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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Academic Paper

Title: Style, indexicality, and the social meaning of tag questions
Author: Emma Moore
Email: click here TO access email
Institution: University of Manchester
Author: Robert J. Podesva
Institution: Stanford University
Linguistic Field: Discourse Analysis; Pragmatics; Semantics; Sociolinguistics
Subject Language: English
Abstract: This article illustrates how the notions of style and indexicality can illuminate understanding of the social meaning of a specific linguistic variable, the tag question. Drawing on conversational speech and ethnographic data from a community of high school girls in northwest England, it quantitatively and qualitatively examines the discourse, grammatical, and phonological design of tag questions in this community. Members of four social groups are shown to use tag questions to similar effect, as a means of conducing particular points of view. However, these groups also exhibit striking differences in the stylistic composition of tags, distinctions that indexically construct stances and personas, which may in turn come to represent group identity. These data suggest that the social meaning of tag questions can be best ascertained by examining their internal composition and by situating them in their broader discursive and social stylistic contexts. (Adolescents, ethnography, indexicality, interactional context, quantitative discourse analysis, social meaning, style, tag questions)


This article appears IN Language in Society Vol. 38, Issue 4.

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