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?

  • 1
    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


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.