Stylistic variations in the social network of a 10-year-old child: pragmatic adjustments or automatic alignment?

Abstract : Although stylistic variation within social networks has been described in adults, this topic remains under-researched in children. One question that remains unanswered is the extent to which stylistic variation is the result of automatic alignment or of intentional, pragmatically motivated adjustment. We present an in-depth sociolinguistic case study of a 10-year-old boy, his family and four friends selected according to their place of birth and the duration of their relationship with the boy. Statistical analyses of sociolinguistic variables of French suggest that the child's use of these variants is influenced by pragmatic motivations but not by automatic alignment.
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Nathaël Martin, Jean-Pierre Chevrot, Stéphanie Barbu. Stylistic variations in the social network of a 10-year-old child: pragmatic adjustments or automatic alignment?. Journal of Sociolinguistics, Wiley, 2010, 14 (5), pp.678-692. ⟨10.1111/j.1467-9841.2010.00459.x⟩. ⟨hal-00721685v2⟩

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