Chapter published in:Language Variation - European Perspectives VI: Selected papers from the Eighth International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 8), Leipzig, May 2015
Edited by Isabelle Buchstaller and Beat Siebenhaar
[Studies in Language Variation 19] 2017
► pp. 157–172
Variation in style
Register and lifestyle in Parisian French
This study presents a sociolinguistic analysis of two linguistic variables of French, subject doubling and subject-verb inversion in wh-questions. First, factor and cluster analyses led to a grouping of the sample into four distinct lifestyle types. Then, statistical tests show that lifestyle, gender, and age are significant external factors, and that lifestyle exhibits the most salient effect. While the lifestyle associated with orthodoxy correlates with a high inversion rate (formal linguistic style) and low doubling rate (informal linguistic style), the group associated with heterodoxy demonstrates the inverse pattern. It stands to reason that sociolinguistic studies can uncover more patterns of variation if they go beyond the standard sociodemographic variables (such as age, gender, etc.) and a ‘narrow’ concept of class.
Keywords: French, subject doubling, subject-verb inversion, wh-question, dialogue data, lifestyle, social class, norm, factor analysis, cluster analysis
Published online: 26 July 2017
Coveney, Aidan B.
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