LINGUIST List 30.884

Fri Feb 22 2019

Sum: Summary of Pluricentricity vs. Pluri-areality

Editor for this issue: Everett Green <everettlinguistlist.org>



Date: 20-Feb-2019
From: Stefan Dollinger <stefan.dollingerubc.ca>
Subject: Summary of Pluricentricity vs. Pluri-areality
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Pursuant to my query posted in the summer of 2017 on the pluricentricity of language varieties (original post: https://linguistlist.org/issues/28/28-3400.html), I can now follow up with an open-access summary of the problem as it relates to - but is not limited to - the Germanic languages:

https://www.academia.edu/37714477/_Chapter_1_frontmatter_The_Pluricentricity_Debate_On_Austrian_German_and_other_Germanic_Standard_Varieties_forthc._in_March_April_2019_

The accompanying book is currently In press, as in a short version of the argument which is forthcoming later this year or in early 2020 in the Journal of Linguistic Geography. An abstract can be seen here:
https://www.academia.edu/38389481/Debunking_pluri-areality_on_the_pluricentric_perspective_of_national_varieties

As you can see from these texts, the term of ''pluri-areality'' (usually only use in German as ''pluriareal'') appears to be fully synonymous with the established low-level descriptive term ''geographical variation'', a term that allows no predictions and hypothesis testing. The point is made that ''pluri-areality'' can therefore not be used in lieu of the theoretical concept of pluricentricity, which allows all these tests. The question further arises what legitimacy ''pluri-areality'' may have over the term ''geographical variation''.

Thanks to all those who posted to the original query. I hope they will find the summary and assessment a useful spring board for their own work.

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
                            Historical Linguistics
                            History of Linguistics
                            Linguistic Theories
                            Philosophy of Language
                            Sociolinguistics
Language Family(ies): Germanic


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