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Saturday, October 12 • 3:40pm - 5:30pm
(O2) Beaman et al.: Variation and change in lexical productivity across the lifespan: An interdisciplinary investigation of Swabian and standard German

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Variation and change in lexical productivity across the lifespan: An interdisciplinary investigation of Swabian and standard German

This paper advances an innovative interdisciplinary approach in exploring the extent to which lexical productivity can explain change in speakers’ use of dialect across the lifespan. Positioned at the intersection of the fields of dialectology, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and psychology, this investigation of 20 panel speakers of Swabian German offers an alternative account of the ostensible changes in individual speech patterns which reflect an apparent loss of dialect. By calculating intra-speaker vocabulary growth trajectories, we show that, rather than “lose” dialect, speakers gain a vast amount of new knowledge over their lifetime that is not dialect, which exerts a cumulative and competitive influence on their lexical choice. The findings support a language development process in which speakers acquire greater awareness of the standard language throughout their lifetime, gained through participation in various educational, commercial, and public institutions (Eckert 1997; Labov 1964; Sankoff and Laberge 1978), without concomitant loss of dialect forms.

Speakers
avatar for Karen Beaman

Karen Beaman

Queen Mary University of London & Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen
HB

Harald Baayen

University of Tübingen
MR

Michael Ramscar

Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen


Saturday October 12, 2019 3:40pm - 5:30pm
EMU Ballroom


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