(Dis)connecting sociolinguistic behaviors
Attitudes, preferences and social meaning have long been implicated in a range of diverse sociolinguistic behaviors, including probabilistic use of forms across contexts, formation of social impressions based on speech, and explicit metalinguistic observations. More recently, we have observed also the adjustment of linguistic perception patterns in response to social information. These behaviors differ greatly, but all depend on the association of language forms with social constructs such as group identities, stereotypes, stances, activities, and others. Previous research has amply demonstrated both similarities and differences across these behaviors. Labov (1966) showed that New Yorkers’ assessments of the prestige status of multiple variables were similar whether displayed in task-inspired production shifts or through social evaluation of speakers using the forms. Discrepancies merged, however, between these behaviors and metalinguistic self-reports. More recently, Kristiansen (2009) has argued that Danish teens showed strikingly different value assessments of the same varieties using an overt variety evaluation task than in a speaker evaluation task. A core need for any full model of sociolinguistic cognition is to determine what processes underlie these different behaviors and how they relate to one another. In this talk I will review previous such models and discuss key elements of such a model, drawing on both established and recent results probing correlations across sociolinguistic behaviors.