Variation and change

in Sociolinguistics

Published in print July 2013 | ISBN: 9780199858613
Published online September 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199365920 | DOI:

Series: Very Short Introductions

Variation and change

Show Summary Details


Since, at base, sociolinguistics is about the linkages between language and society, inquiries into language variation are central. ‘Variation and change’ asks: Where change implies the possibility of impaired or imperfect communication, why does it occur? Even minor alterations in words, sounds, and grammar can interfere with understanding, thus hindering communication. In the broadest sense, the dynamics of group identity remain at center stage. Different languages mark communities or cultures or subcultures that wish to maintain some distinctiveness Change is sometimes ephemeral, and it may reflect unrealistic social and linguistic aspirations — but it may also be part of enduring changes in group identities.

Keywords: code-switching; communication; grammar; language; sociolinguistics; Words

Chapter.  4587 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or login to access all content.