- Series Information
- About the Editors
- List of Tables
- List of Figures
- The Study of Language and Society
- Variationist Sociolinguistics
- Linguistic Anthropology
- Doers and Makers: The Interwoven Stories of Sociology and the Study of Language
- Critical Discourse Analysis
- Conversation Analysis
- The Intersections of Language Socialization and Sociolinguistics
- Psycholinguistic Approaches
- Interdisciplinary Approaches
- Studies of the Community and the Individual
- Experimental Methods for Measuring Intelligibility of Closely Related Language Varieties
- Quantitative Analysis
- Analyzing Qualitative Data: Mapping the Research Trajectory in Multilingual Contexts
- Longitudinal Studies
- Methods for Studying Sign Languages
- Pidgins and Creoles
- Language Maintenance and Shift
- Sociolinguistics and Second Language Acquisition
- Sign Language Contact
- Phonology and Sociolinguistics
- Morphosyntactic Variation
- Pragmatics and Variationist Sociolinguistics
- Variation and Change
- Sociolinguistic Variation and Change in Sign Languages
- Language Policy, Ideology, and Attitudes in English-Dominant Countries
- English in Language Policies and Ideologies in Africa: Challenges and Prospects for Vernacularization
- Language Policy and Ideology: Greater China
- Language Policies and Politics in South Asia
- Language Policy and Ideology in Latin America
- Language Policy, Ideology, and Attitudes Key Issues in Western Europe
- Language Management in the Russian Empire, Soviet Union, and Post-Soviet Countries
- Language Ideologies, Policies, and Attitudes toward Signed Languages
- Language and Law
- Our Stories, Ourselves: Can the Culture of a Large Medical School Be Changed without Open Heart Surgery?
- Sociolinguistic Studies of Signed Language Interpreting
- Language Awareness in Community Perspective: Obligation and Opportunity
- Linguistic and Ecological Diversity
- Language Revitalization
- Sociolinguistics and Social Activism
Abstract and Keywords
Within the study of sociolinguistic variation and change, two approaches have been developed that attempt to link individual speaker behavior with the study of the community. One approach makes use of “linguistic grouping,” examining the linguistic conditioning of individual speakers and looking for social correlates of the resulting groups. Another approach is the detailed analysis of individual speakers in different social situations. This chapter presents an overview of these two research traditions. It provides analyses across groups and individuals in the English spoken on the island of Bequia. Two well-studied grammatical variables constitute the linguistic focus of this research: The absence of copula/auxiliary be and existential constructions. The discussion compares the linguistic conditioning of these features in the speech of individuals who have left Bequia for long periods of time with that of their stay-at-home peers.
James A. Walker is Associate Professor in Linguistics at York University (Toronto). He has worked on linguistic variation in African American English, Canadian English, and Caribbean English. He is the author of Variation in Linguistic Systems (2010) and the editor of Aspect in Grammatical Variation (2010).
Miriam Meyerhoff is Professor of Linguistics at the University of Auckland. She is interested in how synchronic language variation feeds into language change, especially in creole speech communities. She is also interested in the relationship between language variation and ideologies about language. She has undertaken sociolinguistic fieldwork in varied locations and social settings. She is the author of Introducing Sociolinguistics and is the co‐editor of The Handbook of Language and Gender, The Routledge Sociolinguistics Reader, and the Creole Language Library.
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