Chapter published in:Late Modern English: Novel encounters
Edited by Merja Kytö and Erik Smitterberg
[Studies in Language Companion Series 214] 2020
► pp. 44–64
The interplay of internal and external factors in varieties of English
The validity of a division of factors for language change into internal and external forms the focus of the present study. A distinction is made between speaker-internal and speaker-external on the one hand and community-internal and community-external on the other. A central concern is whether such distinctions are merely artefacts of linguistic analysis or whether they reflect the reality of speakers’ linguistic behaviour. Data is considered from varieties of English to show that instances of change are frequently combinations of factors and that the disruption caused by socially-triggered change can be minimised by speakers applying considerations of system symmetry and regularity to a change and thus provide a clear trajectory which can be transmitted across generations.
Published online: 18 March 2020
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Bybee, Joan L. & Hopper, Paul J.
Dobson, E. J.
Dorian, Nancy C.
Edwards, Walter F.
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Gerritsen, Marinel & Stein, Díeter
Hernández-Campoy, Juan Manuel & Conde-Silvestre, Juan Camilo
Kytö, Merja & Pahta, Päivi
Jones, Mari C. & Esch, Edith
Lass, Roger & Wright, Susan
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Nevalainen, Terttu & Traugott, Elizabeth Closs
Nevalainen, Terttu & Raumolin-Brunberg, Helena
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Phillips, Betty S.
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Wolfram, Walt & Schilling-Estes, Natalie