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variazione | variation linguistique | Variation


Non-diachronic differentiation occurring within a language code, depending on sociolinguistic variables such as prestige, social stratification, perceived social or ethnic identity, circles employing technical jargons, contexts of communication etc. Situations of diglossia or the existence of language contact may impact the cases of variation within a language. Cf. Beccaria 1994, 792-793.

In general, non diachronic and non dialectal variation is classified as diamesic, when it depends on the medium (e.g. orality vs. writing), diastratic, when it depends on the social group to which the speaker belongs, or diaphasic, when it depends on the choice of a specific code by a speaker.


Among the several Akkadian dialects, the Old Babylonian one survived the proper Old Babylonian age, and was exported outside Souther Mesopotamia. In several ages and regions, it coexisted with later varieties and, in synchrony, it represented a prestige code, used for literally and political documents, as opposed to Middle Babylonian or Middle Assyria which emerged, e.g., in epistolary corpora. This is an example of diaphasic variation.


Beccaria, G.L. 1994. Dizionario di Linguistica. Torino.