Introduction to Sociolinguistics

Introduction to Sociolinguistics

  • Submitted By: ratt76
  • Date Submitted: 07/24/2009 8:12 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 1341
  • Page: 6
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Explain what you understand of the term sociolinguistics and discuss its importance as a field of study.

Many have defined Sociolinguistic in various ways. From my understanding, sociolinguistic is the study of the relationship between language and society, of language variation, and of attitudes about language whereby variation may occur at all levels of the grammar.

Kamil Wiśniewski (2007) stated the numerous factors that influence the way people speak which are investigated by sociolinguistics:
• Social class: the position of the speaker in the society, measured by the level of education, parental background, profession and their effect on syntax and lexis used by the speaker;
• Social context: the register of the language used depending on changing situations, formal language in formal meetings and informal during meetings with friends for example;
• Geographical origins: slight differences in pronunciation between speakers that point at the geographical region which the speaker come from;
• Ethnicity: differences between the use of a given language by its native speakers and other ethnic groups;
• Nationality: clearly visible in the case of the English language: British English differs from American English, or Canadian English;
• Gender: differences in patterns of language use between men and women, such as quantity of speech, intonation patterns.
• Age: the influence of age of the speaker on the use of vocabulary and grammar complexity
Kamil Wiśniewski (2007) also states that sociolinguistics investigates the way in which language changes depending on the region of country it is used in. He described a variety of language that differs in grammar, lexis and pronunciation from others a term dialect is used. Whereby, a member of community has a unique way of speaking due to the life experience, education, age and aspiration.

A study of Petra University acknowledge that it is very important to acquire the sociolinguistic knowledge of the...

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