Study of Linguistics in Society SOCIOLINGUISTICS
You will learn as if you were in a sociolinguistics laboratory…
Content • Society and Language • Inter-relationships between linguistic form and social function • History of Sociolinguistics • Sociolinguistic Variation in English • Intralingual Variation • Demography • Socio-Psychology • Social • Continental
Content • Interlingual Variation • Global • Case Studies • Summary of Sociolinguistics
SocietyandLanguage SOCIETY is any group of people who are drawn together for a certain purpose or purposes. LANGUAGE is what the members of a particular society speak.
Relationship between Society and Language Social structure may either influence or determine linguistic structure and/or behavior. Linguistic structure and/or behavior may either influence or determine social structure.Language and society may influence each other (bi-directional)There is no relationship at all between linguistic structure and social structure and that each is independent of the other.
Definition: The investigation of linguistics issues with regard to societal factors is called ”sociolinguistics”. Sociolinguistics studies language as it is used in the society in order to identify variability of language in terms of the factors and structures found in the community.
Inter-relationships between linguistic form and social function • Lang. cannot be studied separately from its social/speech context. • 9 Sentences: • Should I make some tea? • Would you like some tea? • Can I make you a cup of tea? • Let’s have a cup of tea. • How about a nice cup of tea? • I could make you a cup of tea. • Do you drink tea? • Have some tea. • There’s tea in the pot.
Inter-relationships between linguistic form and social function • What are these sentences doing? • When, and with whom, would each one be • appropriate? • From these examples, would you say that • linguistic form and social function are unrelated? • Should we study them separately?
History of Sociolinguistics • Usually said to start with Labov (1966), but actually dates back to 1900s • Saussure’s langue~parole distinction reflects difference between abstract and “language in use” • Dialect geographers of the 1930s commented on social aspects of dialect differences • At the same time, anthropological linguists couldn’t help but note socially conditioned aspects of “exotic” languages • Also, researches interested in bilingualism (1930s) noted a sociological aspect
History of Sociolinguistics • 1960s/1970s saw much work in • Language and social context (Hymes, Fishman) • Language and class (Labov, Bernstein) • Language and gender (Lakoff) • Issue of dialect vs language (status) • Pidgins and creoles • Bilingualism, code shifting
History of Sociolinguistics • Focus in late 1970s/1980s reflects contemporary social issues • Studies of Black English (Ebonics, and other names) • emphasize linguistic integrity of nonstandard forms • link between language and identity • similarities across regions, plus certain features suggest it may be a creole rather than a (number of) dialect(s) • Language and gender • How language reveals, embodies and sustains attitudes to gender. • How language users speak or write in (different and distinctive) ways that reflect their sex • Latterly, including gay and lesbian issues • Language and politics • All of the above, plus: How language reveals, embodies and sustains attitudes to political positions (egmarxist, colonialist, …)
Language is varied, not monolithic.. Sociolinguistics studies language as it is used in the society in order to identifyvariability of language in terms of the factors and structures found in the community.
Sociolinguistic Variation in English Sociolinguistics of English Language Intralingual variation: The variation which exclusively stems from internal dynamics of English. Interlingual variation: The variation that results from the interaction of English with other languages.
Demography: Age and Gender • Age • There are three broad groups that determine the type of language used. These are; • Children • Teenagers • Adults Gender The way men and women use the very same language they speak differs in vocabulary choice, pronunciation features, length of sentences, turn-takings and so forth..
Age • Language change often traceable by studying differences in language use according to age of speaker • Speech communities , as defined by age, are a factor (issues of identity, exclusion) • Slang comes and goes … • But more significantly, changes are often more prevalent in speech of younger people • Phonetic changes: Vowel shifts, intonation patterns • Changes in meanings of words • Grammatical changes
Gender example 1 Which of the speakers is male? Which is female? How do you know? M: What kind of salad dressing should I make? K: Oil and vinegar, what else? M: What do you mean “what else”? K: Well, I always make oil and vinegar, but if you want we could try something else. M: Does that mean you don’t like it when I make other dressings? K: No, I like it. Go ahead. Make something else. M: Not if you want oil and vinegar. K: I don’t. Make a yogurt dressing (M. makes a yogurt dressing, tastes it ,and makes a face) K: Isn’t it good? M: I don’t know how to make yogurt dressing. K: Well, if you don’t like it, throw it out. M: Never mind. K: What never mind? It’s just little yogurt. M: You’re making a big deal out of nothing. K: You are!
Gender example 2 Speech Act: Compliments Marisa: I really like your skirt. Jane: Oh this? It’s really old. Mike: New car? Brent: Yep. Mike: Sure looks like it could move.
Sexist Usage vs. Gender Neutral Usage In languages there are many words reflecting male dominance. In the age we live, though such forms still exist, they are considered offensive by most people, mainly women. So non-sexist usage of linguistics is suggested. Examples: Instead of using man/men, please use individual(s) Instead of using chairman, please use chairperson Instead of using mankind, please use humanity, human race Instead of fireman, please use fire fighters.
Linguistics of Socio-Psychology • Attitudes toward linguistic diversity: An active listener develops a conscious strategy as to how to deal with the remarks of speaker. This strategy can be related to pronunciation, intonation, grammar, vocabulary choice and discourse features.There are three types of linguistic attitude: • Linguistic Convergence(Linguistic Accommodation) • Linguistic Divergence • Hypercorrection
Convergence vs. Divergence Convergence is regarded as an act of complying and cooperating with the speaker and thus A sign of respect for choices. Further, it is considered a polite attitude. Divergence is the situation of failure or rejection to accommodate to the linguistic norms of speaker .
Example of Convergence vs. Divergence Take this example – if an Anti-Royalist met with Prince Charles, he/she could distance him/herself from him by strengthening their dialect and speech patterns, so that the audible difference between the well spoken Prince Charles and themselves is more evident – making them seem worlds apart, and not able to cooperate. Linguistic Convergence – entirely the opposite of the example above. When attempting to build relationships with potentially disruptive members of the public in potentially threatening or dangerous environments, a Police Officer can partially adopt the same level of local accent, grammar, tone of voice etc. as the member of public.
Hypercorrection Speakers who are conscious of social consequences of language use tend to be more careful about the choices they make and so they adjust their choices thinking that their language use is wrong. For example: Lower class speakers shift to the pronunciation with /r/ because they consider the pronunciation of /r/ a prestige variant. Casual – normal: /fɔː/ Careful-hypercorrection: /fɔːr/
Social Variation • This is the largest area covered by sociolinguistics. • Social variations include: • Style • Variety • Dialectal Variation • Norm • Jargon • Mode
Style • The type of language used is likely to change depending on the listener, situation or topic or even purpose, all of which individually or collectively may determine the appropriate style of language to be used: There are three dimensions • Formal • Casual(Informal-Colloquial) • Intimate • For example: • In formal usage we say mother, in casual we say mum, in intimate usage we say mummy.
Variety ‘Watch your language, gentleman!’ Public Language(Polite) is the appropriate language which should be used in public. Slang language is the variety appropriate in only marginal social situations such as among friends, members of sub-cultural group and so on. Vulgar is the words known as dirty, obscene, four-letter word etc. Taboo includes the forbidden words whose use of does great psychological damage to the listener. Such as; injuring the feelings or insulting sacred beliefs.
Dialectal Variation • Dialectal variation is the systematic differences in speaking . It is the varieties of language that have noticable differences which signal geographical, educational, ethnic, socio-economic background of speakers. They don’t hinder communication. • There are three broad goups of dialects/accents which are: • Regional dialects and accents • Socio-economic dialects • Ethnic dialects
Language and Dialect • Some common misconceptions • A language is composed of a "standard" dialect from which • all of the other non-standard dialects emerge. • The standard dialect is the "correct" way to speak the language. • The other dialects represent erroneous or inferior ways of • speaking the language. • The standard language is more complex, more logical, • more expressive than the non-standard dialects. • Non-standard dialects are a product of "lazy" speech.
Language and Dialect • We prefer to think • Languages have various dialects. • There are actually a range of varieties that people consider • to be standard. • What is considered standard is associated with prestige, • a non-linguistic factor. • From a linguistic standpoint, what is considered standard • has NOTHING to do with correctness or superiority. • From a linguistic standpoint, ALL DIALECTS are equally correct, • equally expressive, equally complex, equally logical and so forth. • That is, the term non-standard dialect means just that, • not the standard dialect. It DOES NOT MEAN inferior or • sub-standard. • Non-standard dialects are not simply offshoots from the standard. In fact, often the opposite is true
Regional Dialects and Accents Dialectsare linguistic varieties which differin pronunciation, vocabularyand grammarfrom each other and from Standard English(which is itself a dialect). An example list of Canadian English • Canada • Canadian English: • Newfoundland English • Maritimer English • Cape Breton accent • Lunenburg English • West/Central Canadian English • Northern Ontario English • Quebec English • Ottawa Valley Twang • Pacific Northwest English
Socio-economic Dialects • This is the variation that stems from the speaker’s social class. England is known to have one of the most elaborate and static class systems in the world. The class system in the British society has its manifestations in the use of English. The following classes are said to use English with noticeable differences: • Royal Class • Upper Class • Upper Middle Class • Lower Class
Ethnic Dialects • When the speakers of regional area with their own language come to communicate in a more prestigious, new language, the result is bound to reflect certain features of the mother tongue such as pronunciation and morphology in the adopted language as a result of a phenomenon called ‘language interference’. The following ethnic dialects appear in the United States of in their respective countries: • Black English(spoken by Afro-American people) • Chicano English(spoken by Spanish speaking Mexicans) • German English(spoken by German immigrants in Pennsylvania) • Hawaiian English(spoken by Hawaiians) • Puerto Rican English(spoken by Puerto Ricans)
Norm Social life, including language use, is governed by norms—socially shared concepts of appropriate and expected behavior. An important consideration in the discussion of the dialects is the subject of standard and non-standard dialects. RP (Received Pronunciation) is the standard dialect in the United Kingdom GA (General American) is the standard dialect in the USA
Jargon (Register) Jargon is referred to as professional or technical language of an occupation. For an occupation to be a profession, it needs to have its own set of terms. This set of terms unique to the practice of a profession is called ‘jargon’ or ‘register’. For example: Inflection Morpheme Acronym Bilabial are the jargon of linguistics.
Mode • Mode is the means or medium chosen for communication. There are two types involved: • Oral (Speaking-Speech) • Written(Writing-Text)
Continental Variation • This is the variety arising from vast geographical distances.Thus continental variations are varieties of a language across countries.Here is a list of English continental variations spoken in various countries: • British English • American English • Canadian English • Australian English • New Zealand English
Interlingual Variations • As to remember; Interlingual variation is the variation that results from the interaction of English with other languages. • This variation examined globally and have 3 broad groups which are: • World Englishes • Language contact • Intelligibility Across Languages
World Englishes • There is not one English but many. When the location, demography and development of English and the purpose of using it are investigated three groups of Englishes emerge: • Inner circle countries • Outer circle countries • Expanding circle countries
World Englishes Inner circle countries are those where English is spoken monolingually. Example: The USA and the UK Outer circle countries are those in which English began to be used as a second language. Example: India and Singapor The expanding circle Englishes are those Englishes that are shaped under the direct influence of the dominant local language. Example: Turkey, Korea, Japan
Language Contact • When people of different linguistic communities come to contact each other either at the national boundaries as neighbours of for purposes of friendship, marriage, migration, colonialism, wars and so forth, they feel the need to use a common means for communication. • The above mentioned situations are known to give rise to what the following terms refer to: • Lingua Franca • Pidgin and Creole • Code-Switching
Lingua Franca Lingua francais a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.
Pidgin and Creole • Pidgin language: • Language developed by speakers of distinct language who come into • contact with one another and share no common language among • them. - originates to overcome communication barriers - typically spring up in trading centers - made of mixtures of elements from all of the languages in contact - most of the vocabulary derived from socially or economically dominant language
Pidgin and Creole • Creole language: • a language that develops from contact between speakers of different • languages and serves as the primary means of communication for a • particular group of speakers - typical in plantation setting - some of them are stabilized pidgin - different from pidgin, Creole language serves as the first language for speakers
PidginandCreole Pidgin and Creole • How to define native speakers? Northwest Amazon: • 20 different tribes, each with a different languages • All are exogamous, so a man’s wife must speak • a different language • Marriage is patrilocal, and a wife must speak the • husband’s language to their children • Most people here are multilingual
Code-Switching Code-Switching is the use of two languages in a mixed manner, more often in oral interaction. Bilinguals’ code-switching is their shifting from one language to the other in the same conversation.
Code-Switching - Example All the members of a family are native English speakers, but the mother is of Mexican descent and speaks Spanish fluently, and the father speaks adequate Spanish. While the children were growing up, they were constantly exposed to Spanish words and phrases in the course of everyday conversation. The mother sometimes say that they are "My mijos." Mijo is a contraction of "mi hijo," which means "my son" or "my child." This does not make sense as a straight borrowing, because what she is really saying is the redundant "my my children," yet as a codeswitch it conjures up the feelings of the extremely close bonds of their Mexican extended family. She is not simply choosing a word, she is evoking a tradition.
Intelligibility across Languages Intelligibility is a measure of how comprehendible speech is, or the degree to which speech can be understood. Intelligibility is affected by spoken clarity, explicitness, lucidity, comprehensibility, perspicuity, and precision.
Intelligibility across Languages There are two types of intelligibility which are ‘one-way’ and ‘mutual’. Mutual intelligibility is a communicative situation in which speakers of one or more of the distinct languages can readily understand each other without extraordinary effort or a period of study. Example: In spoken form, a Bosnian can understand a Slovenian and vice versa hold true. One-way intelligibility is the case which speakers of one language can understand those of another but not vice versa. Example: An Azeri would understand a Turkish speaker but the opposite does not hold true.