Is variety as neutral as it seems?
Re-visiting the concept of linguistic variety (and other basic linguistic terms)
This article discusses the conceptual difficulties that are involved in the understanding of several basic linguistic notions: namely language, dialect, sociolect, register, style, genre, and in particular, variety. Using the definitions provided in various sources, particularly introductory textbooks and dictionaries of linguistics, I examine the ways in which these terms are explained, and discuss how there is actually no consensus on how they are understood and conceptualised. This is particularly true for the term variety, which is regarded by many linguists as a neutral and ideology-free unit for research. In this article, I show that whether a set of linguistic features is regarded as a variety depends on three main factors; there is no absolute – and thus, ideologically neutral – way that linguists can refer to this concept when considering what is or is not a linguistic variety.
Keywords: variety, Chinese, Hong Kong English, register and style, sociolinguistics, pragmatics, computer-mediated communication
Published online: 27 October 2017
Austin, John L.
de Beaugrande, Robert
Biber, Douglas, Finegan, Edward
Carroll, John B.
Devitt, Amy J.
Ervin-Tripp, Susan[ p. 398 ]
Ferguson, Charles A.
Fromkin, Victoria, and Robert Rodman
Halliday, Michael A. K., Angus MacIntosh, and Peter Strevens
Hartmann, Reinhard R. K., and F. C. Stork
Hudson, Richard A.
Irvine, Judith T.
Matthews, Peter H.
Milroy, James, and Lesley Milroy
Swale, John M.[ p. 399 ]
Cited by 1 other publications
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 19 april 2021. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.