Sociolinguistics

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An isogloss refers to a specific type of language border. It is the geographical boundary or delineation of a certain linguistic feature, e.g. the pronunciation of a vowel, the meaning of a word, or use of some syntactic feature. Major dialects are typically demarcated by whole bundles of isoglosses, e.g. the Benrath line that distinguishes High German from the other West Germanic languages; or the La Spezia-Rimini Line which divides the Northern Italian dialects from Central ones. One of the most well-known isoglosses is the Centum-Satem isogloss. A major isogloss in American English has been identified as the North-Midland isogloss, which demarcates numerous linguistic features, including the Northern Cities vowel shift, the isogloss separates rather than connects points of equal language. An isogloss refers to a specific type of language border. It is the geographical boundary or delineation of a certain linguistic feature, e.g. the pronunciation of a vowel, the meaning of a word, or use of some syntactic feature. Major dialects are typically demarcated by whole bundles of isoglosses, e.g. the Benrath line that distinguishes High German from the other West Germanic languages; or the La Spezia-Rimini Line which divides the Northern Italian dialects from Central ones. One of the most well-known isoglosses is the Centum-Satem isogloss. 1. In DIALECT geography, an area within which a feature is used predominantly or exclusively. Such a feature (phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, lexical, or other) usually contrasts with some similar feature in adjoining areas. Thus, some native speakers of English pronounce /r/ after a vowel, as in barn, hard, car, while others do not: in the US this postvocalic /r/ is normally present in the Chicago area but absent in the Boston area. Such distinct areas are isoglosses. 2. More commonly, the line on a dialect map which bounds the area of a certain usage. In England, an isogloss that stretches from the mouth of the Severn to Portsmouth separates the area of initial spoken /v/ from that of /f/, as in vinger/finger, Vriday/Friday, the v-forms being south-west of the line. No two isoglosses coincide exactly; there is always a transition area of partial overlapping.

Social dialect: - Another important axis of differentiation is that of social strata. In many localities, dialectal differences are connected with social classes, educational levels, or both. More-highly educated speakers and, often, those belonging to a higher social class tend to use more features belonging to the standard language, whereas the original dialect of the region is better preserved in the speech of the lower and less-educated classes. In large urban centres, innovations unknown in the former dialect of the region frequently develop. Thus, in cities the social stratification of dialects is especially relevant and far-reaching, whereas in rural areas, with a conservative way of life, the traditional geographic dialectal differentiation prevails. Educational differences between speakers strongly affect the extent of their vocabulary. In addition, practically every profession has its own expressions, which include the technical terminology and sometimes also the casual words or idioms peculiar to the group. Slang too is characterized mainly by a specific vocabulary and is much more flexible than an ordinary dialect, as it is subject to fashion and depends strongly on the speaker’s age group. Slang—just as a professional dialect—is used mainly by persons who are in a sense bidialectal; i.e., they speak some other dialect or the standard language, in addition to slang. Dialectal differences also often run parallel with the religious or racial division of the population. Regional dialect: - A speech pattern that alerts the listener that you are from a specific region within the United States. It may include non-standard pronunciation, grammar, resonance, pitch, rate of speech, and differences in vocabulary....
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