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William Labov's (1971) concept of the 'stereotype' is that of a dialectal variable which has attracted sufficient attention to be the subject of overt comment or metapragmatic discussion. Such variables figure in the formality continuum.

The concept of a 'change from above' is a linguistic change that happens above the level of consciousness, i.e. speakers are aware that a change is occurring with this particular variable.

My question is, as both concepts require a variable/change to be highly conscious, does a change from above entail the changing variable to be a stereotype?

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    An interesting question, about regularizing terminology from different areas. It'd be interesting to know what Labov thinks about it.
    – jlawler
    Oct 26, 2020 at 14:32

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