Flashcards in Sociolinguistics Deck (29):
The study of language in relation to its social context
Started in 1960s / 1970s
Department store study (1972)
"Social Stratification of /r/"
Goal was to investigate influence socioeconomic class has in dialect
Took place in Saks, Macy's and S. Klein
What does sociolinguistics focus on?
Focuses on variables like social class, gender, social groups, ethnicity etc.
Functioning of language
People in the same group who share a variety or dialect
Eg. Saskatchewan, an area of town etc.
Major types of language variation
Regional, social and ethnic
Types can be interrelated
Large social groups
National languages, regional dialects, sociolects, ethnolects
Small social groups
Schools, churches, friend groups etc.
Language(s) that represent the identity of the speakers within a nation
National languages are always official
Language(s) that are used for official governmental purposes & schools
Official languages aren't always national
Languages spoken in multiple countries
Caused by colonization, migration etc.
Variables that cause changes in languages
What is a language variety
Different versions of the same language
Eg. American English, Canadian English, British English etc.
Standard language variety
Taught in schools, promoted by government, used by mass media etc.
Regional dialect of national capitals
Language varieties that have no prestige in society
Not codafied, substandard
Eg. Ethnolects, local dialects, low class sociolects
Best know unique feature of Canadian English
Dipthongs begin higher than in other varieties of English
Back vowel merger
Phonological characteristic of Canadian English
Vowel in cot, caught, and cart all the same vowel
Found in prairies
Eg. Fronted /u/ in moon, Saskatoon etc.
Syntactic features of Canadian English
"As well" sentence initial
Participial form as main verb
Canada as post nominal modifier
Variation within speech of an individual
Variation across a group of speakers
Language variety that has differences on more than one linguistic level compared to other varieties of the same language
Spoken by identifiable groups
Eg. Newfoundland dialect, Saskatchewan dialect
Language differences across regions within one country
Language differences across social groups
Only difference in on a phonological level
Difference between accent and dialect
Accents have only phonological differences
Dialects have phonological, lexical and syntactic differences
Characteristics of Michif language
Mix between Metis French and Cree (Algonquian)
Made by descendants of French fur traders and Cree women
Considered an ethnolect
Identifying a social class
Factors: education, professional training, occupation, blue/white collar work, salary, gender, race, ethnicity, age, residential area etc.
Common divisions of social class
Lower, middle and upper class
Additional divisions: lower-middle class, upper-middle class, etc.