Introduction Sociolinguistics - basic concepts

Incarcat la data: 31 Ianuarie 2010

Autor: Ruxandra Apostol

Pret: 80 credite

Numar pagini: 26

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What does Sociolinguistics study? - relationship between language and society - why we speak differently in different  social contexts - how language is used to achieve social/relational/ instrumental goals, in other words how it is used to convey social meaning / maintain and construct social relations

Sociolinguistics provides a motivated account of language choices and why people make those choices.
We will study the choices made by communities, not individuals.

Example (a) - variation of terms of address

Every afternoon my friend packs her bag and leaves her Cardiff office at about 5 o’clock. As she leaves, her business partner says “Goodbye, Margaret” (she replies “Goodbye, Mike”), her secretary says “Goodbye, Ms Walker” (she replies “Goodbye, Jill”) and their caretaker says “Bye Mrs. Walker” (to which she replies “Goodbye, Andy”). As she arrives home she is greeted with “Hi, Mum” from her son, Jamie, “Hello, dear. Have a good day?” from her mother, and simply “You’re late again!” from her husband. Later in the evening the president of the local flower club phones to ask if she would like to join. She asks, “Good evening. Is that Mrs. Billington?”. She answers, “No, it’s Ms Walker. But my husband’s name is David Billington. What can I do for you?”. Finally a friend calls, “Boradar Meg. How’s things?”
What influences the choice of address form and reference form in each of the above contexts?
Note: Intimate (first name) vs. Distant address terms (title, last name); Reciprocal vs. Non-Reciprocal address terms; Use of Welsh. These can reflect SOLIDARITY or POWER relationships.
Note:    Person with less status will address upwards with title/last name. Person with more status will address downwards with first name.
Note:    Changes in address terms can indicate relational changes. HOW? Who initiates changes in address terms?
Influences: family norms of address, addressee, social context (formal, public/private, personal), status.
Linguistic variation (defined as variation in grammar, pronunciation & vocabulary)   
Sociolinguists are also interested in the different types of linguistic variation used to express and reflect social factors. Vocabulary is one area of linguistic variation. But linguistic variation also occurs at other linguistic levels: sounds, word-structure (morphology), and grammar (syntax). Within each of these linguistic levels there is variation, which offers the speaker a choice of ways of expression. They provide us with different linguistic styles for use in different social contexts (personal/impersonal, formal/informal). Choices may even involve dialects of a language (regional / social) or quite different languages (in multilingual communities). All these can also be called CODES or VARIETIES.

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