Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Academic Paper

Title: Real-time evidence for age grad(ing) in late adolescence
Author: Suzanne Evans Wagner
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: Michigan State University
Linguistic Field: Sociolinguistics
Abstract: This study provides real-time support for the hypothesis, previously inferred from apparent time studies, that stable sociolinguistic variables are age-graded. Stable variables have been shown to exhibit a curvilinear pattern with age in which adolescents use nonstandard variants at a higher rate than adults do. An analysis of the morphophonological variable (ing) was carried out using recordings and ethnographic observations of 13 young American women during and after their final years of high school. Offering a detailed look at the late adolescent life stage, the study also explores speakers’ motivations for retaining or retreating from nonstandard variants as they prepare to enter adulthood. These are examined at both the group and the individual level. The results indicate that the degree of retreat from nonstandard variants is socially differentiated, in line with apparent time findings. Future enrollment in a locally oriented college, and alignment to a local ethnic network (Irish or Italian)—not social class—were the predictors of retention in high school.


This article appears IN Language Variation and Change Vol. 24, Issue 2.

Return to TOC.

Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page