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Genre-related language change: Discourse- and corpus-linguistic perspectives on Austrian German 1970-2010

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/03/2019
<mark>Journal</mark>Folia Linguistica
Issue number1
Number of pages43
Pages (from-to)125-167
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date30/03/19
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The motivation and diffusion of language change have been modelled and discussed in frequently conflicting terms, often focused on an isolated set of features rather than more integrative sociolinguistic concerns. We present a case study of language change in Austrian German along a broad range of lexical, syntactic as well as textual features, approached through a corpus based on genres situated in the pertinent fields of news reporting, education and business. Based on our results, we argue that drawing on 'genre' as socially-situated, interactive and goal-oriented patterns of language use provides both a conceptual and empirical framework that may help address some of the more prominent issues in modelling language change: as a concept, it provides a frame within which to grasp the social changes driving language change; as empirical focus, it guides data selection and allows us to describe and explicate complex and seemingly contradictory diffusion patterns.