One such factor is the ‘social network’. The concept of the social network was introduced to the field of sociolinguistics by Lesley and James Milroy. In her study . Social network is considered as a determining factor in language change, contact , Milroy and colleagues (Milroy /) examined three stable inner-city. J. Linguistics 21 (), Printed in Great Britain. Linguistic change, social network and speaker innovation. 1. JAMES MILROY AND LESLEY MILROY.

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Language Change and Sociolinguistics: Social networks are characterized by network-specific norms and values including norms of language use. Graph theory and social networks: In this study, the researchers simulated a social network of participants, called nodes, which were connected into a network using a matrix algorithm.

A first order member of a network is an actor langjage has a large number of direct connections to the center of the network.

With the rise of computer modeling, sociolinguists have been able to study the linguistic behavior of large networks oesley the huge expenditure of time required to individually work with thousands of subjects long-term. Would you like to change to the site? A second order member has a loose or indirect connection to the network, and may only be connected to a certain network member. Sociolinguistic surveys have shown that language variation cannot only be found among groups with varying socio-economic status but also within one group.

Social Linguistics and Literacies: Chambers writes that “variationist sociolinguistics had its effective beginnings only inthe year in which William Labov presented the first sociolinguistic research report”; the dedication page of the Handbook says that Labov’s “ideas imbue every page”.


In her study of three working-class communities in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Lesley Milroy found significant deviations from the classic class and gender pattern. The density of a given social network is found by dividing the number of all existing links between the actors by the number of potential links within the same set of actors. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Basil Blackwell; University Park Press. First published inLanguage and Social Lanugage has had a great influence on the development of sociolinguistics investigates the manner in which patterns of linguistic variation characterize particular groups social and cultural, geographic, male and female within a complex urban community incorporates an extensive new chapter reappraising the original research and discussing other lesly work in the same paradigm.

Networkd of this network then used the forms normalized within the network outside of the network, and continuous usage led to wide adoption of these speech norms.

Linguistic variation and its social significance 3rd Ed.

Applied linguistics Historical linguistics Linguistic anthropology Sociocultural linguistics Sociology of language. The conclusion of the study was that close-knit networks are important for dialect maintenance.

Takeshi Sibata’s study of elementary school children [25] provides strong support for the view that insiders, or leaders, in a social network facilitate language change. Language and Social Networks. The researchers found that actors with the weakest tie to this community identity were most likely to use the variable [u], possibly as a way to strengthen their ties to the network.

Social network (sociolinguistics)

A first order zone is composed of all individuals that are socila linked to any given individual. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. These findings allowed the researchers to address the major debate in social network theory: Entrepreneurship Research Journal, 4 4 Though these second-order actors, or “lames” were not held in high regard by the leaders of the speech network, they had connections to other networks, and were sources of new linguistic variables.


Social networks are used in sociolinguistics to explain linguistic variation in terms of community norms, rather than broad categories like gender or race.

Social network (sociolinguistics) – Wikipedia

Conversely, the researchers describe the loners’ role this way: Conversely, a loose network is more likely to innovate linguistically. The two major findings of social network theory are that dense highly interconnected networks are resistant to change, and that most linguistic change is initiated by weak links—people who are not centrally connected to the network in question.

A third order zone is made up of newly observed individuals not directly connected to the first order zone. These people are represented by points.

This study, also conducted by Milroy, examined the variable [u], and its relationship to working class identity. The Quantitative Analysis of Linguistic Data. In fact, even when studying small networks, sociolinguists rely on the metrics outlined in the previous section, rather than mapping the network out, one connection at a time.

Language and Social Networks. Language and Style Gender Pattern: The Language of the Individual Speaker: