This innovative collection brings together a range of perspectives on the notions of "orderly heterogeneity" and "social meaning", shedding light on how structured variation and indexicalities of social meaning "cohere" within linguistic communities. This book fills a gap in research on language variation by critically considering the position articulated by Weinrich, Labov, and Herzog in 1968 that linguistic diversity is systematically organized in ways that reflect and construct social order.

The volume investigates such key themes as

    • covariation and co-occurrence restrictions;
    • indexicality, perception and social meaning;
    • coherence and language change;
    • and the structure and measurement of coherence at different levels of analysis.

This collection advances our understanding of the coherence of linguistic communities through empirical investigations of larger and more diverse sets of variables, language varieties, speech styles, and communities, as afforded by the development and advancement of new methods and models in sociolinguistic research.

This book is of interest to scholars in sociolinguistics, language variation and change, and formal linguistics, as well as those interested in developments on research methods in linguistics.

chapter |13 pages

The coherence of linguistic communities

Orderly heterogeneity and social meaning

part I|54 pages

Theoretical perspectives in the study of coherence

part III|57 pages

Social dimensions of coherence

chapter 8|18 pages

How social salience can illuminate the outcomes of linguistic contact

Data from Spanish in Boston

chapter 9|15 pages

Mapping social and sociophonetic changes

Gender in Auckland English

part IV|57 pages

Perceptual approaches to the study of coherence

chapter 11|18 pages

Not anything goes

On implicational coherence and the penalty for being incoherent

part V|60 pages

Effects of standard language ideologies on coherence

chapter 14|20 pages

Identifying language varieties

Coexisting standards in spoken Italian 1

chapter 15|20 pages

Language change in real-time

40 years of lectal coherence in the Central Bavarian dialect-standard constellation of Austria 1

chapter 16|18 pages

Coherence and language contact

Orderly heterogeneity and social meaning in Namibian German 1