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Encyclopedia > Sociolinguistics
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Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context on the way language is used. Sociolinguistics overlaps to a considerable degree with pragmatics. Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Linguistics is the scientific study of language, which can be theoretical or applied. ... Theoretical linguistics is that branch of linguistics that is most concerned with developing models of linguistic knowledge. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of the sounds of human speech. ... Phonology (Greek phonē = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics which studies the sound system of a specific language (or languages). ... For other uses, see Morphology. ... For other uses, see Syntax (disambiguation). ... In linguistics, the lexis of a language is the entire store of its lexical items. ... The introduction to this article provides insufficient context for those unfamiliar with the subject matter. ... Lexical semantics is a field in computer science and linguistics which deals mainly with word meaning. ... Statistical Semantics is the study of how the statistical patterns of human word usage can be used to figure out what people mean, at least to a level sufficient for information access (Furnas, 2006). ... This page is a candidate for speedy deletion. ... Prototype Theory is a model of graded categorization in Cognitive Science, where some members of a category are more central than others. ... Pragmatics is the study of the ability of natural language speakers to communicate more than that which is explicitly stated. ... Applied linguistics is the branch of linguistics concerned with using linguistic theory to address real-world problems. ... Language Acquisition: A Journal of Developmental Linguistics Language acquisition is the process by which the language capability develops in a human. ... Psycholinguistics or psychology of language is the study of the psychological and neurobiological factors that enable humans to acquire, use, and understand language. ... Linguistic anthropology is that branch of anthropology that brings linguistic methods to bear on anthropological problems, linking the analysis of semiotic and particularly linguistic forms and processes (on both small and large scales) to the interpretation of sociocultural processes (again on small and large scales). ... Generative linguistics is a school of thought within linguistics that makes use of the concept of a generative grammar. ... In linguistics and cognitive science, cognitive linguistics (CL) refers to the currently dominant school of linguistics that views the important essence of language as innately based in evolutionarily-developed and speciated faculties, and seeks explanations that advance or fit well into the current understandings of the human mind. ... Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the statistical and logical modeling of natural language from a computational perspective. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... Comparative linguistics (originally comparative philology) is a branch of historical linguistics that is concerned with comparing languages in order to establish their historical relatedness. ... Not to be confused with Entomology, the scientific study of insects. ... Stylistics is the study of style used in literary, and verbal language and the effect the writer/speaker wishes to communicate to the reader/hearer. ... In linguistics, prescription can refer both to the codification and the enforcement of rules governing how a language is to be used. ... Corpus linguistics is the study of language as expressed in samples (corpora) or real world text. ... Efforts to describe and explain the human language faculty have been undertaken throughout recorded history. ... A linguist in the academic sense is a person who studies linguistics. ... Unsolved problems in : Note: Use the unsolved tag: {{unsolved|F|X}}, where F is any field in the sciences: and X is a concise explanation with or without links. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... Pragmatics is the study of the ability of natural language speakers to communicate more than that which is explicitly stated. ...


It also studies how lects differ between groups separated by certain social variables, e.g., ethnicity, religion, status, gender, level of education, etc., and how creation and adherence to these rules is used to categorize individuals in social class or socio-economic classes. As the usage of a language varies from place to place (dialect), language usage varies among social classes, and it is these sociolects that sociolinguistics studies. This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ... Although the term social is a crucial category in social science and often used in public discourse, its meaning is often vague, suggesting that it is a fuzzy concept. ... In computer science and mathematics, a variable is a symbol denoting a quantity or symbolic representation. ... This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ... Gender in common usage refers to the sexual distinction between male and female. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ... A social class is, at its most basic, a group of people that have similar social status. ... A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκτος, dialektos) is a variety of a language characteristic of a particular group of the languages speakers. ... In linguistics, a sociolect is the language spoken by a social group, social class or subculture. ...


The social aspects of language were in the modern sense first studied by Indian and Japanese linguists in the 1930s, and also by Gauchat in Switzerland in the early 1900s, but none received much attention in the West until much later. The study of the social motivation of language change, on the other hand, has its foundation in the wave model of he late 19th century. Sociolinguistics in the west first appeared in the 1960s and was pioneered by linguists such as William Labov in the US and Basil Bernstein in the UK. Language change is the manner in which the phonetic, morphological, semantic, syntactic, and other features of a language are modified over time. ... The wave model of the atom uses the basic idea of the Bohr model of the atom, where there is a small, dense nucleus surrounded by electrons, but the electrons are represented by a probability distribution, instead of by discrete mathematical points. ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-02-04, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Basil Bernstein (1 November 1924-24 September 2000) was a British sociologist and linguist, known for his work in the sociology of education. ...

Contents

Applications of sociolinguistics

Sociolinguistics topics
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Accent (linguistics)
Generative linguistics
Cognitive linguistics
Computational linguistics
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Unsolved problems in linguistics
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For example, a sociolinguist might determine through study of social attitudes that a particular vernacular would not be considered appropriate language use in a business or professional setting; she or he might also study the grammar, phonetics, vocabulary, and other aspects of this sociolect much as a dialectologist would study the same for a regional dialect. Image File history File links Nuvola_apps_edu_languages. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Generative linguistics is a school of thought within linguistics that makes use of the concept of a generative grammar. ... In linguistics and cognitive science, cognitive linguistics (CL) refers to the currently dominant school of linguistics that views the important essence of language as innately based in evolutionarily-developed and speciated faculties, and seeks explanations that advance or fit well into the current understandings of the human mind. ... Computational linguistics is an interdisciplinary field dealing with the statistical and logical modeling of natural language from a computational perspective. ... This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Pragmatics is the study of the ability of natural language speakers to communicate more than that which is explicitly stated. ... Unsolved problems in : Note: Use the unsolved tag: {{unsolved|F|X}}, where F is any field in the sciences: and X is a concise explanation with or without links. ... Efforts to describe and explain the human language faculty have been undertaken throughout recorded history. ... Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... A linguist in the academic sense is a person who studies linguistics. ... Look up Vernacular in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For the rules of English grammar, see English grammar and Disputes in English grammar. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of the sounds of human speech. ... A vocabulary is a set of words known to a person or other entity, or that are part of a specific language. ...


The study of language variation is concerned with social constraints determining language in its contextual environment. Code-switching is the term given to the use of different varieties of language in different social situations. A constraint is a limitation of possibilities. ... Code-switching is a term in linguistics referring to alternation between one or more languages, dialects, or language registers in the course of discourse between people who have more than one language in common. ...


William Labov is often regarded as the founder of the study of sociolinguistics. He is especially noted for introducing the quantitative study of language variation and change, making the sociology of language into a scientific discipline. Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-02-04, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...


Sociolinguistics differs from sociology of language in that the focus of sociolinguistics is the effect of the society on the language, while the latter's focus is on the language's effect on the society. Sociolinguistics differs from sociology of language in that the focus of sociolinguistics is the effect of the society on the language, while the latters focus is on the languages effect on the society. ...


Sociolinguistic variables

Studies in the field of sociolinguistics typically take a sample population and interview them, assessing the realisation of certain sociolinguistic variables. Labov specifies the ideal sociolinguistic variable to

  • be high in frequency,
  • have a certain immunity from conscious suppression,
  • be an integral part of larger structures, and
  • be easily quantified on a linear scale.

Phonetic variables tend to meet these criteria and are often used, as are grammatical variables and, more rarely, lexical variables. Examples for phonetic variables are: the frequency of the Glottal stop, the height or backness of a Vowel or the realisation of word-endings. An example of a grammatical variable is the frequency of negative concord (known colloquially as a double negative). This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... A double negative occurs when two forms of negation are used in the same sentence. ...


Traditional sociolinguistic interview

Sociolinguistic interviews are an integral part of collecting data for sociolinguistic studies. There is an interviewer, who is conducting the study, and a subject, or informant, who is the interviewee. In order to get a grasp on a specific linguistic form and how it is used in the dialect of the subject, a variety of methods are used to elicit certain registers of speech. There are five different styles, ranging from formal to casual. The most formal style would be elicited by having the subject read a list of minimal pairs (MP). Minimal pairs are pairs of words that differ in only one phoneme, such as cat and bat. Having the subject read a word list (WL) will elicit a formal register, but generally not as formal as MP. The reading passage (RP) style is next down on the formal register, and the interview style (IS) is when an interviewer can finally get into eliciting a more casual speech from the subject. During the IS the interviewer can converse with the subject and try to draw out of him an even more casual sort of speech by asking him to recall childhood memories or maybe a near death experience, in which case the subject will get deeply involved with the story since strong emotions are often attached to these memories. Of course, the most sought after type of speech is the casual style (CS). This type of speech is difficult if not impossible to elicit because of the Observer's Paradox. The closest one might come to CS in an interview is when the subject is interrupted by a close friend or family member, or perhaps must answer the phone. CS is used in a completely unmonitered environment where the subject feels most comfortable and will use their natural vernacular without overtly thinking about it. The observers paradox refers to phenomena where the observation of an event or experiment is influenced by the presence of the observer/investigator. ...


Fundamental Concepts in Sociolinguistics

While the study of sociolinguistics is very broad, there are a few fundamental concepts on which many sociolinguistic inquiries depend.


Speech Community

Main article: Speech community

Speech community is a concept in sociolinguistics that describes a more or less discrete group of people who use language in a unique and mutually accepted way among themselves. ...

High prestige and low prestige varieties

Crucial to sociolingusitic analysis is the concept of prestige; certain speech habits are assigned a positive or a negative value which is then applied to the speaker. This can operate on many levels. It can be realised on the level of the individual sound/phoneme, as Labov discovered in investigating pronunciation of the post-vocalic /r/ in the North-Eastern USA, or on the macro scale of language choice, as realised in the various diglossias that exist throughout the world, where Swiss-German/High German is perhaps most well known. An important implication of sociolingusitic theory is that speakers 'choose' a variety when making a speech act, whether consciously or subconsciously.


Social network

Understanding language in society means that one also has to understand the social networks in which language is embedded. This may apply to the macro level of a country or a city, but also to the inter-personal level of neighborhoods or a single family. Recently, social networks have formed by the Internet, through chat rooms, MySpace groups, organizations, and online dating services.


Internal vs. external language

In Chomskian linguistics, a distinction is drawn between I-language (internal language) and E-language (external language). In this context, internal language applies to the study of syntax and semantics in language on the abstract level; as mentally represented knowledge in a native speaker. External language applies to language in social contexts, i.e. behavioral habits shared by a community. Internal language analyses operate on the assumption that all native speakers of a language are quite homogeneous in how they process and perceive language. External language fields, such as sociolinguistics, attempt to explain why this is in fact not the case. Many sociolinguists reject the distinction between I- and E-language on the grounds that it is based on a mentalist view of language. On this view, grammar is first and foremost an interactional (social) phenomenon (e.g. Elinor Ochs, Emanuel Schegloff, Sandra Thompson). Avram Noam Chomsky (Hebrew: אברם נועם חומסקי Yiddish: אברם נועם כאמסקי) (born December 7, 1928) is an American linguist, philosopher, political activist, author, and lecturer. ... ... Emanuel Schegloff is Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of California at Los Angeles. ...


Differences according to class

Sociolinguistics as a field distinct from dialectology was pioneered through the study of language variation in urban areas. Whereas dialectology studies the geographic distribution of language variation, sociolinguistics focuses on other sources of variation, among them class. Class and occupation are among the most important linguistic markers found in society. One of the fundamental findings of sociolinguistics, which has been hard to disprove, is that class and language variety are related. Members of the working class tend to speak less standard language, while the lower, middle, and upper middle class will in turn speak closer to the standard. However, the upper class, even members of the upper middle class, may often speak 'less' standard than the middle class. This is because not only class, but class aspirations, are important.


Class aspiration

Studies, such as those by William Labov in the 1960s, have shown that social aspirations influence speech patterns. This is also true of class aspirations. In the process of wishing to be associated with a certain class (usually the upper class and upper middle class) people who are moving in that direction socio-economically will adjust their speech patterns to sound like them. However, not being native upper class speakers, they hypercorrect, and end up speaking 'more' standard than those whom they are trying to imitate. The same is true for individuals moving down in socio-economic status. Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-02-04, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Hypercorrection is two linguistic phenomena: elaborate, prescriptively based correction of common usage, often introduced in an attempt to avoid vulgarity or informality, that results in wording commonly considered clumsier than the usual, colloquial usage. ...


Social language codes

Basil Bernstein, a well-known British socio-linguist, devised in his book, 'Elaborated and restricted codes: their social origins and some consequences,' a social code system which he used to classify the various speech patterns for different social classes. He claimed that members of the middle class have ways of organizing their speech which are fundamentally very different to the ways adopted by the working class. A social class is, at its most basic, a group of people that have similar social status. ... The middle class (or middle classes) comprises a social group once defined by exception as an intermediate social class between the nobility and the peasantry. ... The term working class is used to denote a social class. ...


Restricted code

In Basil Bernstein's theory, the restricted code was an example of the speech patterns used by the working-class. He stated that this type of code allows strong bonds between group members, who tend to behave largely on the basis of distinctions such as 'male', 'female', 'older', and 'younger'. This social group also uses language in a way which brings people together, and members often do not need to be explicit about meaning, as their shared knowledge and common understanding often bring them together in a way which other social language groups do not experience. The difference with the restricted code is the emphasis on 'we' as a social group, which fosters greater solidarity than an emphasis on 'I'. Statue of a coal miner in Charleston, WV, USA. Working class is a term used in academic sociology and in ordinary conversation. ...


Elaborated code

Basil Bernstein also studied what he named the 'elaborated code' explaining that in this type of speech pattern the middle and upper classes use this language style to gain access to education and career advancement. Bonds within this social group are not as well defined and people achieve their social identity largely on the basis of individual disposition and temperament. There is no obvious division of tasks according to sex or age and generally, within this social formation members negotiate and achieve their roles, rather than have them there ready-made in advance. Due to the lack of solidarity the elaborated social language code requires individual intentions and viewpoints to be made explicit as the 'I' has a greater emphasis with this social group than the working class. A social class is, at its most basic, a group of people that have similar social status. ...


Deviation from standard language varieties

A diagram showing variation in the English language by region (the bottom axis) and by social class (the side axis). The higher the social class, the less variation.
A diagram showing variation in the English language by region (the bottom axis) and by social class (the side axis). The higher the social class, the less variation.

The existence of differences in language between social classes can be illustrated by the following table: Image File history File links Sociolinguistics_dialect_variation. ... Image File history File links Sociolinguistics_dialect_variation. ... Social class refers to the hierarchical distinctions between individuals or groups in societies or cultures. ...

Vicky Pollard ... Queen Elizabeth II
I ain't done nothing ... I haven't done anything
I done it yesterday ... I did it yesterday
It weren't me that done it ... I didn't do it

Any native speaker of English would immediately be able to guess that speaker 1 was likely of a different social class than speaker 2. The differences in grammar between the two examples of speech is referred to as differences between social class dialects or sociolects. In linguistics, a sociolect is the language spoken by a social group, social class or subculture. ...


It is also notable that, at least in England, the closer to standard English a dialect gets, the less the lexicon varies by region, and vice-versa. For other uses, see England (disambiguation). ...


Covert prestige

Main article: Prestige dialect

It is generally assumed that non-standard language is low-prestige language. However, in certain groups, such as traditional working class neighborhoods, standard language may be considered undesirable in many contexts. This is because the working class dialect is a powerful in-group marker, and especially for non-mobile individuals, the use of non-standard varieties (even exaggeratedly so) expresses neighborhood pride and group and class solidarity. There will thus be a considerable difference in use of non-standard varieties when going to the pub or having a neighborhood barbecue (high), and going to the bank (lower) for the same individual. A prestige dialect is the dialect spoken by the most prestigious people in a speech community large enough to sustain multiple dialects. ...


Differences according to age groups

There are several different types of age-based variation one may see within a population. They are: vernacular of a subgroup with membership typically characterized by a specific age range, age-graded variation, and indications of linguistic change in progress.


One example of subgroup vernacular is the speech of street youth. Just as street youth dress differently from the "norm", they also often have their own "language". The reasons for this are the following: (1) To enhance their own cultural identity (2) To identify with each other, (3) To exclude others, and (4) To invoke feelings of fear or admiration from the outside world. Strictly speaking, this is not truly age-based, since it does not apply to all individuals of that age bracket within the community.


Age-graded variation is a stable variation which varies within a population based on age. That is, speakers of a particular age will use a specific linguistic form in successive generations. This is relatively rare. Chambers (1995) cites an example from southern Ontario, Canada where the pronunciation of the letter 'Z' varies. Most of the English-speaking world pronounces it 'zed'; however, in the United States, it is pronounced 'zee'. A linguistic survey found that in 1979 two-thirds of the 12 year olds in Toronto ended the recitation of the alphabet with the letter 'zee' where only 8% of the adults did so. Then in 1991, (when those 12 year olds were in their mid-20s) a survey showed only 39% of the 20-25 year olds used 'zee'. In fact, the survey showed that only 12% of those over 30 used the form 'zee'. This seems to be tied to an American children's song frequently used to teach the alphabet. In this song, the rhyme scheme matches the letter Z with V 'vee', prompting the use of the American pronunciation. As the individual grows older, this marked form 'zee' is dropped in favor of the standard form 'zed'.


People tend to use linguistic forms that were prevalent when they reached adulthood. So, in the case of linguistic change in progress, one would expect to see variation over a broader range of ages. Bright (1997) provides an example taken from American English where there is an on-going merger of the vowel sounds in such pairs of words as 'caught' and 'cot'. Examining the speech across several generations of a single family, one would find the grandparents' generation would never or rarely merge these two vowel sounds; their children's generation may on occasion, particularly in quick or informal speech; while their grandchildren's generation would merge these two vowels uniformly. This is the basis of the apparent-time hypothesis where age-based variation is taken as an indication of linguistic change in progress. In sociolinguistics, the apparent-time hypothesis states that age-stratified variation in a linguistic form is often indicative of a change in progress. ...


Differences according to geography

Main article: Dialectology

Dialectology is the study of dialects of a language, their evolution, differentiation, inter-intelligibity, grammar, phonetics etc. ...

Differences according to gender

Men and women, on average, tend to use slightly different language styles. These differences tend to be quantitative rather than qualitative. That is, to say that women make more minimal responses (see below) than men is akin to saying that men are taller than women (i.e., men are on average taller than women, but some women are taller than some men). The initial identification of a women's register was by Robin Lakoff in 1975, who argued that the style of language served to maintain women's (inferior) role in society ("female deficit approach"). A later refinement of this argument was that gender differences in language reflected a power difference (O'Barr & Atkins, 1980) ("dominance theory"). However, both these perspectives have the language style of men as normative, implying that women's style is inferior. Robin Tolmach Lakoff is a professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley. ...


More recently, Deborah Tannen has compared gender differences in language as more similar to 'cultural' differences ("cultural difference approach"). Comparing conversational goals, she argued that men have a report style, aiming to communicate factual information, whereas women have a rapport style, more concerned with building and maintaining relationships. Such differences are pervasive across media, including face-to-face conversation (e.g., Fitzpatrick, Mulac, & Dindia, 1995: Hannah & Murachver, 1999), written essays of primary school children (Mulac, Studley, & Blau, 1990), email (Thomson & Murachver, 2001), and even toilet graffiti (Green, 2003). Deborah Tannen Deborah Frances Tannen (born June 7, 1945) is an American professor of sociolinguistics at Georgetown University. ... In writing, a report or document characterized by information or other content reflective of inquiry or investigation, tailored to the context of a given situation and audience. ... Italic text:For other uses, see Rapport (disambiguation). ...


Communication styles are always a product of context, and as such, gender differences tend to be most pronounced in single-gender groups. One explanation for this, is that people accommodate their language towards the style of the person they are interacting with. Thus, in a mixed-gender group, gender differences tend to be less pronounced. A similarly important observation is that this accommodation is usually towards the language style, not the gender of the person (Thomson, Murachver, & Green, 2001). That is, a polite and empathic male will tend to be accommodated to on the basis of their being polite and empathic, rather than their being male. There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ...


Minimal responses

One of the ways in which the communicative competence of men and women differ is in their use of minimal responses, i.e., paralinguistic features such as ‘mhm’ and ‘yeah’, which is behaviour associated with collaborative language use (Carli, 1990). Men, on the other hand, generally use them less frequently and where they do, it is usually to show agreement, as Zimmerman and West’s (1977) study of turn-taking in conversation indicates. Paralanguage refers to the non-verbal elements of communication used to modify meaning and convey emotion. ...


Questions

Men and women differ in their use of questions in conversations. For men, a question is usually a genuine request for information whereas with women it can often be a rhetorical means of engaging the other’s conversational contribution or of acquiring attention from others conversationally involved, techniques associated with a collaborative approach to language use (Barnes, 1971). Therefore women use questions more frequently (Fitzpatrick, et al., 1995; Todd, 1983). In writing, however, both genders use rhetorical questions as literary devices. For example, Mark Twain used them in "A War Prayer" to provoke the reader to question his actions and beliefs.


Turn-taking

As the work of DeFrancisco (1991) shows, female linguistic behaviour characteristically encompasses a desire to take turns in conversation with others, which is opposed to men’s tendency towards centering on their own point or remaining silent when presented with such implicit offers of conversational turn-taking as are provided by hedges such as "y’ know" and "isn’t it". This desire for turn-taking gives rise to complex forms of interaction in relation to the more regimented form of turn-taking commonly exhibited by men (Sacks et al., 1974). A hedge is a mitigating device used to lessen the impact of an utterance. ...


Changing the topic of conversation

According to Dorval (1990), in his study of same-sex friend interaction, males tend to change subject more frequently than females. This difference may well be at the root of the conception that women chatter and talk too much, and may still trigger the same thinking in some males. In this way lowered estimation of women may arise. Incidentally, this androcentric attitude towards women as chatterers arguably arose from the idea that any female conversation was too much talking according to the patriarchal consideration of silence as a womanly virtue common to many cultures.


Self-disclosure

Female tendencies toward self-disclosure, i.e., sharing their problems and experiences with others, often to offer sympathy (Dindia & Allen, 1992; Tannen, 1991:49), contrasts with male tendencies to non-self disclosure and professing advice or offering a solution when confronted with another’s problems.


Verbal aggression

Men tend to be more verbally aggressive in conversing (Labov, 1972), frequently using threats, profanities, yelling and name-calling. Women, on the whole, deem this to disrupt the flow of conversation and not (Eder’s 1990) as a means of upholding one’s hierarchical status in the conversation. Incidentally, where women swear, it is usually to demonstrate to others what is normal behaviour for them (Eder, 1990).


Listening and attentiveness

It appears that women attach more weight than men to the importance of listening in conversation, with its connotations of power to the listener as confidant of the speaker. This attachment of import by women to listening is inferred by women’s normally lower rate of interruption — i.e., disrupting the flow of conversation with a topic unrelated to the previous one (Fishman, 1980) — and by their largely increased use of minimal responses in relation to men (Zimmerman and West, 1975). Men, however, interrupt far more frequently with non-related topics, especially in the mixed sex setting (Zimmerman and West,1975) and, far from rendering a female speaker's responses minimal, are apt to greet her conversational spotlights with silence, as the work of DeFrancisco (1991) demonstrates. All of this suggests that men see conversation as a means by which to draw attention to themselves, either by interruption or by questionably undermining what the woman has to say by non-paralinguistic response. Not to be confused with Pity, Sympathy, or Compassion. ...


Dominance versus subjection

This, in turn, suggests a dichotomy between a male desire for conversational dominance – noted by Leet-Pellegrini (1980) with reference to male experts speaking more verbosely than their female counterparts – and a female aspiration to group conversational participation. One corollary of this is, according to Coates (1993: 202), that males are afforded more attention in the context of the classroom and that this can lead to their gaining more attention in scientific and technical subjects, which in turn can lead to their achieving better success in those areas, ultimately leading to their having more power in a technocratic society. However, women have, on average, higher verbal intelligence than men (Eysenck, 1966:4). Hans Eysenck Hans Jürgen Eysenck (March 4, 1916 - September 4, 1997) was an eminent psychologist, most remembered for his work on intelligence and personality, though he worked in a wide range of areas. ...


Politeness

Politeness in speech is described (Brown and Levinson, 1978) in terms of positive and negative face: respectively, the idea of pandering to the other’s desire to be liked and admired and not to suffer imposition. Both forms, according to Brown’s study of the Tzeltal language (1980), are used more frequently by women whether in mixed or single-sex pairs, suggesting for Brown a greater sensitivity in women than have men to the face needs of others. In short, women are to all intents and purposes largely more polite than men. However, negative face politeness can be potentially viewed as weak language because of its associated hedges and tag questions, a view propounded by O’Barr and Atkins (1980) in their work on courtroom interaction. A hedge is a mitigating device used to lessen the impact of an utterance. ...


Complimentary language

Compliments are closely linked to politeness in that, as Coates believes (1983), they cater for positive face needs.


Notes

References

  • Barnes, Douglas (1971), Language and Learning in the Classroom, Journal of Curriculum Studies. 3:1
  • Bright, William (1997), Social Factors in Language Change, p 83 in Coulmas, Florian [ed] The Handbook of Sociolinguistics. Oxford, England: Blackwell.
  • Brown, Penelope (1980), How and why are women more polite: some evidence from a Mayan community, pp. 111-36 in McConnell-Ginet, S. et al. [eds] Women and Language in Literature and Society. Praeger, New York.
  • Brown, Penelope and Levinson, Stephen (1978), Universals in Language Usage: Politeness Phenomena, pp 56-289 in Goody, Esther [ed] Questions and Politeness. Cambridge University Press.
  • Carli, L.L. (1990). Gender, language, and influence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 5, 941-951.
  • Chambers, J.K. (1995), Sociolinguistic Theory, Oxford, England: Blackwell; p206-208.
  • Coates, Jennifer (1983), Language and Sexism, LAUD Paper No. 173, University of Duisburg.
  • Coates, Jennifer (1987), Epistemic modality and spoken discourse, Transactions of the Philological Society, 110-31.
  • Coates, Jennifer (1993), Women, Men and language. London: Longman
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Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-02-04, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Deborah Tannen Deborah Frances Tannen (born June 7, 1945) is an American professor of sociolinguistics at Georgetown University. ...

Further reading

  • Connor, Ulla M. (1996), Contrastive Rhetoric: Cross-cutural aspects of second-language writing. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  • Lakoff, Robin T. (2000). The Language War. Berkely, CA: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-21666-0
  • Meyerhoff, Miriam. (2006). Introducing Sociolinguistics. New York: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-39948-3
  • Trudgill, Peter. (2000). Sociolinguistics: An Introduction to Language and Society(4th Ed.). London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-028921-6 This book is a very readable, if Anglo-centric, introduction for the non-linguist.
  • Linguistics for a New African reality, paper published by Owen Alik Shahadah at the Chiekh Anta Diop conference.

Owen ‘Alik Shahadah (b. ...

See also

Audience design is a sociolinguistic model outlined by Allan Bell in 1984 which proposes that linguistic style-shifting occurs primarily in response to a speakers audience. ... Look up Diglossia in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology, a language or linguistic ideology is a systematic construct about how languages carry or are invested with certain moral, social, and political values, giving rise to implicit assumptions that people have about a language or about language in general. ... Style-shifting is a term in sociolinguistics referring to alternation between styles of speech included in a linguistic repertoire of an individual speaker. ... Allan Bell has worked as an independent sociolinguistic researcher in New Zealand and has written extensively on New Zealand English, language style, and media language. ... Professor Joshua Aaron Fishman is an American social scientist and linguist at Stanford University. ... Dell Hymes (born 1927 in Portland, Oregon) is a sociolinguist, anthropologist, and folklorist whose work has dealt primarily with languagues of the Pacific Northwest. ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from an article revision dated 2006-02-04, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... Deborah Tannen Deborah Frances Tannen (born June 7, 1945) is an American professor of sociolinguistics at Georgetown University. ... Professor Peter Trudgill (pronounced [ˈtɹʌd. ... There are very few or no other articles that link to this one. ... Variation analysis is a quantitative approach to discourse analysis introduced by William Labov. ... Sociocultural linguistics is a term used to encompass a broad range of theories and methods for the study of language in its sociocultural context. ... Interactional sociolinguistics is concerned with how speakers signal and interpret meaning in social interaction. ...

External links

Look up Sociolinguistics in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

  Results from FactBites:
 
LSA: About Linguistics (865 words)
Sociolinguistics has become an increasingly important and popular field of study, as certain cultures around the world expand their communication base and intergroup and interpersonal relations take on escalating significance.
For example, sociolinguists might investigate language attitudes among large populations on a national level, such as those exhibited in the US with respect to the English-only amendment--the legislative proposal to make English the 'official' language of the US.
Sociolinguists might investigate questions such as how mixed-gender conversations differ from single-gender conversations, how differential power relations manifest themselves in language forms, how caregivers let children know the ways in which language should be used, or how language change occurs and spreads to communities.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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