Université de Stanford (USA) – The Quantitative Study of Sociolinguistic Variation.

Vos rendez-vous sont prévus les 14 septembre (14h-16h), 21 septembre (16h-18h), 28 septembre (16h-18h) et 5 octobre (14h-16h)

Penelope ECKERT– Département de Linguistique, Université de Stanford (USA) – Pour plus d’information concernant le Professeur Eckert, rendez-vous ici

The Quantitative study of Sociolinguistic Variation – Chaire Internationale du Labex – Empirical Foundations of Linguistics, 2015

Lieu : Université Paris Diderot – Bâtiment Olympe de Gouges – salle 203 – 8, place Paul Ricoeur 75013 Paris (au bout de la rue Albert Einstein)

Variation is both a mechanism for the spread of linguistic change, and a robust social semiotic system. This seminar will trace the development of variation studies from the foundational community studies that established replicable macro-sociological correlations, to the study of the semiotic use of variation in moment-to-moment stylistic practice, in what I term three waves1 of variation study. The focus will be on the integration of the macro- and the micro-patterns, and the integration of variation into a broader theory of language. The materials will be primarily corpus studies of English and to some extent Canadian French, as these are the languages that have figured in theory development in variation.

► Retrouvez toutes les présentations proposées par Mme Eckert directement sur sa page créée pour l’évenement ici

Lecture 1 – The first Wave : The Macro-Social Structure of Variation  date :  14 septembre 2015 (14h-16h) I begin by outlining correlations with macro-sociological categories found in the urban studies of the nineteen sixties and seventies. I will discuss the theoretical assumptions that emerged from these studies, most particularly the theory of the vernacular, the variable as social marker, and the apparent time construct.

Lecture 2 – The Second Wave : The Ethnographic Turn – date :  21 septembre 2015 (16h-18h) Starting in the eighties, ethnographic studies examined the local categories and practices that underlie and partially explain the macro-social patterns. I will focus on my own work among adolescents in the Detroit suburban area. This study, based on a corpus of over 100 hours of ethnographically collected speech, shows how macro-social patterns are produced and reproduced in social practice at the local and the extra-local level.

Lecture 3 – The Third wave : Stylistic Practice and Social Indexicality- date :  28 septembre 2015 (16h-18h) Ethnographic work moved the focus from social categories to social types and personae, and to their stylistic construction. It produced a view of variables as underspecified, gaining specificity through participation in styles4. I will discuss case studies of individuals across situations, and perception studies6, as they show how variables gain meaning in context.

Lecture 4 – Integrating the Perspectives – date :  5 octobre 2015 (14h-16h) The last week will explore issues in integrating the macro- and the micro- structure of variation. For example, eye tracking experiments have indicated that macro- and micro-indexicality both play roles in the perception of variation, but that perception of personae may be primary. The view of variables as indexical signs begs for the integration of variation into theories of semantics and pragmatics. And changes in personae, and changes in the indexicality of variables, are a mechanism of social change, making variation not a reflection of, but integral to, social change.