul><li>From ethnography to correlation and back (“third wave” variationist studies) </li></ul...
Meaning from two directions <ul><li>Compositional meaning from the micro ‘real-time’ contextualisations and “fractional co...
Indexical cycle <ul><li>The repurposing of variationist meanings, as such meanings become more visible in metapragmatic di...
Examples <ul><li>Louisiana </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Dude’ </li></ul><ul><li>Conventionalisation of indirection </li></ul><ul><l...
Example 1: Lousiana <ul><li>DuBois and Horvath (1999) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(ptk): non-aspiration of voiceless stops </li>...
 
Nasalisation by age & gender
(th),(dh) by age & gender
Cajun variants are recycled <ul><li>Previously linked to a stigmatised Cajun identity that has become valuable, at least f...
‘ Dude’ in American English <ul><li>In mainstream AmE, ‘dude’ has had several cycles: </li></ul><ul><li>Referring: clothes...
‘ Dude’ in American English <ul><li>In-group address term </li></ul><ul><li>Generalized address term indexing ‘cool solida...
Conventionalisation of Indirection <ul><li>Argument elaborated in Kiesling (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Indirect’ strategies...
High rising tone (?) <ul><li>McLemore (1990)  See also Guy, Horvath, Vonwiller (1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Question  -> disc...
Pittsburgh (aw) <ul><li>Monophthongisation of (aw) in Pittsburgh is highly enregistered (recognisable in metapragmatic dis...
Pittsburgh (aw)
Pittsburgh (aw) <ul><li>Predictions for future trajectory: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete loss or relic status </li></ul><...
Indexical cycles <ul><li>Each example is different in specifics, but follow a general pattern </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Sediment...
Relation to indexical order <ul><li>Cycling reflects a constant renewing or indexicality and shift:  n, n+1,  n+1+1 -> m ,...
Other names for the term <ul><li>indexical cycle </li></ul><ul><li>indexical cycles </li></ul><ul><li>indexical cycling </...
Questions/comments Many thanks to Barbara Johnstone and Michael Silverstein for important conversations about these topics...
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Indexical Cycles

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Lecture given June 14, 2010 at the Edinburgh Summer School of Sociolinguistics

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Indexical Cycles

  1. 1. Indexical cycles? Scott F. Kiesling
  2. 2. Renewed interest in meaning <ul><li>From ethnography to correlation and back (“third wave” variationist studies) </li></ul><ul><li>Recent influences from linguistic anthropology and semiotics </li></ul><ul><li>Appreciation of interaction, ethnography, metapragmatics/language ideologies </li></ul>
  3. 3. Meaning from two directions <ul><li>Compositional meaning from the micro ‘real-time’ contextualisations and “fractional congruence” of utterances (Agha 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Effects of metapragmatic discourse and ideologies on meaning and use of variants </li></ul>
  4. 4. Indexical cycle <ul><li>The repurposing of variationist meanings, as such meanings become more visible in metapragmatic discourse, to the point that they then shift their meanings and become conventionalized for a new low-order indexicality. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: Stance -> Identity -> Stance </li></ul>
  5. 5. Examples <ul><li>Louisiana </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Dude’ </li></ul><ul><li>Conventionalisation of indirection </li></ul><ul><li>High rising tone </li></ul><ul><li>Pittsburgh (aw) </li></ul>
  6. 6. Example 1: Lousiana <ul><li>DuBois and Horvath (1999) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(ptk): non-aspiration of voiceless stops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(th), (dh): replacement of /θ/ and /ð/ with dental stops </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(nas): heavy nasalisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(ai): the monophthongisation of /ai/ </li></ul></ul>
  7. 8. Nasalisation by age & gender
  8. 9. (th),(dh) by age & gender
  9. 10. Cajun variants are recycled <ul><li>Previously linked to a stigmatised Cajun identity that has become valuable, at least for men </li></ul>
  10. 11. ‘ Dude’ in American English <ul><li>In mainstream AmE, ‘dude’ has had several cycles: </li></ul><ul><li>Referring: clothes </li></ul><ul><li>Referring: sharp-dressed (or overly dressed) man (but note incipient gender indexicality) </li></ul>
  11. 12. ‘ Dude’ in American English <ul><li>In-group address term </li></ul><ul><li>Generalized address term indexing ‘cool solidarity’ stance and masculinity </li></ul><ul><li>Loss of masculine indexicality and use as simply a stance index </li></ul><ul><li>Similar to ‘man’ </li></ul>
  12. 13. Conventionalisation of Indirection <ul><li>Argument elaborated in Kiesling (2010) </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Indirect’ strategies of different kinds (including the Gricean sort) are used repeatedly and become conventionalized </li></ul><ul><li>Stance (politeness) in English: Student identification of “Can you pass...” as direct </li></ul>
  13. 14. High rising tone (?) <ul><li>McLemore (1990) See also Guy, Horvath, Vonwiller (1985) </li></ul><ul><li>Question -> discourse function -> gender -> discourse function  </li></ul><ul><li>Iconic aspects (diagrammatic icon) </li></ul>
  14. 15. Pittsburgh (aw) <ul><li>Monophthongisation of (aw) in Pittsburgh is highly enregistered (recognisable in metapragmatic discourse) </li></ul><ul><li>But only for some, reflecting an orientation to metapragmatic status </li></ul>
  15. 16. Pittsburgh (aw)
  16. 17. Pittsburgh (aw) <ul><li>Predictions for future trajectory: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Complete loss or relic status </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Revitalization (as in Cajun): Already visible as ‘hip’ in some cases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cycling will require a stance – irony? </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Indexical cycles <ul><li>Each example is different in specifics, but follow a general pattern </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Sedimentation’ of old meanings, which fade but are related to the new meanings and give them their ‘topography’ </li></ul><ul><li>Silverstein: spiral path </li></ul>
  18. 19. Relation to indexical order <ul><li>Cycling reflects a constant renewing or indexicality and shift: n, n+1, n+1+1 -> m , m+1, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>In orders, indexicality is (relatively) constant, while the metapragmatics shift </li></ul><ul><li>In cycles, the value or indexicality shifts </li></ul><ul><li>Process that builds the indexical field </li></ul>
  19. 20. Other names for the term <ul><li>indexical cycle </li></ul><ul><li>indexical cycles </li></ul><ul><li>indexical cycling </li></ul><ul><li>indexical recycling </li></ul><ul><li>indexical sedimentation </li></ul><ul><li>indexical effluvia </li></ul><ul><li>other suggestions?? </li></ul>
  20. 21. Questions/comments Many thanks to Barbara Johnstone and Michael Silverstein for important conversations about these topics, and to the members of the Social Meaning in Language (SMiLe) group at Pitt.

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