• Linguistic Variation and Change (Edinburgh Sociolinguistics)
    Linguistic Variation and Change (Edinburgh Sociolinguistics)
    by Scott F. Kiesling
Blog Index

Stance and stancetaking

Lately I have been seeing stance almost everywhere. This has led me to do a few projects on this idea. Stance is a general term for the relationships we create in interaction, whether that is with the people we are talking to (friendly, bossy, crass, for example) or the things we are talking about (whether we like something or not, for example) and the talk itself (whether we feel strongly about what we are saying). I really started with this from my earliest work, although I wasn't calling it stance yet.

I like stance because it helps us bridge what happens in actual interactions with the big patterns of language we find, and it helps explain wy we find those patterns. My papers in this realm are basically trying to get at two things:

  • how can we articulate more clearly what stance is and how to see it as an analyst (speakers do it intuitively), and
  • can I show that there are connections between stances taken in conversation and patterns of language use as well as ideologies about language use?

Here are some papers and presentations that are directly concerned with stance.

Surfing the stylistic waves: Can interactional stance be used in variation analysis?

Stance in Context: Affect, Alignment, and Investment in the analysis of stancetaking. Prezi for this presentation.

2009. “Style as stance: Can stance be the primary explanation for patterns of sociolinguistic variation?” In Sociolinguistic Perspectives on Stance. Alexandra Jaffe (ed). Oxford University Press. pp. 171-194.

2005. “Variation, Style, and Stance: Word-final -er and Ethnicity in Australian English.” English World Wide 26,1: 1-42.