Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).

date: 21 November 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter notes that the ultimate concern of variationist sociolinguistics is the evolution of linguistic systems and the mechanisms which operate on them. One feature that offers particularly good insight into these issues is the quotative be like, a relatively recent and robust change that has affected varieties of English worldwide. The chapter illustrates the types of theoretical issues that be like has been used to explore, beginning with the quantitative paradigm and the analytical assumptions underlying variationist work on direct quotation. It argues that what makes be like such a useful and powerful heuristic for testing theories of language change is variation and the constraints which operate upon it.

Keywords: English quotative system, language change, language variation, variationist sociolinguistics, be like, direct quotation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.