Sociolinguistic Style: A Multidimensional Resource for Shared Identity Creation

Emma Moore
2004 Canadian Journal of Linguistics  
Traditional accounts of style isolate individual variables and situate their use along a formality scale. Because it abstractly represents speaker interaction, this approach imposes a taxonomic distinction between stylistic and social constraints. By focussing on single variables in isolation, such accounts wrench individual variables out of the context that defines them. Recent accounts of style recognise the context-dependency of social meaning. We must therefore consider how a particular
more » ... ination of linguistic and extralinguistic resources interact to produce an overall style that subsumes the traditional style/social constraint distinction. I explore how the styles created by a community of girls function to produce a system of distinction (Irvine 2001) in their high school, by considering how each group uses morphosyntactic and discourse-related variables to define themselves in relation to other social groups. The analysis reveals that sociolinguistic meaning is never achieved by a single group in isolation, but is the consequence of a collaborative negotiation of available resources.
doi:10.1017/s0008413100003558 fatcat:d6nj4rxfhnc6hhiuoyw33wf52y