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Investigating VariationThe Effects of Social Organization and Social Setting$
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Nancy C. Dorian

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385939

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385939.001.0001

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A General Introduction to Speakers and Variables

A General Introduction to Speakers and Variables

(p.100) 4 A General Introduction to Speakers and Variables
Investigating Variation

Nancy C. Dorian

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the elicited and freely spoken material that makes up the database for this study. The choice of Embo as the main focus of the investigation is explained in terms of the wider age‐range and broader kin ties of available Gaelic speakers in that village. The speaker sample and speaker codings are introduced, with village of origin, age, sex, and proficiency considered for each individual. Considerations of socioeconomic class are excluded because of their irrelevance in the single‐class Gaelic‐speaking fisherfolk populations. Factors in the selection of 18 variables for close investigation and the elimination of various others are presented. The choice of English glosses in the representation of variables is explained by the need to avoid inadvertent main‐variant nomination for this unwritten peripheral Gaelic dialect where no main or preferred variant can be shown to exist.

Keywords:   database, Embo, speaker sample, socioeconomic class, variable selection, variable representation

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