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Instead of the standard How do you know that…? a native of Aberdeen in Scotland might say Fit wye div ye ken that…? An Aberdonian is more likely to use his local form if he is a bus driver than if he is a judge. Both are more likely to use the local form with friends than in a courtroom. As we have seen in the last two chapters, language varies between regions, between social classes and between social situations. Thus an item of language — a word, a syntactic structure, and so on — may occur within a certain area of a grid that has regional variation and social variation as its axes (see Figure 10.1).
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