IRCS Conference Room
Department of Linguistics
University of Pennsylvania
Revisiting the individual and the group in language variation
Quantitative approaches to the study of language variation have typically abstracted away from the individual language user in favor of group-level analyses. In this talk I present new data from a range of variable linguistic phenomena that bear on the relationship between groups and individuals. I consider both the range of individual behavior within and across groups and the real-time production of different variable phenomena within the speech of individuals. The case studies I present show the simultaneous effect of social and psychological factors in language variation, which I argue compels us to retain the individual speaker as a level of analysis in the study of language variation.