From varieties in contact to the selection of linguistic resources in multilingual settings

Léglise, Isabelle and Sánchez Moreano, Santiago (2017). From varieties in contact to the selection of linguistic resources in multilingual settings. In: Bassiouney, Reem ed. Identity and Dialect Performance: A Study of Communities and Dialects. Routledge Studies in Language and Identity. Abingdon: Routledge, pp. 141–159.



In this chapter, the authors focus on various methodologies they can rely on to study heterogeneity and dialectal variation among multilingual speakers. They discuss the linguistic variation in contact settings, and present a methodology to describe heterogeneous and multilingual corpora and shows how languages sometimes overlap. Sociolinguistic research on variation has also mostly focused on monolingual populations, even if variationists knew the speech communities under consideration were heterogeneous and socially and linguistically diverse. In corpus linguistics, the Text Encoding Initiative proposes a set of standards for annotating corpora. Language variation is a linguistic resource in multilingual, heterogeneous language practices. Language practices with Kichwas in Cali showed that the selection of linguistic features is socially meaningful, as it constructs social positioning expressing brief affiliation and differentiation. The annotation method we followed reveals the heterogeneity of language practices, and at the same time shows how languages or varieties sometimes overlap, making it irrelevant to draw arbitrary lines and boundaries between linguistic resources.

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