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WIREs Cogn Sci
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Developmental sociolinguistics: Children's acquisition of language variation

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Abstract Developmental sociolinguistics is a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary framework that builds upon theoretical and methodological contributions from multiple disciplines (i.e., sociolinguistics, language acquisition, the speech sciences, developmental psychology, and psycholinguistics). A core assumption of this framework is that language is by its very nature variable, and that much of this variability is informative, as it is (probabilistically) governed by a variety of factors—including linguistic context, social or cultural context, the relationship between speaker and addressee, a language user's geographic origin, and a language user's gender identity. It is becoming increasingly clear that consideration of these factors is absolutely essential to developing realistic and ecologically valid models of language development. Given the central importance of language in our social world, a more complete understanding of early social development will also require a deeper understanding of when and how language variation influences children's social inferences and behavior. As the cross‐pollination between formerly disparate fields continues, we anticipate a paradigm shift in the way many language researchers conceptualize the challenge of early acquisition. This article is categorized under: Linguistics > Linguistic Theory Linguistics > Language Acquisition Neuroscience > Development Psychology > Language

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Psychology > Language
Neuroscience > Development
Linguistics > Language Acquisition
Linguistics > Linguistic Theory

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