• Language attititude : inferences about
people from the way they talk.
• People have attitudes/feelings/beliefs
about language in general, their language,
and the language of other people.
• Attitudes demonstrated through actual
a. Semantics shift and derogation
c. Perceptual dialectology
d.Social identity theory
e. Accomodation theory
f. Convergence and divergence
• Incremental changes to the meaning of
words or phrases.
• The meaning of verbs or phrases might be
weakened or altered over time.
• Example: Gay
• 1877: life that lack of joy and mirth
• 1900 : women who were sexually promiscuous.
• 2000: homosexuals
• Semantics shift that results in a word acquiring more negative
• Courtier – courtesan : referred to people attached to a princley
• Courtesan : a mistress / prostitute
• Negative overtones of “woman” -- bitch, tart, minx, slut, stud
• Overtones on woman was not parallel by the words for men.
• Relavitism on linguistics expression.
• The way we talk about others, and the words we use,
does more than simply denote entities or events in the
• eg,. The grammar of Hopi imposed the fundamental
cognitive constrain of Hopis’ speakers.
• The number and the type of the basic color words of a
language determine how a subject sees the rainbow
• Linguistic relativity: Structural differences between
languages are paralleled by nonlinguistic cognitive
differences (the structure of the language itself effects
SAPHIR WHORF HYPHOTHESIS
• The stucture of language – Sapir Whorf Hyphothesis
• In linguistics, the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis states that
there are certain thoughts of an individual in one
language that cannot be understood by those who live in
• Consist of:
a. Linguistics relativism
b. Linguistics determinism
• The hypothesis states that the way people think is
strongly affected by their native languages.
• Deterministic : the idea that there is a strong causal
relationship between two factor.
• Linguistics determinism: relationship betwen language
and thought because it contends that the shape of the
language determines how its speakers perceive and
experience the world
Eg: sexist language, racist language, heterosexist language
Fireman – firefighter
Urban man – Urban life
• Dialectology : a study about language mapping.
• Perceptual dialectology : the study of people subjectively
held belief about different dialect or linguistics varieties.
• People perception (recorded speaking)
• Attitudes to language are classified
a.Identity (social identity)
• Speakers’ attitude to the individual they are talking to.
• Speakers’ attitude affect the way the talk.
• Spekears’ perception/ attitude of their interlocutors to be
individual representatives of a group.
Social Identity Theory
• A social physological theory
• A theory of intergroup relations in which language is one of many
potent symbols that individuals can strategically use when testing or
maintaining boundaries between groups.
• Henri Tajfel divided identity into :
a. Personal Identity
b. Group identity
Personal identity is salient, the behaviour and talk will be more likely to
be constrained by aspect of personality, mood, and context.
Group identities are more salient, the way we behave and talk will tend
to be accentuate uniformity within the group.
• A bundle of principles that are intended to characterise the
strategies spekers use to establish, contest or maintain relationship
• Adjusting our communicational behavior to the requisite roles that
participants are assigned in a given context.
• In linguistics, the process by which participants in a conversation
adjust their accent, diction, or other aspects of language according
to the speech style of the other participant.
• Eg. Speaking to the foreigner
– Having a talk with the baby
Accomodation towards the speech of ones’
Accentuates similiarities between interlocutors’
speech/style or make the speaker sound more
like the interlocutor.
Speaker chooses a language variety that seems to
fit the style of the other speaker
Accomodation away from the speech of ones’
Accentuates differences between interlocutors’
speech/style or makes the speaker sound less
like their interlocutors.
Speaker signals social distance or disapproval by
using a language variety that differs from the
style of the other speaker.