A long research line in quantitative sociolinguistics has been aimed at understanding how persistence, the tendency for people to repeat a linguistic variant they have just used, influences language variation and change. Previous studies have variously attributed variant repetitiveness to priming in the psycholinguistic sense, socially-motivated style-shifting, or interspeaker accommodation, implying that intraspeaker persistence and interspeaker convergence are potentially different phenomena. This study reports both interspeaker convergence and intraspeaker persistence in a morphological variable that has been recently documented in the Chengdu dialect of Mandarin, a variety which is subject to language contact with standard Mandarin. We compare the relationship between repetitiveness within and across speakers. Results from mixed-effect logistic regression show that there is a persistence effect within speakers and a convergence effect across speakers; however the size of the effect varies according to different meaning contexts. Findings further shed light on the understanding of language change from psycholinguistic perspectives.
Li, Aini and Tamminga, Meredith
"Intra- and Interspeaker Repetitiveness in Locative Variation,"
University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics: Vol. 27
, Article 16.
Available at: https://repository.upenn.edu/pwpl/vol27/iss1/16