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Variation in Language and Language Use

Linguistic, Socio-Cultural and Cognitive Perspectives


Edited By Monika Reif, Justyna Robinson and Martin Pütz

This volume grew out of the 34th International LAUD Symposium, which was held in March 2010 at the University of Koblenz-Landau in Landau, Germany. The symposium was dedicated to the ongoing convergence between the disciplines of Cognitive Linguistics and Sociolinguistics, bringing together concepts and methods from both fields. The 15 studies contained in this volume explore the relations between linguistic (structural), socio-cultural and cognitive aspects involved in language variation. Methodologically, the contributions range from individual case studies to larger-scale corpus analyses and combine both qualitative and quantitative findings.


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Section I: Sociolinguistic variation: Usage-based perspectives


Dialect contact in a Southern U.S. city: Testing Trudgill’s model Robin Dodsworth & Mary Kohn 0. Introduction Large-scale contact between speakers of mutually intelligible dialects often re- sults in the mixing of dialect features, followed by the processes of leveling and simplification which may form a new, stable dialect (Trudgill 1986; Kerswill 2002; Kerswill & Williams 2000). Trudgill (1986) posits three broad chronolog- ical stages in contact-induced new dialect formation: Stage 1: Adult speakers from different dialect regions come into contact and en- gage in “rudimentary leveling”, thereby reducing the number of available fea- tures. Stage 2: The members of the first generation born into the dialect contact setting confront the absence of a single, stable dialect spoken by their peers. As a result, they exhibit extremely high inter- and intra-speaker variability while also ad- vancing the leveling process. Stage 3: In the next generation, the variability reduces further and a new, “fo- cused” dialect stabilizes. Stigmatized or marked features are especially vulnerable to the leveling process (Trudgill 1986; Trudgill et al. 2000; Britain & Trudgill 2005) and may be “real- located” to a narrower linguistic function or social group. This paper attempts to apply Trudgill’s three-stage model to a dialect con- tact setting produced by recent, intensive migration from multiple U.S. regions to a formerly small town. Urban areas in the southern U.S. grew considerably as the result of post-World War II migration from the north (Abbott 1987; Wein- stein et al. 1985). The southern city of Raleigh was a major target...

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