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Historical Sociolinguistic Philology – a New Hybrid Discipline, its Interests, and its Scope

Barbara Soukup
Published Online: 2017-12-29 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0034


This contribution presents the basic rationale and principles of a new hybrid discipline of historical sociolinguistic philology, or the sociolinguistically informed study of ancient texts, as showcased in the current special issue. It is shown how an interactional model of communication validates and scaffolds the application of synchronic sociocultural linguistic theory and findings to the analysis of ancient texts in order to achieve a more fully contextualized account and interpretation of their meaning from a perspective contemporary to their origination. In fact, it is argued that any study of ancient texts should take the perspective of its producer(s) and addressee(s) into consideration, and that written language use cannot be satisfactorily accounted for without reference to the immediate, on-the-ground-level social context and situation within which it arose.

Keywords: Historical sociolinguistics; sociocultural linguistics; interaction; language variation; theory; contextualization


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About the article

Received: 2016-11-07

Accepted: 2017-12-01

Published Online: 2017-12-29

Published in Print: 2017-12-20

Citation Information: Open Linguistics, Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 673–678, ISSN (Online) 2300-9969, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/opli-2017-0034.

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© 2018. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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