Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2666-4224
  • E-ISSN: 2666-4232



Format ties, “partial repetitions of prior talk” (Goodwin & Goodwin 1987, p. 207), are interesting from an interactional perspective with respect to their functions relating to, for example, (dis-) agreement/alignment or humour, and for scholars of Language Variation and Change because they offer uniquely comparable phonological contexts in naturalistic speech. The present paper investigates the distribution of the sociolinguistic variable in format ties in a set of dyadic interviews of six speakers from the North-East of England who were recorded two or three times throughout their twenties – those career-building years during which we often see a change from the predominant use of the alveolar variant (“in’”) to the velar (“ing”).

The analysis offers possible interactional and stylistic explanations for the community-level stability and the speaker-level variation and change of by focusing on contexts in which speakers format tie. It shows that the use of the highly frequent and thus less marked alveolar variant tends to occur in aligning contexts, while the few velar cases occur in moments where speakers disalign on some level. This argument contributes to work combining interactional and variationist endeavours, in particular with respect to the variable .

Available under the CC BY 4.0 license.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): format tying; interaction; language variation; lifespan change; panel study; variable ing
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