The Scope of Sociolinguistics

Topics: Dialect, Language, Social class Pages: 5 (1213 words) Published: January 18, 2013
The Scope of Sociolinguistics
Sociolinguistics is the study of the relationship between language and society. Sociolinguistics is a derivational word. Two words that form it are sociology and linguistics. Sociology refers to a science of society (which is a grouping of individuals, which is characterized by common interests and may have distinctive culture and institutions), and linguistics refers to a science of language (which is a means of communicating information, and a crucial means of establishing and maintaining relationships with other people). Micro and macro distinction:

1. Micro sociolinguistics: (sociolinguistics)
In social dimensions of language, the emphasis is on language. Micro sociolinguistics explores the way in which society influences the way people talk, ex: creation of a variety of dialects; how they communicate with different social factors, and how language varieties with social attributes such as class, sex and age. 2. Macro sociolinguistics: (sociology of language)

In linguistics dimensions of society, the emphasis is on society. Macro sociolinguistics focuses more on society as a whole in relation to language, that is, the study of language related to how the society treats the language.

Langue and Parole: Saussure defined language as a system of signs that expresses ideas and suggests that it may be divided into two components:Langue which is the whole system of language that leads and makes the speech possible; while parole is the concrete (real) use of the language, the actual utterances.Speech community: it is a group of people who speak a common dialect.Mutually un/intelligibly: Any two varieties which are mutually intelligibly means they are two dialects of the same language, if they are mutually unintelligibly, then they are separate languages.|

Dialect, Accent, Idiolect
Any variety of a language characterized by systematic differences in pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary from other varieties of the same language is called dialect. Ex: New York City English vs. Appalachian English.

It is the phonology of a spoken dialect (the pronunciation of a language), which means a certain form of a language spoken by a subgroup of speakers of a particular language. From an accent of an individual, it can be identified from where the speaker is from regionally or socially. Idiolect:

It is a dialect spoken by one individual. Everyone has small differences between the way he speaks and the way that his /her families speak. So idiolect is creating a minimal dialect. Types of language variation:

1. Regional dialects:
It is a variety of a language spoken in a particular area of a country. The differences can appear at all levels: Pronunciation: British English /ka/ -- Am Eng. /kar/
Lexis (vocabulary): Bri Eng. gas ---- Am Eng. petrol
Morphology (grammar): (غطس) Am Eng. dove ----- Bri Eng. dived. Syntax (استعمال عبارة في جملة) Am Eng. i don’t have a book, Bri Eng. i haven’t a book. 2. Social Dialects:
It is a variety of a language spoken by a particular group based on social characteristics (wealth, education, profession). Ex: in the United States a variety of American English is called Black English, this variety is associated with lower class, and it is characterized by: - With becomes d

-West End becomes Wes ‘en
-He/ she likes becomes he/ she like
It has been found that the lower we go in the social class scale, the more we find non-standard variants. 3. Dialect continuum:
It is a range of dialects that vary slightly by region, so that the further apart two regions are, the more the language differs. (The more two regions are separated, the more the language differs) 4. Linguistic variable:

The linguistics variable are those where the meaning remain constant but the form varies. Ex: cat and pussy, they have the same social meaning but different form.

Language and social classes
The term...
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