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1. Title Title of document Acknowledgements - Semantic Variation: Meaning in Society and in Sociolinguistics
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Ruqaiya Hasan†; Macquarie University ;
2. Creator Author's name, affiliation, country Jonathan J. Webster; City University of Hong Kong;
3. Subject Discipline(s) Linguistics
4. Subject Keyword(s) semantics; sociolinguistics; empirical research; conversation analysis; gender; social class; women; language variation; language acquistion
5. Subject Subject classification Sociolinguistics (CFB)
6. Description Abstract The sociolinguistic turn of the 60's has been remarkably successful: variability of language is no longer an issue open to debate. But studies of variation have by and large been restricted to the level of expression. This volume offers a critique of present day sociolinguistics, arguing that since meaning is critical to all contexts of life in society, ignoring it has led to a number of serious problems, foremost among them a mis-conception of the nature of sociolinguistics itself. By examining the possibility of systematic variation at the level of meaning, the volume makes a positive contribution to opening up a debate about the possibility of the neglected/ misrepresented notion of semantic variation. Most chapters of the volume present an account of certain aspects of an empirical research which strongly supports the view that systematic variation in the choice of semantic features occurs across different social groups. Mothers and their young children less than four years old showed in their naturally occurring conversation a highly systematic, statistically significant, orientation to distinct styles of meaning, which correlated with their social positioning, and/or with the gender of the children. The comparison of kindergarten teachers' ways of meaning with those of mothers' provides empirical proof that teacher talk is an exaggerated version of middle class mothers' talk. The volume is relevant on the one hand to theoretical issues in linguistics and sociolinguistics and on the other, to any serious discourse about equitable education.

This volume is accompanied by a CD-ROM containing

 A Brief Summary of the Research on Semantic Variation
 Conventions for Dialogue Transcription in the Included Sample
 Sample of Mother-child Dialogues
 Sample of Analysis
Identifying Patterns in Linguistic Behaviour by Carmel Cloran
Semantic Networks: the Description of Linguistic Meaning in SFL by Ruqaiya Hasan, Carmel Cloran, Geoffrey Williams, and Annabelle Lukin (2007)
7. Publisher Organizing agency, location Equinox Publishing Ltd
8. Contributor Sponsor(s)
9. Date (YYYY-MM-DD) 01-Jul-2009
10. Type Status & genre Peer-reviewed Article
11. Type Type
12. Format File format PDF
13. Identifier Uniform Resource Identifier
14. Identifier Digital Object Identifier 10.1558/equinox.30225
15. Source Journal/conference title; vol., no. (year) Equinox eBooks Publishing; Semantic Variation: Meaning in Society and in Sociolinguistics
16. Language English=en en
18. Coverage Geo-spatial location, chronological period, research sample (gender, age, etc.)
19. Rights Copyright and permissions Copyright 2014 Equinox Publishing Ltd