Linguistics - Style Shifting

Topics: Sociolinguistics, Speech, Language Pages: 4 (2785 words) Published: October 29, 2014

LINGUISTICS: Language Learning
Final Project Report
This research report focuses on studying style-shifting in everyday language. It must be noted that the focus is solely on monolingual style shifting and not on bilingual code-shifting. Although some of the characteristics may be the same, the two are very different aspects of language in that style-shifting refers to changes in the type of language, such as casual or formal, that people speak whereas bilingual code-shifting refers to actually changing language from say, English to French for example. To begin with I will summarise the project, its aims and objectives, and very briefly explain style shifting, which I will later build on by explaining some previous research into the topic. I will then describe the methodology used for the investigation and finally report any findings from the project as well as build conclusions by discussing any issues, problems and successes from the investigation and suggest some ideas for future research. Summary of the Project

Style-shifting refers to the way in which people change the way they speak depending on the context of the speech. The language that people use is often distinctive and seen to be appropriate for particular situations. In other words, the use of a certain way of speaking has an appropriate time and place in which it is spoken and to particular people to which it is spoken to. For example, if you were to analyse the speech between a politician and a close friend the language style would be far different to say, the style of language they use in a speech to a group of voters in an electorate. The situation in which a type of language is found can usually be seen as appropriate or inappropriate to the style of language used. It would not be seen as appropriate for a politician to speak in a style that is overly casual by joking and swearing while telling a speech to parliament and, on the other hand, when speaking to a close...

References: Ervin-Tripp, S. 2001. “Variety, style-shifting, and ideology.” In P. Eckert & J. Rickford (eds.) Style and sociolinguistic variation (p.44-56.) New York: Cambridge University Press.
Patrick, P.L. 2009. Dept of Language and Linguistics, University of Essex “Notes on the sociolinguistics of style (-shifting)”, Peter L. 1997. "Style and register in Jamaican Patwa." In Edgar W. Schneider, ed., Englishes Around the World: Studies in Honour of Manfred Goerlach. Vol. 2: Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Australasia. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 41-56.
Bell, Allan. 1997. "Language style as audience design." In Nikolas Coupland and Adam Jaworski, eds. 1997, Sociolinguistics: A reader, 240-50. St. Martin’s Press.Labov, William. 1984. "Field Methods of the Project in Linguistic Change and Variation." In John Baugh and Joel Sherzer, eds., Language in Use, Prentice-Hall: 28-53.
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