SOCIOLINGUISTICS: A speech community is a group of people who share a set of norms rules and expectations regarding the use of language. Investigating language from this perspective is known as sociolinguistics. In general terms, sociolinguistics deals with the inter relationships between language and society. It has strong connections to anthropology, through the investigation of language and culture and to sociology, through the crucial role of that language plays in the organization of social groups.
SOCIAL DIALECTS: social dialects which are varieties of language used by groups defined according to class, education, age, sex, and a number of other social parameters.
OVERT PRESTIGE: the concept of prestige as found in discussions about language in use is typically understood in terms of overt prestige, that is the generally recognized better or positively valued ways of speaking in social communities.
There is however an important phenomenon called covert prestige>this hidden type of positive value is often attached to non standard forms and expressions by certain sub groups.
SOCIAL, CLASS, EDUCATION: Two obvious factors in the investigation of social dialect are social class and education. In some dialect surveys it has been found that among those leaving the educational system at an early age there is a greater tendency to use forms which are relatively infrequent in the speech of those who go on to college.
It seems to be the case that a person who spends a long time going through college or university will tend to have spoken language features which derive from a lot of time spent working with the written language. The complaint that some professor talks like a book is possibly recognition of an extreme form of this influence.
AGE AND GENDER: even within groups of the same social class however other differences can be found which seems to correlate with factors such as the age or gender of speakers. Variation according to age is most noticeable...