language and social variation

  1. 1. IN THE NAME OF GOD Language and social variation Presented & Edited by: Hojjat Namdaran Instructor: Dr. Dehnad Based on: George Yule, The study of language
  2. 2. CONTENTS •Introduction •Sociolinguistics •Social dialects •Education and occupation •Social markers •Speech style and style-shifting
  3. 3. INTRODUCTION • In the preceding chapter, we focused on variation in language use found in different geographical areas. However, not everyone in a single geographical area speaks in the same way in every situation. • We are aware of the fact that people who live in the same region, but who differ in terms of education and economic status, often speak in quite different ways. Indeed, these differences may be used, implicitly or explicitly, as indications of membership in different social groups or speech communities .
  5. 5. • The study of the linguistic features that have social relevance for participants in speech communities is called sociolinguistics. • The term is used generally for the study of the relationship between language and society. • It is tied to 1) Anthropology through the study of language and culture 2) Sociology through the investigations of the role language plays in the organizations of social groups 3) Social psychology particularly with regard to how attitudes and percep are expressed and how in-group and out-group behaviors are identified
  6. 6. Sociolinguistics is concerned with investigating the relationships between language and society with the goal being a better understanding of the structure of language and of how languages function in communication . By Ronald Wardhaugh
  7. 7. SOCIAL DIALECTS(SOCIOLECT) • A variety of a language with features that differ according to the social status(e.g. middle class or working class) of the speaker. • Whereas regional dialects are geographically based, social dialects originate among social groups and are related to a variety of factors, the principal ones apparently being social class, religion, and ethnicity( by Ronald Wardhaugh). • In the social study of dialect, it is social class that is mainly used to define groups of speakers as having something in common.
  8. 8. CONT.., • The two main groups are generally defined as: • Middle class: those who have more years of education and perform non-manual work. • Working class: those who have fewer years of education and perform manual work of some kind. • The terms upper and lower are used to further subdivide the groups, mainly on an economic basis, making upper-middle- class speech as another type of sociolect. 1) Middle class 2) Working class
  9. 9. CONT.., • Certain features that are relevant to the analysis of social dialects • For Example: In Edinburgh and Scotland, the word home is pronounced as [heim], as if rhyming with name, among lower- working-class speakers, and as [hom], as if rhyming with foam, among middle-class speakers. • A more familiar example might be the verb aint, as in I aint finished yet, which is generally used more often in working- Pronunciation Words Structures
  10. 10. CONT.., • When we look for other Examples of language use that might be characteristic of a social dialect, we treat class as the social variable and the pronunciation or word as the linguistic variable.
  11. 11. EDUCATION AND OCCUPATION • Although the unique circumstances of every life result in each of us having an individual way of speaking, a personal dialect or idiolect, we generally tend to sound like others with whom we share similar educational backgrounds and/or occupations. For example: • Boys throwed something or It wasn’t us what done it= speakers who spent less time in education • Threw is more likely than throwed and who occurs more often than what= speakers who spent more time in educational system
  12. 12. SOCIAL MARKERS • A linguistic feature that marks the speaker as a member of a particular social group . • There are pronunciation features that function as social markers: • 1) One feature is the final pronunciation of –ing with [n] rather than [angma] at the end of words such as sitting and drinking. Pronunciations represented by sittin and drinkin are typically associated with working-class speech.
  13. 13. CONT.., • 2) Another social marker is called [h]-dropping, which makes the words at and hat sound the same. It occurs at the beginning of words and can result in utterances that sound like I am so ungry I could eat an orse. In contemporary English, this feature is associated with lower class and less education. This feature seems to have had a similar association as a social marker for Charles Dickens in the novel David Copperfield:
  14. 14. SPEECH STYLE AND STYLE-SHIFTING • A way of speaking that is either formal/careful or informal/casual . • The most basic distinction in speech style is between formal and informal uses. ormal style is when we pay more careful attention to how we are speaking= careful style Informal style is when we pay less attention=casual style A change from one style to another by an individual is called style-shifting