Language variation and change in social networks: A bipartite approach, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Language variation and change in social networks

A bipartite approach, 1st Edition

By Robin Dodsworth, Richard A. Benton


256 pages | 46 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138188891
pub: 2019-08-06
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This monograph takes up recent advances in social network methods in sociology, together with data on economic segregation, in order to build a quantitative analysis of the class and network effects implicated in vowel change in a Southern American city.

Studies of sociolinguistic variation in urban spaces have uncovered durable patterns of linguistic difference, such as the maintenance of blue collar/white collar distinctions in the case of stable linguistic variables. But the underlying interactional origins of these patterns, and the interactional reasons for their durability, are not well understood, due in part to the near-absence of large-scale network investigation. This book undertakes a sociolinguistic network analysis of data from the Raleigh corpus, a set of conversational interviews collected form natives of Raleigh, North Carolina, from 2008-2017. Acoustic analysis of the corpus shows the rapid, ongoing retreat from the Southern Vowel Shift and increasing participation in national vowel changes. The social distribution of these trends is explored via standard social factors such as occupation as well as innovative network variables, including a measure of nestedness in the community network.

The book aims to pursue new network-based questions about sociolinguistic variation that can be applied to other corpora, making this key reading for students and researchers in sociolinguistics and historical linguistics as well as those interested in further understanding how existing quantitative network methods from sociological research might be applied to sociolinguistic data.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Previous approaches to network analysis in sociolinguistics 1.1 Guiding principles and their realization in previous studies 1.2 Assessing previous studies and looking forward Chapter 2 Raleigh, the corpus, and the retreat from the Southern Vowel Shift 2.1 Raleigh: A brief demographic and economic history 2.2 Dialect mixing and leveling 2.3 The Raleigh corpus 2.4 An industrial approach to occupation in Raleigh 2.5 Assessing dialect shift across three generations Chapter 3 Bipartite networks and complex social systems 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Bipartite networks: A formal introduction 3.3 Adapting network methods for bipartite networks 3.4 Bipartite network applications 3.5 Bipartite school co-attendance networks in Raleigh 3.6 The Raleigh network data 3.7 Structural cohesion Chapter 4 Structural equivalence 4.1 Motivation for using structural equivalence in the Raleigh study 4.2 Hypotheses: Network, occupation, and language change 4.3 Calculating structural equivalence 4.4 Testing the hypotheses: QAP regression 4.5 Results 4.6 Discussion Chapter 5Community detection 5.1 Community detection in social networks 5.2 QuanBiMo 5.3 Community detection in the Raleigh network 5.4 Modules in the Raleigh network 5.5 Assessing linguistic variation across modules 5.6 Results 5.7 Conclusions Chapter 6Conclusions 6.1 Summary of findings about language and social network position in Raleigh 6.2 Looking forward: Social meaning, social structure, and types of linguistic variables References

About the Authors

Robin Dodsworth is Associate Professor of English in the Linguistics program at North Carolina State

University, USA.

Richard Benton is Assistant Professor of Sociology at The University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Language Change

This series provides a venue for quantitative research investigating the social underpinnings of language change. It gives a platform to research that is firmly rooted in the speech community, yet abstracts to a level of generalization, resulting in theoretical insights that advance our understanding of change as it percolates through the community and within the individual. The series showcases studies of longitudinal and shorter term patterns of language change from a wealth of communities. Volumes in the series rely on a multitude of epistemological frameworks, including but not restricted to: social identity theory, network theory, models of language change, child language acquisition, multilingualism, language contact, language diffusion, and language shift. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged, especially that which explores the interfaces of sociolinguistics with neighboring disciplines such as formal linguistics, history, human geography, literature or anthropology. The scope of the series covers classic research monographs as well as edited collections of papers that are integrated around a coherent central theme.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / Sociolinguistics