Language Variation – European Perspectives II

This volume contains a selection of papers from the 4th International Conference on Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE 4), which was held at the University of Cyprus from June 17th–19th 2007. The variety of theoretical frameworks and methodological perspectives (from Generative Grammar, Word Grammar, Government Phonology, Optimality Theory and Distributed Morphology to quantitative, Labovian and ethnographic approaches to variation and change, real and apparent time studies, phonetic analysis and metatheoretical papers on quantitative analysis), as well as the sheer number of linguistic varieties examined, attest both to the breadth and scope of the conference and to its status as a meeting-place for synchronic and diachronic linguistic description and theoretical exploration. One of the major themes running through the volume is the explicit concern with methodological refinement. Almost all the contributions address issues of methodology in various aspects of data collection and analysis, be they questionnaire surveys and interview data, spoken or written corpora, real- and apparent-time studies, dialect atlases and maps, statistical models or software. Alongside methodological issues, and especially with regard to the treatment of historical data, many of the papers in the volume explicitly address theoretical issues, for example the relative weighting of linguistic/systemic, cognitive and discourse factors in the exploration of language variation and change.

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