Apparent-time hypothesis

Apparent-time hypothesis

In sociolinguistics, the apparent-time hypothesis states that age-stratified variation in a linguistic form is often indicative of a change in progress. That is, if in a survey of a population, patterned differences between the speech of individuals 75 years old, 50 years old, and 25 years old may indicate changes that have occurred over the past 50 years. The apparent-time hypothesis depends on several assumptions: first, that a significantly broad sample is taken to be representative of the population; second, that vernacular speech is relatively stable in a given individual once that individual is past adolescence.

Chambers (2002) cites an example of the application of the apparent-time hypothesis. The study, carried out in central Canada, examined the sociolinguistic variable (wh), where the unvoiced labiovelar glide /hw/ loses phonemic status and merges with the corresponding voiced glide /w/. In this study, the oldest subjects seem to indicate a stable period for this variable, both the 70-79 year olds and those over 80 used the voiced variant where the unvoiced was "expected" 38.3 and 37.7% of the time, respectively. Each subsequent younger age cohort (10 years) shows a greater percentage of /w/ usage, with those 20-29 using /w/ 87.6% of the time and the teenagers using it 90.6% of the time. Notice that the deltas between the oldest two groups and between the youngest two groups are relatively small, 0.6% and 3.0%. Between these two extremes the rate of change between the groups is quite high, approximately 10% per age cohort. This pattern can be described as an initial stable period, followed by a period of rapid change, and a tailing off as the change nears completion. This S-curve pattern has been identified as characteristic for many types of linguistic changes.

Not all age-related variation is indicative of change in progress. It may be an age-graded variation. The applicability of the apparent-time hypothesis should be confirmed by real-time evidence, which actually samples the population over an extended period of time. This is the only true indicator of change in progress. Real-time evidence may come from a longitudinal study of a population or by replicating a study conducted at some relatively distant time and comparing the observations to those previously published.


*Bailey, Guy (2002). "Real and Apparent Time". In J.K. Chambers, Peter Trudgill, & Natalie Schilling-Estes [ed] , "The Handbook of Language Variation and Change" (pp 312-331). Oxford, England: Blackwell.
*Chambers, J.K (2002). "Patterns of Variation including Change". In J.K. Chambers, Peter Trudgill, & Natalie Schilling-Estes [ed] , "The Handbook of Language Variation and Change" (pp 358-361). Oxford, England: Blackwell.
*Eckert, Penelope (1997). "Age as a Sociolinguistic Variable". In Florian Coulmas [ed] , "The Handbook of Sociolinguistics" (pp 151-154). Oxford, England: Blackwell.

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Apparent time — *Apparent solar time is the calculation of time based in the relative position of the sun. A sundial measures solar time.*Apparent time hypothesis in sociolinguistics proposes that age based variation in linguistic forms is often indicative of… …   Wikipedia

  • Hypothesis — A hypothesis (from Greek polytonic|ὑπόθεσις ) consists either of a suggested explanation for a phenomenon (an event that is observable) or of a reasoned proposal suggesting a possible correlation between multiple phenomena. The term derives from… …   Wikipedia

  • Time in physics — In physics, the treatment of time is a central issue. It has been treated as a question of geometry. One can measure time and treat it as a geometrical dimension, such as length, and perform mathematical operations on it. It is a scalar quantity… …   Wikipedia

  • time perception — Introduction       experience or awareness of the passage of time.       The human experience of change is complex. One primary element clearly is that of a succession of events, but distinguishable events are separated by more or less lengthy… …   Universalium

  • Effective evolutionary time — The hypothesis of effective evolutionary timeK. Rohde: Latitudinal gradients in species diversity: the search for the primary cause, Oikos, 65, 514 527,1992.] attempts to explain gradients, in particular latitudinal gradients, in species… …   Wikipedia

  • Equation of time — Equation E*qua tion, n. [L. aequatio an equalizing: cf. F. [ e]quation equation. See {Equate}.] 1. A making equal; equal division; equality; equilibrium. [1913 Webster] Again the golden day resumed its right, And ruled in just equation with the… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Extraterrestrial hypothesis — [ 200px|thumb|Right|Amateur photographs from Sheffield, England, 4 March 1962 Minneapolis, Minnesota, 20 October 1960. Taken from a 1997 CIA training manual. [Haines, Gerald K, [ A Die Hard Issue …   Wikipedia

  • Jesus myth hypothesis — Jesus myth links here. For a comparison between Jesus Christ and pagan mythology see Jesus Christ and comparative mythology. The Jesus myth hypothesis, also referred to as the Jesus myth theory , the Christ myth or the Jesus myth is an argument… …   Wikipedia

  • Rare Earth hypothesis — In planetary astronomy and astrobiology, the Rare Earth hypothesis argues that the emergence of complex multicellular life (metazoa) on Earth required an improbable combination of astrophysical and geological events and circumstances. The term… …   Wikipedia

  • Critical period hypothesis — The critical period hypothesis is the subject of a long standing debate in linguistics and language acquisition over the extent to which the ability to acquire language is biologically linked to age. The hypothesis claims that there is an ideal… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”