New speakers: Challenges and opportunities for variationist sociolinguistics

Kasstan, J. 2017. New speakers: Challenges and opportunities for variationist sociolinguistics. Language and Linguistics Compass . 11 (8), p. e12249. doi:10.1111/lnc3.12249

TitleNew speakers: Challenges and opportunities for variationist sociolinguistics
TypeJournal article
AuthorsKasstan, J.
Abstract

While the field of variationist sociolinguistics has advanced rapidly since Labov (1966), it remains the case that a socially informed theory of language change continues to be influenced by only very few languages, typically English and a handful other dominant European languages. This article considers recent work on the emergence of new speakers in (severely) endangered or minority language communities, and what they might have to offer variationist theory. Although definitions can vary, it has become convention to describe new speakers as individuals ‘with little or no home or community exposure to a minority language but who instead acquire it through immersion or bilingual education programs, revitalization projects or as adult language learners’ (O'Rourke, Pujolar, & Ramallo, 2015: 1). There is now a wealth of literature available on new speakers in typologically dissimilar language contexts, though, so far, very little work has adopted the variationist paradigm. This article will argue that new speakers can figure prominently in variationist models of diffusion and change, taking the classic sociolinguistic factor of social networks as an example. The article ends by proposing a manifesto of potential research trajectories, based on current gaps in the literature.

KeywordsNew speakers
Language variation and change
Variationist theory
Sociolinguistics
Article numbere12249
JournalLanguage and Linguistics Compass
Journal citation11 (8), p. e12249
ISSN1749-818X
Year2017
PublisherWiley-Blackwell
Accepted author manuscriptLLC_Article_Kasstan_Accepted.pdf
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/lnc3.12249
Publication dates
Published25 Aug 2017

Related outputs

Beyond obsolescence: A twenty-first century research agenda for the langues régionales
Hall, D.J., Kasstan, J. and Hornsby, D. 2019. Beyond obsolescence: A twenty-first century research agenda for the langues régionales. Journal of French Language Studies. doi:10.1017/S095926951900019X

Emergent sociolinguistic variation in severe language endangerment
Kasstan, J. 2019. Emergent sociolinguistic variation in severe language endangerment. Language in Society. Advanced online publication. doi:10.1017/S0047404519000472

New Speakers and Language Revitalisation: Arpitan and Community (Re)formation
Kasstan, J. 2019. New Speakers and Language Revitalisation: Arpitan and Community (Re)formation. in: Harrison, M. and Joubert, A. (ed.) French Language Policies and the Revitalisation of Regional Languages in the 21st Century Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 149-170

Francoprovençal: Documenting contact varieties in Europe and North America
Kasstan, J. and Nagy, N. 2018. Francoprovençal: Documenting contact varieties in Europe and North America. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 2018 (249), pp. 1-9. doi:10.1515/ijsl-2017-0050

An overview of Francoprovençal vitality in Europe and North America
Zulato, A., Kasstan, J. and Nagy, N. 2018. An overview of Francoprovençal vitality in Europe and North America. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 249, pp. 11-29. doi:10.1515/ijsl-2017-0038

(l) as a sociolinguistic variable in Francoprovençal
Kasstan, J. and Müller, D. 2018. (l) as a sociolinguistic variable in Francoprovençal. International Journal of the Sociology of Language. 249, pp. 99-118. doi:10.1515/ijsl-2017-0039

Exploring contested authenticity among speakers of a contested language: the case of ‘Francoprovençal'
Kasstan, J. 2018. Exploring contested authenticity among speakers of a contested language: the case of ‘Francoprovençal'. Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development. 39 (5), pp. 382-393. doi:10.1080/01434632.2018.1429451

Heritage-language speakers: theoretical and empirical challenges on sociolinguistic attitudes and prestige
Kasstan, J., Auer, A. and Salmons, J. 2018. Heritage-language speakers: theoretical and empirical challenges on sociolinguistic attitudes and prestige. International Journal of Bilingualism. 22 (4), pp. 387-394. doi:10.1177/1367006918762151

Les variétés régionales non-méridionales de France: Nivellement; dédialectalisation; supralocalisation
Pooley, T. and Kasstan, J. 2016. Les variétés régionales non-méridionales de France: Nivellement; dédialectalisation; supralocalisation. Sociolinguistica. 30 (1), pp. 175-198. doi:10.1515/soci-2016-0010

Regional and minority languages in France: Policies of homogenization or a move towards heterogeneity? A case study on Francoprovençal
Hawkey, J. and Kasstan, J. 2015. Regional and minority languages in France: Policies of homogenization or a move towards heterogeneity? A case study on Francoprovençal. French Review. 89 (2), pp. 110-125.

Illustrations of the IPA: Lyonnais (Francoprovençal)
Kasstan, J. 2015. Illustrations of the IPA: Lyonnais (Francoprovençal). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 45 (3), pp. 340-355. doi:10.1017/S0025100315000250

Permalink - https://westminsterresearch.westminster.ac.uk/item/q9xqw/new-speakers-challenges-and-opportunities-for-variationist-sociolinguistics


Share this
Tweet
Email