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Revista Pilquen

On-line version ISSN 1851-3123


ZANFARDINI, Lucía. Linguistic variation: the theoretical-methodological approach of the Columbia Linguistic School versus Labov´s Sociolinguistics. Rev. Pilquen. secc. cienc. soc. [online]. 2018, vol.21, n.3, pp.22-31. ISSN 1851-3123.

In this article we intend to make a contribution to the understanding of linguistic variation as a phenomenon of the language from the recovery of confrontation and contact points that, from the late 70's and mid-80's, established the linguists of the Columbia School on the problem of variation versus Labov´s sociolinguistic vision. Based on a literature review, we analyze the similarities and differences between the two approaches from three aspects: a) the definition of the variation and the linguistic planes of analysis for its application; b) the methodological approach that they favor (analysis procedure, kind of data, etc.) and c) the linguistic theory from which they are based. We conclude that, with respect to the first point, we identified that the difference in the way of defining what variation is, implied a dividing line between both approaches. Secondly, these considerations necessarily implied different ways of methodological approach for the analysis of variation and different positions regarding the objectives that are assigned to the analysis. Third, when we inquire about which linguistic theory functions as a framework for each approach, we identify that the answer lies in the different conceptions that both perspectives have about the linguistic postulates of formalism.

Keywords : Linguistic Variation; Columbia School Linguistics; Sociolinguistics; Meaning.

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