Sociolinguistics, Definition and Basic Concepts

Topics: Sociology, Sociolinguistics, Social class Pages: 2 (269 words) Published: December 23, 2012
It is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society on languages .It also studies how language varieties differ between groups separated by certain social variables, e.g., ethnicity, religion, status, gender, level of education, age, etc., and how creation and adherence to these rules is used to categorize individuals in social or socioeconomic classes.

As the usage of a language varies from place to place, language usage also varies among social classes, and it is these sociolects that sociolinguistics studies.

Sociolinguistics often shows us the humorous realities of human speech and how a dialect of a given language can often describe the age, sex, and social class of the speaker; it codes the social function of a language .

II.Basic Concepts

1.Speech communities
Are groups of people of any social class, students, workers or even friends and families.

They use the language according to a set of norms to share enough characteristics of pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary

2.High/low prestige varieties
Prestige could be defined as something related with the types of sociolects: + prestige is associated with the language or sociolect of the upper classes; - prestige is associated with the language or sociolect of the lower classes 3.Social network

Another way of describing a particular speech community in terms of relations among its individual members.
Tight community: all members of one group interacting with each other. Looser community: little interaction among the members of a group 4.Internal/external language
external language: all that happens among people in social contexts. Internal language: all which happens inside our minds [13].
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