The Structure of Discourse-Pragmatic Variation

Heike Pichler | Newcastle University
ISBN 9789027234933 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
ISBN 9789027272188 | EUR 105.00 | USD 158.00
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Everyday language use overflows with discourse-pragmatic features. Their frequency, form and function can vary greatly across social groups and change dramatically over time. And yet these features have not figured prominently in studies of language variation and change. The Structure of Discourse-Pragmatic Variation demonstrates the theoretical insights that can be gained into both the structure of synchronic language variation and the interactional mechanisms creating it by subjecting discourse-pragmatic features to systematic variationist analysis. Introducing an innovative methodology that combines principles of variationist linguistics, grammaticalisation studies and conversation analysis, it explores patterns of variation in the formal encoding of I DON’T KNOW, I DON’T THINK and negative polarity tags in a north-east England interview corpus. Speakers strategically exploit the formal variability of these constructions to signal subtle meaning differences and to index social identities closely linked to the variables’ and their variants’ functional compartmentalisation in the variety. The methodology, results and implications of this study will be of great interest to scholars working throughout variationist sociolinguistics, grammaticalisation and discourse analysis.
[Studies in Language Variation, 13] 2013.  xxi, 276 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“The study of discourse-pragmatic variation has long cried out for sensitive, meticulous, sophisticated and careful scholarship. This book provides it. It is fully aware of the methodological and analytical hurdles, provides scrupulous and close analysis, and recognises that such work cannot be sufficient without an intimate understanding of the mechanics of interaction. This volume truly provides a model for future scholars.”
“Heike Pichler’s book provides a methodology for studying discourse-pragmatic variability that should be the foundation for further work in this field. The multivariate analysis is compelling in highlighting the complexity of the units in question and of their social distribution. At the same time, the qualitative, functional discussion is highly thought-provoking and provides empirical challenges for some current hypotheses concerning directionality of change.”
The Structure of Discourse-Pragmatic Variation demonstrates a multi-dimensional methodology to explore the ways in which discourse-pragmatic features are used in a small market town on the border between England and Scotland. It employs a combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches from variationist sociolinguistics and conversation analysis to provide an integrated account of discourse variation. It will enlighten anyone interested in investigating the complex factors that contribute to variation in discourse.”
“The broad scope of the analysis enhances our understanding of the structure of discourse-pragmatic variation and the value of discourse variation analysis. The analytic framework is a good example for future studies to follow, and this book is a good reference for students and researchers who are interested in the theory and practice of sociolinguistic and discourse variation studies.”
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Main BIC Subject

CFB: Sociolinguistics

Main BISAC Subject

LAN009000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Linguistics / General
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ONIX 2.1
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U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2012048981 | Marc record