This chapter is an enquiry into whether we can predict whether a particular instance of variation at the syntactic level may reflect social stratification or not (Labov 1966, 1972, 1994). Therefore, a range of syntactic variables in Dutch has been examined that may reveal social correlations in the spontaneous speech of 67 speakers who were born, grew up, and still live in one particular locality. Most of the syntactic variables consist of variants associated with the local dialect and (codified) standard Dutch. The syntactic variables examined differ in frequency of occurrence, synonymy/functional equivalence, abstract properties, and presumably noticeability. The fact that the social stratification of various syntactic variables can be investigated by following the same speakers within one speech style, i.e. the sociolinguistic interview,L12 offers a unique opportunity to carefully discriminate the effects of similar socio-demographic factors on different types of syntactic variables. The overall result is that social stratification of syntactic variation can be predicted where syntax maps onto discourse. The outcome is dependent on the extent of duration of language contact situations, and interactions in which particular linguistic variables have become socially meaningful depending on the individual and the wider societal, political and ideological context.
|Title of host publication||Explanations in Sociosyntactic Variation|
|Editors||Tanya Christensen , Torben Juel Jensen|
|Publisher||Cambridge University Press|
|Pages||144 - 170|
|Publication status||Published - 05 Jan 2022|