Pädagogische Hochschule Vorarlberg
Davydova, Julia; Dr. habil.
Davydova, Julia; Dr.
2019 – 2020
Quotative be like is a much discussed variable linguistic feature recruited in this investigation in order to revisit the hypothesis of linguistic diffusion (Labov 2007) predicting re-ordering of the original patterns by L2 populations. Being a sociocognitively salient variant spreading above the level of conscious awareness, be like has been appropriated by adult speakers from two distinctive L2 English ecologies with a high degree of precision, a finding previously not reported in studies exploring the acquisition of structured variation. In this paper, I explain how, supported by frequency and constraint complexity, sociocognitive salience may have contributed to the generally accurate replication of the variable grammar for be like and, by this token, how it can inform existing models of language change.