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Title: Ethnicity and Sociolinguistic Variation in San Francisco
Author(s): Lauren Hall-Lew
Journal Title: Language and Linguistics Compass
Volume: 4
Issue: 7
Page Range: 458–472
Publication Date: Jul-2010
Abstract: California’s San Francisco Bay Area has long been one of the most ethnically diverse areas of the United States, and ethnicity is an integral aspect of any research on language use in the region. This article gives a brief social history of San Francisco with respect to settlement patterns since the 1850s’ gold rush, paying particular attention to Chinese Americans, who are argued to play an especially distinctive role in the city’s history and current social landscape. This article also reviews the sociolinguistic research on language and ethnicity in and around San Francisco, with a focus on studies on variation and change in English, noting the relative lack of attention to Asian American ethnicities and calling for increased scholarship on the linguistic construction of Asian identities in the San Francisco area.

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