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Sociolinguistic Discontinuity in Minority Language Communities

Raymond Mougeon and Terry Nadasdi
Language
Vol. 74, No. 1 (Mar., 1998), pp. 40-55
DOI: 10.2307/417564
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/417564
Page Count: 16
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Sociolinguistic Discontinuity in Minority Language Communities
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Abstract

We discuss the Labovian view of the speech community against the backdrop of data from research on variation in minority languages. While members of the same speech community normally share a set of norms for social and stylistic constraints on variation and normally share a common grammar, a number of researchers have noted that some speech communities include subgroups of speakers that are unlike the rest of the community in that they observe different rules or constraints on variable usage. We provide an overview of the main types of discontinuities in variable usage which have been attested both in majority and minority languages and discuss twelve cases of discontinuity which have been documented in the speech of Franco-Ontarian adolescents residing in minority Francophone communities. We also attempt to account for the existence of these discontinuities and consider their implications for the concept of the speech community.

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