Chapter published in:Processes of Change: Studies in Late Modern and Present-Day English
Edited by Sandra Jansen and Lucia Siebers
[Studies in Language Variation 21] 2019
► pp. 7–24
Enregisterment and historical sociolinguistics
This chapter introduces the concepts of indexicality and enregisterment and examines how they can be applied to the study of historical sociolinguistics, as part of a recent turn towards “third wave” (Eckert 2012) sociolinguistic approaches in this discipline. The chapter explores the potential usefulness of indexicality and enregisterment as tools for historical sociolinguistics, drawing on historical evidence of metalinguistic commentary. It also discusses the role of normative texts, dialect literature and popular culture in establishing what Agha terms “a linguistic repertoire differentiable within a language as a socially recognised register” indexing “speaker status linked to a specific scheme of cultural values” (Agha 2003: 231).
Keywords: indexicality, enregisterment, standardisation, codification, prescriptivism, social networks, communities of practice
Published online: 13 August 2019
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