Identity in variationist sociolinguistics

Authored by: Rob Drummond , Erik Schleef

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Identity

Print publication date:  February  2016
Online publication date:  February  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138774728
eBook ISBN: 9781315669816
Adobe ISBN: 9781317365242


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This chapter provides an overview of the different perspectives on identity within variationist sociolinguistics (henceforth VS). It also discusses some of the central issues within the field pertaining to applied linguistics; in particular, language discrimination and the recent expansion of VS into second language acquisition. VS is a branch of sociolinguistics that focuses on language variation and change. Variationist sociolinguists may investigate variable linguistic features, such as saying fink instead of think, or the variable use of different varieties, which may be dialects, languages, accents, styles and so on. VS has much to offer applied linguistics as it takes as axiomatic that, in order to understand language fully, we must develop a thorough understanding of categorical, as well as variable, processes.

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