Generic 'du' in time and context: A study of intra-individual variation and change

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This article considers the way individual speakers respond to a macro-level process of language change: an increased use of the second-person pronoun du for generic reference. Real time panel studies show that life span change is much more common than is often assumed, particularly among adult speakers, and that variation also prevails within a micro-diachronic perspective (between conversations recorded within a few months, and even within the same conversation). The results emphasise that great caution should be exercised when taking the difference between two pieces of attested language use as an indication of a difference in grammar, underscoring the need for taking context into account in a much more fine-grained way than has been common in variational sociolinguistics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCreativity and continuity : Perspectives on the dynamics of language conventionalization
EditorsDorthe Duncker, Bettina Perregaard
Place of PublicationCopenhagen
PublisherU Press
Publication date2017
ISBN (Print)978-87-93060-39-5
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSymposium on the Dynamics of Language Conventionalization - København, Denmark
Duration: 25 Jan 201226 Jan 2012


SeminarSymposium on the Dynamics of Language Conventionalization

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Humanities - language variation and change, intra-individual variation, lifespan language change, pronouns, Danish

ID: 154178267