Test to Chapter Five and Six of Sociolinguistic
1. What is the stating point or base for Sociolinguistic study? Sociolingustic study is the base for people to use language in a social norm, and because of language, they (people) can interact and communicate with each other. From this point of view, we can see that the starting point for Sociolingustic study are language, people, social norm, interaction and communication.
2. Why it is said that language is both an individual possession and a social possession. Language is both an individual possession and a social possession. About individual possession, language exhibits considerable internal variations and single-style speakers will not be found. The language is spoken individually idiosyncratic. As for a social possession, we know that certain individuals would behave linguistically like other individuals, they might be said to speak the same language or the same dialect or the same variety. That is to say, each individual speaks the same language or the same dialect, and they view any language as a homogeneous entity for the strongest theoretical generalizations. While, in our real life, language will exhibit considerable internal variation and single-style speakers will not be found. The language said by each speaker is idiosyncratic. So, we can treat language is an individual possession. However, as a social possession, the usages, the norm of a language we used can not be independent of social environment, so language is also a social possession.
3. Give one explanation of the term “Speech Community”
Labov's definition of speech community (1972b, pp.120-1): the speech community is not defined by any marked agreement in the use of language elements, so much as by participation in a set of shared norms; these norms may be observed in overt types of evaluative behavior, and by the uniformity of abstract patterns of variation which are invariant in respect to particular levels of usage....
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