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- Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 4. The Introduction
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Brager, G. Zhang, and E. Evolving opportunities for providing thermal comfort. Building Research and Information, Vol. Cheung, S. Lee and J. Hanna, E. Lucas, R. Epstein, and T. Mishra, A. Loomans, J.
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Building and Environment 15 : Xiang, J. BI, D. Pisaniello, and A. Industrial Health 52 2 : Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others. This View of Life, September 22, Horr, Y. Arif, A. Kaushik, A. Mazroei, M. Katafygiotou, and E. Building and Environment Kats, G.
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Call Us:. About Process Samples F. The choice between the two variants did not only depend on the speaker's sex and their location on the social scale, but also on the degree of formality of the situation. In other words, the children adjusted their pronunciation of the variable in question to the situation in which the speech act took place. They payed least attention to the use of the RP-variant in casual speech while talking to their class mates, for instance.
One could speculate that girls rather aspire to be associated with higher social status than boys do. What is obvious, though, is that the -ing variable has social significace not only for the fieldworker, but for the speakers as well. The -ing variable is generally regarded as a social marker in the English speaking world, i. People are aware of markers which show class- and style stratification. Using the variant [-in'], which is stigmatized in parts of the English speaking world, associates one's pronunciation with lower-class speech.
A social marker can become a stereotype as soon as it is conciously varied in order to identify oneself with a certain group of speakers. Together with other scientists, Labov investigated the speech of Afro-American adolescents which proved to be different from the speech of "white" Americans and others by various features. Labov found out that the variable is , i.
This manner of identification with a certain group of people by means of a specific linguistic feature was investigated by Labov among Afro-American teenagers in Harlem. Even the non-members occasionally used this stereotype identifying themselves with the "black community", but at the same time they distanced themselves from the gang, using it less often than any of the members. This study illustrated that linguistic variables may be employed for the purpose of identification with a particular group or speech community which is defined by a particular social variable.
Before beginning with the actual research work and the collection of data about a particular sociolinguistic phenomenon, the fieldworker propounds a hypothesis, i. He has to choose a social variable which he expects to be relevant to the variation of a linguistic feature. Usually the linguist chooses a linguistic variable which has been previously observed by other scientists and which is therefore likely to be socially significant. Some scientists even fall back upon predetermined lists of variables which have been made by dialectologists or other linguists.
The fieldworker also has to decide in what way he expects the two variables to relate to each other.
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This initial decision already contains the problematic aspect of social stratification as the variable needs to be appropriately graduated. He then has to settle which variants of the linguistic variable carry social information at all, and to which social variant they will probably relate to. The first step in collecting sociolinguistic data is the preparation of a questionnaire which is necessary for the performance of the interviews. It is designed with regard to the hypothesis. It is important to elicit sociolinguistic information as definite as possible, either confirming or refuting the scientist's assumptions.
Creating this questionnaire, the scientist has to deliberate on the best way of bringing about representative data without which the interview becomes subject to unnatural conditions. This might turn out to fatally influence the results of the interviews. Formulating the questions, the fieldworker has to think over which words or grammatical constructions are suitable for the interviews. He has to bear in mind that the linguistic environment around the varied feature "[ It was again William Labov who found out that neighbouring phonemes have an effect on the pronunciation of the varying feature.
If the linguist is interested in variation of linguistic features according to different degrees of formality, he might use William Labov's concept of style stratification which is generally regarded as a sensible method to elicit different speech styles. The second step in this procedure is the selection of speakers that will be participating in the interviews.
The sociolinguist has to formulate a set of qualifications with regard to the expected results.
In other words, the participants have to fit the social variable s under investigation. This rather subjective method of selecting speakers is called judgement sample and it has been criticized for leading to misinterpretation. The alternative method, the random sample , provides an equal chance to be selected for everyone in the population to be sampled.
The choice of participants is arbitrary and, on the one hand, this makes the method much more objective. On the other hand, though, a randomly selected group of speakers will have to consist of a much greater number of individuals as only a few of them will be relevant to the study. Consequently, most of the recorded material will be identified irrelevant. Therefore, judgement sample is generally preferred in sociolinguistic studies and scientists try to avoid misleading subjectivity at this early stage of investigation.
Obviously, this part of the research work is rather lenghthy as a large number of speakers is required to guarantee a representative amount of data. Moreover, it is important to ensure that the selected speakers are all willing to be interviewed and recorded. This is the basic requirement for consistency in speech.
As soon as the fieldworker is satisfied with the sample of speakers and their grouping, and as soon as he knows what he will be looking for during the interviews, he will start to make recordings. The presence of a tape-recorder during the interview, however, represents a problem which is referred to as the observer's paradox. It is obvious that the situation of a recorded interview with a linguist is a rather formal one: "Won't speakers become self- conscious, and try to make their speech more standard in the presence of a tape-recorder?
Although people's speech is more formal under such conditions than it would be if they were talking to friends or family members, the apparatus is the most important tool in the sociolinguistic interview. Some scientists have tried to alleviate this problem. Lesley Milroy, for example, carried out a study in Belfast being part of the social network of the speakers.
She was accepted as a friend, consequently her presence did not increase the formality of the speech. This is, of course, an exceptional case as usually the fieldworker comes into the participant's homes as a stranger, and the problem of the observer's paradox cannot be overcome because everyday language cannot be analysed without making tape-recordings first.
After the data collection has been completed, the investigator starts with the identification of the variants by listening to the recordings. This is a rather difficult stage of the study so far as the linguist's subjective expectations might influence the recognition of the occurrences. This problem mainly applies to studies concerned with phonological variation.
Pronunciation features may differ in several phonetic dimensions. It is not always possible to reduce the analysis of a linguistic variable to one distinct feature. The fieldworker has to count the occurrences of each variant for each text separately to be able to compare different figures for different texts. He starts, for instance, by counting the occurrences of variant a in the casual speech of group 1 , he continues by counting the occurrences of variant b in casual speech of group 1 and so on, until he reaches the last group 4 to count the occurrences of variant c in most formal style.
To make the comparison easier, the occurring figures are reduced to percentages. It matters then to discover the differences between the texts and their relevance to the hypothesis.ilearntennis.com/wp-content/336/loby-single-diez.php
Organizing Your Social Sciences Research Paper: 4. The Introduction
Some differences might not be statistically relevant at all, but if they are they require sociolinguistic explanation. The scientist can then start to interpret the data, bearing in mind that the phonetic environment can make speakers favour one variant instead of another and that his hypothesis is not fully confirmed.
The stage of interpreting the data is certainly the most difficult one, as it involves some important decisions.