Edited by Juan-Andrés Villena-Ponsoda, Francisco Díaz-Montesinos, Antonio-Manuel Ávila-Muñoz and Matilde Vida-Castro
[Studies in Language Variation 22] 2019
► pp. 104–117
Chapter 6. Virtual sociolinguistics
From real-time surveying to virtual-time archival sources for tracing change longitudinally
The limitations of apparent-time approaches and the difficulties of conducting studies in real-time for observing language change have traditionally been one of the main methodological concerns in sociolinguistics since the 1960s. However, archived radio recordings and historical corpora of written correspondence have recently been demonstrated to be excellent sources for both cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches. The aim of this paper is to show the results from two studies where radio and historical archival sources afford comparative evidence for tracing language change developments. The conclusions suggest that these resources offer a privileged perspective for the historical reconstruction of linguistic change in present-day or remote languages, functioning as virtual approaches where the problem of real-time in the longitudinal research procedure is conveniently neutralised.