Methods in discourse variation analysis: Reflections on the way forward

Pichler, H 2010, 'Methods in discourse variation analysis: Reflections on the way forward' , Journal of Sociolinguistics, 14 (5) , pp. 581-608.

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This paper demonstrates the need for a uniform model of discourse variation analysis which is equipped to capture the complex nature of discourse variation and change whilst also ensuring generalizability. A review of the literature shows that the current heterogeneity in corpus construction, data quantification and theorizing of discourse variables impedes reliability and intersubjectivity. Suggestions are offered to achieve comparability, and a case is made for a consistent integration of pragmatic function as a factor group in the analysis. The extension of the variationist paradigm to the level of discourse is discussed, and the need for a definition of discourse variables which caters for their flexibility and multifunctionality is demonstrated. It is argued that some methodological consistency is required in variationist discourse analysis in order to advance towards a holistic description of patterns in language variation and change which spans all components of the grammar, and to systematically explore how discourse features are used and manipulated to create social identities.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Sociolinguistics
Publisher: Blackwell
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1360-6441
Depositing User: HS Pichler
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2011 10:12
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2022 13:18

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