chapter  4
14 Pages

1 Introduction

In the previous chapter, we discussed the basic principles of the analysis of linguistic variation. We introduced the notion of the variable rule, a useful way of modeling speaker choices, and we discussed methods for calculating relative frequencies, using factor groups to test hypotheses about the effects of the linguistic context on the variation. We also provided a method for determining whether such effects are statistically significant, though we noted the need for further statistical tests that would allow us to consider the effects of several factor groups simultaneously.