Flashcards in Week 1 Deck (48)
Speakers ability to access universal grammar
A network tie b/n individuals that expresses one role or basis for contact and interaction. Eg Just work colleagues.
Individuals linked through several social relationships, eg. Husband and wife who are also business partners
LSC is concerned with
the interaction between languages (codes) and the sociocultural contexts of use, properties of sign system and behaviour of ppl who use it.
Synchronic and diachronic contexts of language use
Signifier is the sound-image, signified is the concept. The connection is arbitrary
Competence is knowledge of language. Performance is output of competence
What can language use be a mechanism for?
Shared language use patterns, differentiated by region, ie buenos aires Spanish v Spain Spanish, or socially eg working class v upper class London English.
Language use patterns shared by a social group, eg teenagers from Melbourne
Language use patterns of an individual
A group of people who share a particular variety (linguistic code) and patterns of using and interpreting it.
Identifying with a social group entails inheriting or adopting the group code
A group code will reflect its beliefs, attitudes and values, e.g. accepting compliments
A social group who share ways of interacting and who have common public goals and interests, e.g. medical community
Embodiment of Culture
Cultural processes are reflected in language patterns, eg. "I'm afraid..."
Being a group member involves inheriting a communal memory via linguistic code.
Actual language use
language that is actually produced by speakers, as opposed to the potential language of their "competence" (Milroy and Gordon)
The observer's paradox
Observing people using language that they would use when not being observed
An abstract representation of the source of variation (given in round brackets)
The actual realization of a variable
Example of variable and variant
Variant 1: [təmatou]
Variant 2: [təmeitou]
There are FACTORS influencing the occurrence of variants. These are known as
A variable is realised as variant 1 or variant 2 in the presence of
certain factors or variables
A variable is like a phoneme in that
It changes according to context
Free variation is an old theory as opposed to
constrained and predictable variation as it's been known since the 1960s
Speaker variability is constrained by
non-linguistic as well as linguistic factors
Effects of social factors are
not categorical; speakers show some alternation
Effects of social factors are rather
probabilistic; they tell you how likely you are to hear a certain variant in a specific context of use.
The sociolinguist looks at how
linguistic-internal and linguistic-external factors constrain the occurrence of a specific variant in a particular context of use.
Example of linguisitic variation
Bell (1984, 2001) found that the same NZ newsreaders reading the same news pronounced intervocalic (t) differently when reading news on classical vs. popular radio stations:
‘city’ conservative, stop variant
‘ciddy’ innovative, flap variant
This variation was caused by ‘Audience design’
The study of linguistic variation in relation to speakers’ membership in social groups, or in relation to other non-linguistic factors
People’s language use can be a diagnostic of where they come from
A scary story: Haitians in Hispaniola were identified by their pronunciation of the trilled Spanish /r/. Dominican soldiers would hold up some parsley and ask people to name it. If they could not pronounce perejil they were killed! (also see Shibboleth story)