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  1. 1. Register & StyleAssignment of: sociolinguisticsAssignment topic :register and styleSubmitted on: 12th dec.2012 Page 1 of 17
  2. 2. Register & StyleIn sociolinguistics, a general term for any distinctive form of a language or linguistic expressionis Language varieties. Linguists commonly use language variety, as a cover term for any of theoverlapping subcategories of a language, including dialect, idiolect, register, and social dialect.Its clear that there are many systematic differences between different languages. By“systematic” we mean describable by rules. Languages also contain many levels of internalvariation, related to such variables as age, region, socioeconomic status, group identification,and others. Internal Variation is the property of languages having different ways of expressingthe same meaning. Importantly, this refers to within language, not across language, differences.In spite of internal variation there are two major varieties of language i.e. dialect and register.According to M.A.K. Halliday, there are two main types of variation in language, social andfunctional. Dialects are characterized by social or regional variationDialect is a complex concept, for linguists a dialect is the collection of attributes (phonetic,phonological, syntactic, morphological, and semantic) that make one group of speakersnoticeably different from another group of speakers of the same language. So dialect is a varietyrelated to user. A dialect spoken by one individual is called an idiolect. Everyone has smalldifferences between their language and the language which people use to communicate, creatinga minimal dialect".1Every native speaker is normally in command of several different language styles, calledregisters, which are varied according the formality of the occasion, and the medium used(speech, writing, or sign).The register and style are the study objects of our project. The major purpose of selecting thistopic is to understand the significance of different registers impinge on English language. Styledistributes English language in two categories i.e. formal and vernacular. So, register and stylebeing the foundation of our venture allows appreciating different varieties in English language.1 Page 2 of 17
  3. 3. Register & StyleHalliday the father of register, defines it as the relationship between language (and other semioticforms) and the features of the context. Register is also used to indicate degrees of formality inlanguage use. Register is a semantic phenomenon in the sense that „register is the clustering ofsemantic features according to situation type‟. As Figure 1 shows, the semantic stratum is, forHalliday, where language interfaces with the eco-social environment. At this interface, register is„the necessary mediating concept that enables us to establish the continuity between a text and itssocio semiotic environment‟. Halliday’s Register 2The concept of linguistic register has been described by Trudgill as follows:“Linguistic varieties that are linked to occupations, professions or topics have been termedregisters. The register of law, for example, is different from the register of medicine, which inturn is different from the language of engineering and so on. Registers are usually characterized2 Page 3 of 17
  4. 4. Register & Stylesolely by vocabulary differences; either by the use of particular words, or by the use of words ina particular sense.”3Registers are kind of language produced by the social situation. As Ferguson said, “peopleparticipating in recurrent communication situations tend to develop similar vocabularies, similarfeatures of intonation, and characteristic bits of syntax and phonology that they use in thesesituations.”Halliday categorized linguistic features (specific expressions, lexico-grammatical andphonological features) in the three dimensions of field, mode and tenor which help to determinethe functional variety of a language .These three parameters can be used to specify the context ofsituation in which language is used. Field, tenor and mode are called register variables and adescription of the values for each of these variables at a given time of language use is a registerdescription of a text4.Field of discourse is defined as “the total event, in which the text is functioning, together withthe purposive activity of the speaker or writer; it thus includes the subject-matter as oneelement in it”. The field describes activities and processes that are happening at the time ofspeech. The analysis of this parameter focuses on the entire situation, e.g. when a mother talks toher child. The field of discourse has to do with the focus of the activity, in which we areengaged, to recognize the culture. It refers to what is happening, to the nature of the social actionthat is taking place, what the participants are engaged in.Similarly, Gregory and Carroll state that the field of discourse is the consequence of the userspurposive role, what his language is about, what experience he is verbalizing, what is going onthrough language. Sometimes field can be glossed as the topic of the situation but Martinsdefines it in terms of institutional focus, or social activity type is more useful to capture the fieldin situations where language is accompanying action.3 Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses Page 4 of 17
  5. 5. Register & StyleIn the educational and training world, knowledge is most commonly presented linguistically (thestudy of language), so perhaps this mode receives the most attention from a learning standpoint(Chomsky, 1988). The linguistic mode includes verbal communication, reading, watching (e.g.learn the rule of chess through observation), etc 5The mode of discourse refers to “the function of the text in the event, including thereforeboth the channel taken by the language – spoken or written, extempore or prepared – andits [genre], or rhetorical mode, as narrative, didactic, persuasive, ‘phatic communion’ andso on” according to Halliday this variable determines the role and function of language in aparticular situation. When analyzing the mode of a text, the main question is „What is achievedby the use of language in this context?‟ For example, a fairy tale (in written form) may have anarrative or entertaining function. A spoken conversation can be argumentative (in a discussion)or phatic (e.g. to contact someone or to keep in touch with someone). Mode refers to the channelof communication6. Modes are divided in two categories‟: The Nonlinguistic Mode, TheAffective ModeRichardson suggested that the non linguistic memory includes mental pictures, smell, kinesthetic,tactile, auditory, and taste. At first, we might believe that they are entirely different structures;however these representations are quite similar to each other in that these nonlinguisticsensations function in a similar fashion in permanent memory .According to (Stuss & Benson,) affective mode is our feeling, emotions, and mood 7Tenor of discourse sometimes also referred to as style according to Esser, describing the peoplethat take part in an event as well as their relationships and statuses. According to Halliday “Thetenor refers to the type of role interaction, the set of relevant social relations, permanent andtemporary, among the participants involved” There might be a specific hierarchy between theinterlocutors, e.g. when the head of a business talks to an employee, or they may have only atemporary relationship, e.g. when a person asks an unknown pedestrian for the time.5 Page 5 of 17
  6. 6. Register & StyleThe tenor of discourse is defined in terms of the players, the actors or rather the interacting rolesthat are involved in the creation of the text. It refers to who is taking part, to the nature of theparticipants, their status and role: what kinds of role relationship obtain among the participants,including permanent and temporary relationships of one kind or another, both the types of speechrole that they are taking on in the dialogue and the whole cluster of socially significantrelationships in which they are involved. This relationship that the speaker establishes with theaudience in relation to the tenor of discourse has been emphasized by Gregory and Carroll aswell.8Halliday suggested that of all the uses we make of language, language is intended to fulfill threemain functions: a function for relating experience (experiential), a function for creatinginterpersonal relationships (interpersonal) and a function for organizing information (textual)(Eggins, 1994, 2004). Relation of the text to the context of situation (Halliday, 1989b: 26).9 SITUATION Realized by TEXT: Feature of the context Functional component of semantic system Field of discourse Experiential meanings: (what is going on) (Transitivity, naming, etc.) Tenor of discourse Interpersonal meanings: (who are taking part) (Mood, modality, person, etc.) Mode of discourse Textual meanings: (role assigned to language) (theme, information, cohesive relations)8 Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses Page 6 of 17
  7. 7. Register & StyleStudying these variations is not only reveals a great deal about speaker‟s strategies with respectto variables such as social class, gender, ethnicity, and age. It also affords us the opportunity toobserve the linguistic change in progress.In sociolinguistics, a style is a set of linguistic variants to which specific social meanings are 10attributed. The study of sociolinguistic variation examines the relation between social identityand ways of speaking.Style is the study object (but not the only one) of stylistics. What style is has always been open todispute. The word style may be known to many human beings and they may be able to describefairly easily what it means. Nevertheless, the multiplicity and complexity goes far beyond theword itself. The following are examples of some renowned linguists and their definitions andconcepts.Leech and Short defines style as “the way in which language is used in a given context, by a 11given person, for a given purpose, and so on.” According to leech‟s definition style may beseen as a particular way of speaking. Style therefore refers to the wide range of strategic actionsand performances that speakers engage in, to construct them and their social live.Style Includes the Word choice; author‟s choice of words and Syntax, the way words arearranged to form sentences. Syntax encompasses word order, sentence length, sentence focus,and punctuation. Wales stresses that style “is distinctive: in essence, the set or sum of linguisticfeatures that seem to be characteristic: whether of register, genre or period etc”.Carter and Stockwell demonstrates style as” an Ornamentation of the sense of an utterance”but many linguists reject this idea and says that it is always motivated, for example, by thespeaker’s personal choices and belief systems and socio-cultural factors at every level.There are Five Main Language Styles including the ultra-formal style, a very formal way ofaddressing an audience, using archaic language (Thou, Hath, Thee, etc.)10 KEY TERMS IN STYLISTICS by NINA NORGAARD, BEATRIX BUSSE AND ROCIO MONTORO Page 7 of 17
  8. 8. Register & Style The Formal Style :The Formal Style Difficult words (abstract nouns) examples, Liberty, hegemony, sanctification,etc.Complex sentences with clauses example “He had been prepared to lie, to bluster, and to remainsullenly unresponsive; but, reassured by the good-humored intelligence of the Controller‟s face,he decided to tell the truth, straightforwardly.” Aldous Huxley, Brave New World. The Modified Formal Style:The Modified Formal Style a greater number of plain English words Active voice used ratherthan passive: Active: The girl walked the dog. Passive: The dog was walked by the girl. The useof abbreviated verb forms wouldn‟t, can‟t, shouldn‟t etc. The Colloquial Style :The Colloquial Style Everyday English- words you would use when talking to yourfriends/family. Filler words used: E.g. Like, know what I mean, o.k., etc. Shorter more assertivesentences: This is crazy! The ultra-colloquial style:The ultra-colloquial style VERY CASUAL Speaking style (easy words): e.g: Yo, How‟s itgoin‟? Omits main verbs: Whatcha gonna do? He [would] like to go but he can‟t. Omits littlefunction words (a, of, to):Style also includes stylistic devices like hyperbole, imagery, irony, etc. Phonology: alliteration,assonance Graphology: presentational devices: bullets, block capitals for headlines, etcAllan Bell, a linguist from New Zealand, developed a model for the analysis of stylistic variationknown as audience design. He claimed that in designing our style of speech at any particulartime, we assess the sociolinguistic characteristics of our addressees and adapt the way we speakto conform to these characteristics. Page 8 of 17
  9. 9. Register & StyleIn accordance with style, Nick Coupland investigated the extent to which an assistant in a travelagency in Cardiff, Wales shifted her speech to match that of social class of her clients. One of thevariables he studied was the glottalisation of (t), and the result of this part of his study has beenshown in the fig. these results show how the assistant altered her use of this variable quiteradically when speaking to clients of different social classes.12 90 Client 80 Assistant 70 Percentage use of 60 (t)- glottalization 50 40 30 20 10 0 upper middle lower middle upper working lower working Social class of clientTravel agency assistant‟s style shifting to clients: (t) glottalisationThe model of audience design helps to explain why people seem, to a non native ear, to „pick up‟accent of places they stay in. British or north American English speaker spending a couple ofyears in Australia would have a pre dominantly Australian English speaking audience, and wouldaccommodate to that variety so often when conversing that, to known Australians, they may„sound like an Aussie‟. What this indicates, then, is that variation in language is constrained notonly by the social characteristics of the speaker, but also those of the addressee in anyconversation; variation is also internationally determined.12 Linguistics An introduction by Andrew Radford, Martin Atkinson, David Britain, HaraldClahsen, Andrew Spencer Page 9 of 17
  10. 10. Register & StyleThis assignment has offered a critical description of the linguist variation with great emphasis onregister including field, tenor, mode and style. Considering Halliday‟s reflection, I believe thatthe approach I have brought along here from an integrated perspective, that every language isinterwoven with specific registers and style which can cannot be separated. Both register andstyle help to develop the richness and universality in language.In our project we have analyzed that any professor or a teacher has a specific style and register.They use specific and clear accent, focuses on phonology and their specific style includesexpression less face, rigid look on face. We have also monitored the register of army that theysay Roger that on understanding any message instead of ok, counter for attack, words like headquarters, nerve center are utilized instead of main office, raid for forced entry in any house.There is a specific register for describing any part of body utilized by doctors. These types ofregister are certainly alien for any common person in fact fulfilling the purpose of register. Thespecific register employed by doctors is as follows; Body Part Medical Term Head Cranium Forehead Frontalis Eyeball Globe Eye Socket Orbit Eye Whites Cornea Eye Color Ring Iris Eye Hole Pupil Ears Pinna Ear Canal External Meatus Nostrils Nares Cheeks Malar region Cheek Bone Zygomatic arch Lips Labia Page 10 of 17
  11. 11. Register & Style Tongue Lingulus Mouth Oral Cavity Gums Gingiva Chin Mentis Teeth DentitionA cosmetic is a wide field of study, particularly famous among girls. But the fact is that all girlsapply makeup but are still unaware of the exact names of the utensils used to apply makeup. Justchoosing the type of brushes in our project we have found out that there is a specific register foreven the makeup brushes a minor entity in whole field of cosmetics, about which most of thepeople are still unaware. Types of brushes with their particular identity are as follows;  FOUNDATION BRUSH: Designed to achieve a smooth and flawless finish, the bristles are tightly packed with a tapered tip for fluid application.  CONCEALER/CAMOUFLAGE BRUSH: A soft bristled, flat brush with a wider base and a pointed tip. Page 11 of 17
  12. 12. Register & Style DUO FIBRE BRUSH: Made from a blend of goat and synthetic fibers this brush is ideal for buffing and blending color. BRONZER/POWDER BRUSH: Soft, full and rounded, this brush can be used for both compact powder and bronzer. MINERAL POWDER BRUSH: A thick bundled brush that can sometimes be used both wet and dry. Page 12 of 17
  13. 13. Register & Style  FAN POWDER BRUSH: Created for use with loose powder, the fine fan sweeps a light dusting of powder onto the skin for a soft, velvety effect.  BLUSHER BRUSH: Made with fine, gentle fibers the blusher brush has a rounded head which is perfect for giving a pop of color to the apples of your cheeksOur project focuses on another important register which is very common and handy but retainingits specific terminology and vocabulary it retains its complexity, it is culinary items; items usedto cook food. The culinary items which we have chosen are knives. Specific names of each knifeare as follows;1. Chef’s knifeIt is used for chopping, slicing, precision cutting, crushing and carving. Page 13 of 17
  14. 14. Register & Style2. CleaverCleavers are designed to force their way through bones like an axe.3. Chinese cleaverThey are well suited to any chopping process but are very useful for slicing and precision cutssuch as julienne and chopping herbs. Page 14 of 17
  15. 15. Register & Style4. Boning knifeThis knife is used for separating meat and connective tissue from bones during butchering andtrimming5. Paring knifeIt can be used for peeling and trimming, cutting and turning, garnishes and creative work,including fruit and vegetable carving.6. Turning knifeIt has a curved blade it is most suited to shaping vegetables by turning. Page 15 of 17
  16. 16. Register & Style7. Palette knifeThe straight blade is used principally for lifting, shaping and scraping.8. Serrated slicerThis knife is a variation of the ham slicer and though it may be used to slice ham, it may producea rough looking product.9. Decorating knifeThis knife has a horizontally zigzagged edge, which enables decorative cuts and patterns to bemade generally in softer materials like margarine, butter and chocolate10. Grapefruit knivesThis is another specialized tool which is specifically designed to make a curved cut to loosen theflesh of grapefruit from their skin for service. Page 16 of 17
  17. 17. Register & StyleReferences ml Page 17 of 17