Das laienlinguistische Konzept von Variation.
Regional – funktional – sozial
The following article consists of three parts: First, the context in which speakers live is sketched phenomenologically. These life-worlds are described as language-worlds, since language, according to the premise, is apriori and thus directly relevant. Subsequently, the focus is on the speakers as actors within the language-worlds. A cognitive-realistic model is presented to describe their lay-linguistic knowledge, the center of what is called epistemicon. Based on this, the third part of the article outlines an empirical study that surveys the linguistic laypersons’ knowledge on variation. It can be shown that although knowledge of regional variation is most abundant, aspects of functional and social variation also play a role. The final diagnosis is that the conceptualization of variation is fundamental to the linguistic worlds of linguistic laypersons.