1932

Abstract

Sociolinguists are deeply politically committed to (dis)fluency. They have generally seen it as their task to revise popular wisdom on the presumed disfluency of nonstandard, accented, or multilingual speakers and to demonstrate regularity and competence where deficit is presumed. I argue that this revision has its merits but is not immune to reconsideration for its naturalization of cultural ideas that value fluency and its promise of modernization through sociolinguistic knowledge. After addressing the limitations of this literature, I review works that explore alternative conceptualizations of (dis)fluency. I build on these to argue that rather than being an inherent characteristic of particular linguistic forms, (dis)fluency depends on relationships between these forms and their evaluation by speakers with competing perspectives and different positions in the social arrangements they so help to reproduce.

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2016-10-21
2024-06-24
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