Linguistic Variation: Confronting Fact and Theory honors Shana Poplack in bringing together contributions from leading scholars in language variation and change. The book demonstrates how variationist methodology can be applied to the study of linguistic structures and processes. It introduces readers to variation theory, while also providing an overview of current debates on the linguistic, cognitive and sociocultural factors involved in linguistic patterning. With its coverage of a diverse range of language varieties and linguistic problems, this book offers new quantitative analyses of actual language production and processing from both top experts and emerging scholars, and presents students and practitioners with theoretical frameworks to meaningfully engage in accountable research practice.
Introduction: Towards a science of grammar and a critical sociolinguistics Nathalie Dion, André Lapierre, and Rena Torres Cacoullos Part I. The Variationist Comparative Method: Gauging Grammatical Relationships 1. Contrasting patterns of agreement in three communities James A.Walker 2. A comparative variationist perspective on relative clauses in child and adult speech Stephen Levey 3. Uh and um in British and American English: Are they words? Evidence from co-occurrence with pauses Gunnel Tottie 4. A variationist approach to subject-aux question inversion in Bajan and other Caribbean creole Englishes, AAVE and Appalachian John R. Rickford and Robin Melnick Part II. Identifying and Tracking Language Change 5. The continuing story of verbal -s: Revisiting the Northern Subject Rule as a diagnostic of historical relationship Sandra Clarke 6. Phonetic variation across centuries: On the possible reappearance of a case of stable variation in Copenhagen Danish Frans Gregersen 7. Focus and wh-questions in Brazilian Portuguese Mary A. Kato 8. Grammaticalization and variation of will and shall in Shakespeare’s comedies Joan Bybee and Rena Torres Cacoullos Part III. Language Ideology, Prescription and Community Norms 9. Drifting toward the standard language: A panel study of number concord in Brazilian Portuguese Anthony Julius Naro and Maria Marta Pereira Scherre 10. The neglected topic of variation in teacher classroom speech: Investigating je vais/je vas/m’as in Ontario French-medium high schools Raymond Mougeon and Katherine Rehner 11. Words we use: Linguistic bias and prejudice Katherine A.Collins and Richard Clément 12. Active retirees: The persistence of obsolescent features Gerard Van Herk and Becky Childs Part IV. Evaluating the Effects of Language Contact on the Ground 13. Going through (L) in L2: Anglophone Montrealers revisited Gillian Sankoff, Henrietta J.Cedergren, Pierrette Thibault and Hélène Blondeau 14. Variable patterns in Spanish-English acquisition from birth: Subject pronouns beyond the age of three Carmen Silva-Corvalán 15. Déjà voodoo or new trails ahead? Re-evaluating the mixing typology model Pieter Muysken 16. Dialect-to-standard advergence: The relevance of compound borrowing Peter Auer and Christian Schwarz Part V. Fresh Perspectives on Classic Problems 17. The beginnings of the Southern Shift William Labov 18. A comparative sociolinguistic analysis of the dative alternation Sali A.Tagliamonte 19. Variationist sociolinguistics and linguistic theory in the context of pronominal perseveration Ricardo Otheguy 20. Comparing variables in different corpora with context-based model-free variant probabilities David Sankoff, Nathalie Dion, Alex Brandts, Mayer Alvo, Sonia Balasch and Jackie Adams
"For someone who wants to know what linguistic variation is about and how it relates to the language user there are cogent answers in this book. Including contributions by leading scholars of variationist sociolinguistics and related fields, the book also offers a wealth of methodological tools to analyze and account for language use." – Bernd Heine, University of Cologne (Universität zu Köln), Germany
"This volume is ideal in helping build a more focussed theoretical discussion in the classroom on the main contributions of variationist studies to the understanding of language structure in everyday use and in its connection to language change. The book’s four areas of focus constitute a strong unity, and are represented in the lifelong contributions of Shana Poplack to variationist studies, highlighting the importance of her work to the field. Linguistic Variation: Confronting Fact and Theory will have an important impact in the field of sociolinguistics and in the discussion of linguistic theory more generally." – Anna María Escobar, University of Illinois - Chicago, USA