01/01/1999 Linguistics Sociology
DOI: 10.1515/LING.1999.001 SemanticScholar ID: 143995223 MAG: 1975307083

Sociolinguistic variation in southern French schwa

Publication Summary

This article examines the differing degrees to which young male and female speakers are apparently participating in a process of linguistic change currently taking place in southern French. Previous research suggests that younger females in southern France are adopting the treatment of schwa characteristic of the northern standard variety; but no study of linguistic change in southern French has yet been carried out through a direct, variationist comparison of young male and female speakers. We analyze here the linguistic contexts in which schwa is most susceptible to penetration by the northern French norm. Much research on the differential treatment by male and female speakers of variable linguistic forms has shown that young males tend to resist the introduction of supraregional linguistic forms, while females adopt them. As well as discussing new evidence on a French-specific-research issue, we also examine the cross-linguistic significance of the French findings. Further, we attempt to shed new light on the behavior of male and female speakers in relation to national and regional linguistic forms, and to reconsider some issues associated with the definition of standard languages

CAER Authors

Avatar Image for Sharon Unsworth

Dr. Sharon Unsworth

Radboud University - Associate Professor in the Department of Language and Communication and the Department of Modern Languages

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