Social and Stylistic Variation in Spoken French

A comparative approach

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Many of the assumptions of Labovian sociolinguistics are based on results drawn from US and UK English, Latin American Spanish and Canadian French. Sociolinguistic variation in the French of France has been rather little studied compared to these languages. This volume is the first examination and exploration of variation in French that studies in a unified way the levels of phonology, grammar and lexis using quantitative methods. One of its aims is to establish whether the patterns of variation that have been reported in French conform to those reported in other languages. A second important theme of this volume is the study of variation across speech styles in French, through a comparison with some of the best-known English results. The book is therefore also the first to examine current theories of social-stylistic variation by using fresh quantitative data. These data throw new light on the influence of methodology on results, on why certain linguistic variables have more stylistic value, and on how the strong normative tradition in France moulds interactions between social and stylistic variation.

Subjects: Romance linguistics; Sociolinguistics and Dialectology

  • Affiliations: 1: University of Leeds

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