The Linguistic Variables

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The Linguistic Variables

  1. 1. The Linguistic Variables Definition The linguistic variables are those where the meaning remain constant but form varies like cat & pussy have the same social meaning but different form. So far pronunciation is concerned house [h] and with [h] has same social meaning with different pronunciation. Here variables are just the tools to analyze the language to set social dimensional society. Apart from the pronunciation, there is no shortage of syntactic variables as in the following list. (i) Presence or absence of ant/no is black and white adolescent American English e.g. I didn’t not need any/no apples. Presence or absence of is/are in Black English John is tired. Presence or absence of that conjunction in Standard American English. They think that is different. The syntactic variables are structured in creole and particularly in German. But pronunciation variables are hard to solve as the current state of discovery in phonological theory where the status if phoneme and the nature of underlying forms of words is still in doubt give rise to one such problem. As in ‘cart’ and ‘cart’. Trudgil studied [a:] and [α:] that only single dimension frontness/ backness nut it involves a 2nd dimension of nasal oral since front variant may or may not be nasalized. But Labov’s quantitative study make it easier to analyse on a single way dimension and consider both are one variant. The problem becomes more acute when a large number of phonemic variables are found i.e. several sifferent contrasts are involved (front/back, low/raised, with without off glide). Like in bag, back, fat, man and fast. This has
  2. 2. the following range of variants: local prestige is associated to middle class speaker [ ], but among work class speaker [ ] (relatively raised and front) is used before velar consonant (bag, back) while other consonant show a variant further back than [ ] and also sometimes raised, with or without centering off glide giving [ ]. The problem is that we are here following Labov method ordered all into single method ordernt list. While those extremes of Trudgil can not be reduced to one. Calculating score for tents To calculate the score of a text to compare and show the difference between the linguistic variables in the speakers speech. A score is calculated for each variable in each text, which allows text to be compared to respect to one variable at a time. The score is calculated by assigning values to the variables. Suppose we have three variables A, B and C. we assign value 1 to A, 2 to B and 3 to C. the score foe any text is then average of all the scores for the variants in the texts. Now assume that we have a text containing 12 A’s and 32 B’s and 75 C’s. To calculate the text score by calculating all the scores for all A’s B’s C’s is 12x1+23x2+75x3 = 12 + 46 + 225 =283 and dividing it by the total number of variants we get 12+23+75=110 Text Score= 283 =2.57 110 There are shortcomings in this method (i) ordering and ranking of the variables. (ii) Distribution of variants because it does not give any idea of the relative contribution made by individual variants. It is not appropriate as it gives values to one number, not tell us the exact position or contribution of the variant in calculating or giving accurate result.