Sociolinguistics dialect and language

Sociolinguistic variables[ edit ] Studies in the field of sociolinguistics typically take a sample population and interview them, assessing the realisation of certain sociolinguistic variables. Labov specifies the ideal sociolinguistic variable to be high in frequency, have a certain immunity from conscious suppression, be an integral part of larger structures, and be easily quantified on a linear scale. Examples for phonetic variables are: An example of a morphosyntactic variable is the frequency of negative concord known colloquially as a double negative.

Sociolinguistics dialect and language

Standard language Prestige varieties are those that are regarded mostly highly within a society. As such, the standard language, the form promoted by authorities and considered correct or otherwise superior, is often the prestige variety. However, there are many exceptions to this rule, such as Arabicin which Egyptian Arabic is widely used in mass media aimed at international audiences, while Literary Arabic also known as Standard Arabic is a more prestigious form.

The notion of a "standard" language in a speech community is related to the prestige of the languages spoken in the community. In general, "greater prestige tends to be attached to the notion of the standard, since it can function in higher domains, and has a written form. A dialect or variety which is considered prestigious in one context, will not carry the same status in another.

Covert prestige refers to relatively high value placed on a non-standard form of language. The phenomenon is not limited to English-speaking populations. In Western Europemultiple languages were considered to be of high prestige at some time or another, including " Italian as the Mediterranean lingua franca and as the language of the Renaissance ; and the 17thth century French of the court culture ".

Latin was held to be noble and beautiful, not just the thoughts expressed in it or the people who used it. Dialect Prestige influences whether a language variety is considered a language or a dialect.

In discussing definitions of language, Dell Hymes wrote that "sometimes two communities are said to have the same, or different, languages on the grounds of mutual intelligibilityor lack thereof", but alone, this definition is often insufficient.

This continuum means that despite the fact that standard German and standard Dutch are not mutually intelligible, the speech of people living near the border between Germany and the Netherlands will more closely resemble that of their neighbors across the border than the standard languages of their respective home countries.

Even so, speakers near the border would describe themselves as speaking a variety of their respective standard languages, and the evolution of these dialects tends to mirror that of the standard languages as well. Very often, the "public prestige dialect of the elite in a stratified community differs from the dialect s of the non-elite strata working class and Sociolinguistics dialect and language ".

Inone of the earliest studies of the relationship between social differences and dialect differences was published by John Gumperzwho studied the speech patterns in Khalapura small, highly stratified village in India.

Sociolinguistics dialect and language

Klein low —and studied how their employees pronounced the phrase "fourth floor". Klein, seventy-nine percent of the respondents said no r at all.

The prestige given to r was also evident in the hypercorrection observed in lower-class speech.

Sociolinguistics dialect and language

Knowing that r-pronunciation was a prestigious trait, many of the lower-class speakers in another Labov study—in which speakers were asked to read from word lists—added -r to words that did not have an r at all. The difference between this study and the "fourth floor" study was the fact that speakers were closely monitoring their speech, not speaking spontaneously, and were thus careful to add r in an attempt to mimic a higher social class.

Language and gender Non-standard dialects are usually considered low-prestige, but in some situations dialects "stigmatized by the education system still enjoy a covert prestige among working-class men for the very reason that they are considered incorrect".

Labov realized that there must be some underlying reason for their use of the dialect, which he identified as a signal of group identity.

Though women use prestige dialects more frequently than do men, the same gender preference for prestige languages does not seem to exist.

A study of diglossic societies by John Angle and Sharlene Hesse-Biber showed that the men were more likely to speak the prestige language than were women.

Language contact[ edit ] When different languages or language varieties come in contact with one another, a variety of relationships can form between the two, all typically influenced by prestige. When the two contact languages have equal power or prestige, they form adstratumas exemplified by Old English and Norsewhich shared elements with each other more or less equally.

Far more common is for the two languages to have an unequal power relationship, as is the case of many colonial language contact situations. Languages that have a higher status in relation to a certain group often manifest themselves in word borrowing.

One example is in English, which features a large number of words borrowed from French, as a result of the historical prestige of French. Another potential result of such contact relationships includes the creation of a pidgin or eventually creole through nativization.

In the case of pidgins and creoles, it is usually noted that the low prestige language provides the phonology while the high prestige language provides the lexicon and grammatical structure. In addition to forming of a new language, known as a creole, language contact can result in changes to the languages in contact, such as language convergencelanguage shift or language death.

Language convergence is when two languages have been exposed for a long period of time and they begin to have more properties in common.

Language shift is when a speaker shifts from speaking a lower prestige dialect to a higher prestige dialect. Language death is when speakers of a language die off, and there are no new generations learning to speak this language.

The intensity of the contact between the two languages and their relative prestige levels influence the degree to which a language experiences lexical borrowing and changes to the morphologyphonology, syntaxand overall structure of the language.

Diglossia When two languages with an asymmetrical power relationship come into contact, such as through colonization or in a refugee situation, the creole that results is typically largely based on the prestige language; as noted above, linguists have observed that the low-prestige language usually provides the phonology while the high-prestige language provides the lexicon and grammatical structure.

Over time, continued contact between the creole and the prestige language may result in decreolizationin which the creole begins to more closely resemble the prestige language. An example of decreolization described by Hock and Joseph is African American Vernacular English AAVEin which older, more conservative versions preserve features such as the completive marker done while newer, less conservative versions do not.

In diglossic societies, the prestigious language tends to be very conservative and resist change over time while the low-prestige language, the local vernacular, undergoes normal language change.

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For instance, Latin, the high prestige language of Europe for many centuries, underwent minimal change while the everyday low prestige languages which were spoken evolved significantly. If, however, the two languages are spoken freely, the prestige language may undergo vernacularization and begin to incorporate vernacular features.

For example, in medieval times, Ecclesiastical Latin developed different forms in various countries where it was used, including ItalyFrancePortugalSpainas well as other Roman Catholic nations, notably in pronunciation — see Latin regional pronunciation.Contents Preface vii Acknowledgments viii 1 Introduction 1 Knowledge of Language – Variation – Scientific Investigation – Language and Society – Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of.

Speaking Pittsburghese is a highly readable and rich account of sociolinguistic process: the making of a dialect.

* Alexandra Jaffe, Sociolinguistics * Speaking Pittsburghese: The story of a dialect is an impressive masterpiece that pushes sociolinguists and dialectologists to take a more multi-faceted approach to the study of dialects.

Language is one of the most powerful emblems of social behavior. and intentions based simply upon the person's language, dialect, or, in some instances, even the choice of a single word. it stands to reason that one strand of language study should concentrate on the role of language in society.

Sociolinguistics has become an. Prestige is the level of regard normally accorded a specific language or dialect within a speech community, relative to other languages or concept of prestige in sociolinguistics provides one explanation for the phenomenon of variation in form, among speakers of a language or languages.

Prestige varieties are those varieties which are . An Introduction to Sociolinguistics FIFTH EDITION Ronald Wardhaugh AITA01 3 5/9/05, PM Language and Society – Sociolinguistics and the Sociology of Language – Methodological Concerns – Overview – Further Reading Part I Languages and Communities 23 2 Languages, Dialects, and Varieties 25 Language and Dialect – .

Aug 29,  · Noun []. dialect (plural dialects) (linguistics) A variety of a language that is characteristic of a particular area, community, or group, often differing from other varieties of the same language in minor ways as regards vocabulary, style, spelling and pronunciation.

Variation (linguistics) - Wikipedia