intra-individuel variation, sammenlignelighed og mikro-makro-problemet

Activity: Talk or presentation typesLecture and oral contribution

Frans Gregersen - Lecturer

  • Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics

Frans Gregersen, Minna Olesen & Dorte Greisgaard Larsen

Intra-individual variation, comparability and the micro-macro problem

The LANCHART project includes re-recordings of informants from six previous investigations of speakers from various regions of Denmark thus disclosing language changes in real time. The earlier studies diverged in aims and methods, and thus a new project trying to integrate the findings raises the problem of comparability. How can we e.g. be sure that a difference detected is in fact a language change and not a style difference between the first and the second recording? In order to keep unresolved the question of how many styles speakers have at their disposal, we shall henceforth use the term intra-individual variation. Consequently, we have developed a coding scheme for situational factors and discourse contexts which might interact with individuals' phonetic and grammatical performance. In the first section, we code all material as to

activity types,


macro speech acts and


interaction structure.

The second section includes

our version of speech genres and


categories for the analysis of changes in enunciation.

The paper reports the results of an exploratory in-depth study of 18 old and new recordings selected so as to represent a maximum of variation as to speaker variables, geographical and social background, recording types, and interviewer-interviewee relationship. We have analysed transcripts of the recordings according to our coding scheme in order to discuss both macro- and micro-aspects of variation.

From a macro-perspective, we present discourse context profiles of the various recording types, together with analyses of the relationships between discourse context profiles and speaker variables, interview characteristics and time of recording respectively.

A second section of the paper is concerned with micro-level aspects. Genre is central for the discourse profiles. Accordingly, we report the results of qualitative analyses of the interaction between the parties leading up to a shift in genre by looking at all sections immediately preceding a shift involving the specific genres of confidences and accounts.

In conclusion: What is the relationship between this type of micro-analysis and the macro-analyses? Do they compete for explanatory value, or do they complement each other?


Frans Gregersen og Dorte Greisgaard Larsen

19 Jun 2007

Event (Conference)

TitleInternational Congress of Language Variation in Europe (ICLaVE)

ID: 4517294