Introduction to sosiolinguistics

Lecturer at Universitas PGRI Semarang
Mar. 6, 2014

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Introduction to sosiolinguistics

  2. • What is sociolinguistics? • What do sociolinguists study? • Why does someone use one language instead of another? • What are varieties? • Can a language become extinct? • What can we do to keep a language alive? • Do men and women talk differently
  3. Macro Linguistics and Micro Linguistics • Microlinguistics deals with phonetics, grammar, etc. on the individual example level; Macrolinguistics deals with comparative studies among languages, language families, large influences on language development. • Microlinguistics refers to phonetics, phonology, grammar and semantics , whereas macrolinguistics covers sociolinguistics, discourse analysis and other related disciplines.
  4. Linguistics and Sociolinguistics • In pure linguistics, the object of the study is the language alone, independent of the speakers and other social factors. • Pure linguistics is about learning the grammar and how the language works
  5. WHAT IS SOCIOLINGUISTICS? • Sociolinguistics is the study of the complex relationship between language and society 1. explaining why we speak differently in different social contexts 2. identifying the social functions of language and the ways it is used to convey social meaning.
  6. • It also studies how language varieties differ between groups separated by certain social variables, e.g., ethnicity, religion, status, gender, level of education, age, etc., and how creation and adherence to these rules is used to categorize individuals in social or socioeconomic classes
  7. • The language used by the participants is influenced by a number of social factors • What is social factors?
  8. SOCIAL FACTORS What language people choose to speak in an exchange is determined by social factors:  The Participants: e.g. age, ranks, relationships;  The Setting: e.g. at home, in a formal meeting, etc.  The Topic: e.g. my tennis skills, cooking, exams;  The Function: e.g. getting a loan, hiring a maid, asking permission to leave the room, etc.
  9. Sociolinguistics vs. the Sociology of language • Sociolinguistics investigating the relationships between language and society with the goal of a better understanding of the structure of language and of how languages function in communication • Sociology of language to discover how social structure can be better understood through the study of language, e.g. how certain linguistic features serve to characterize particular social arrangement
  10. Sociolinguistics vs. the Sociology of language Hudson, 1980: 4-5 a. Sociolinguistics is the study of language in relation to society’, b. Sociology of language: the study of society in relation to language Similarity: a. Both require systematic study of language.
  11. In short… • Sociolinguistics : It’s main focus is “Society on Language • Sociology : It’s main focus is “Language effects on society
  12. The relationship between language and society (wardaugh, : 10) 1. Social structure → linguistic structure and/or behavior a. age-grading phenomenon young children speak differently from older children and in turn, children speak differently from mature adults. b. studies → the varieties of language that speakers use reflect such matters; their regional, social, or ethnic origin and possible sex. c. other studies → particular ways of speaking, choices of words, and rules for conversing are determined by social requirement
  13. The relationship between language and society (wardaugh, : 10) 2. Linguistic structure and/or behavior may either influence or determine social structure (behind Whorfian hypothesis) 3. The influence is bi-directional; language and society may influence each other. 4. There is no relationship at all.
  14. Social factors • The participants Who is talking to whom (wife-husband, customershopkeeper, boss-worker) • The social setting and function of interaction e.g. home, work, school • The aim or purpose of the interaction (informative, social) • The topic; What is being talked about?
  15. Example I Ray : Hi mum. Mum: Hi. You’re late. Ray : Yeah, that bastard Sootbucket kept us in again. Mum: Nana’s here. Ray : Oh sorry. Where is she?
  16. Analysis I • Language serves a range of functions; to ask for and give people information, to express indignation and annoyance, as well as admiration and express feelings.
  17. Example II Ray : Good afternoon, sir. Principle : What are you doing here at this time? Ray : Mr. Sutton kept us in, sir. For the analysis, see Holmes, 1995: 2-3
  18. Example III • Every afternoon my friend packs her bag and leaves her Cardiff office at about 5 o’clock. As she leaves, her business partner says goodbye Margaret, (she replies goodbye Mike) her secretary says goodbye Ms Walker, (she replies goodbye Jill) and the caretaker says Bye Mrs. Walker (to which she responds goodbye Andy). As she arrives home she is greeted by Hi mum from her son, Jamie, hello dear, have a good day?, from her mother, and simply you’re late again! from her husband.
  19. Example III • Later in the evening the president of the local flower club calls to ask if she would like to join. Good evening, is that Mrs. Billington? she asks. No, it’s Ms Walker, but my husband’s name is David Billington, she answers. What can I do for you? Finally a friend calls Boradar Meg, how’s thing?
  20. Example IV Sam : You seen our ‘enry’s new ‘ouse yet? It’s in ‘alton you know. Jim : I have indeed. I could hardly miss it Sam. Your Henry now owns the biggest house in Halton. It illustrated a range of social influences on language choice.
  21. Social dimensions • A Social distance scale concerned with participant relationship • A status scale concerned with participant relationship • A formality scale relating to the setting or type of interaction • Two functional scales relating to the purposes or topic of interaction
  22. The solidarity – social distance scale Intimate Distant High solidarity Low solidarity The scale is useful in emphasizing that how well we know someone is a relevant factor in linguistic choice. e.g. meg vs. Mrs. Belington
  23. The status scale Superior high status Subordinate low status e.g. 1. The use of ‘sir’, ‘Mrs.’, to the lecturer by the students 2. The [h]-dropping reflect someone’s lower social group
  24. The formality scale Formal Informal High formality Low Formality 1. Useful in assessing the influence of social setting or type of interaction on language choice. 2. Often degrees of formality are largely determined by solidarity and status relationship. But not always.
  25. The referential and affective function scales Referential High Information Content low information content affective Low Affective Content high affective content
  26. The referential and affective function scales 1. The more referentially oriented an interaction is, the less it tends to express the feelings of the speaker.
  27. • Chaika ( 1988, 10) the context determines meaning, 1. the social status of speakers 2. the speech event and social conventions governing it; 3. the social-cultural and physical environment 4. previous discourse between the speakers or known to them 5. the intent of the speaker.
  28. Conclusion • Our word choices depend on who we are talking to. • Language choices convey information about the social relationships between people as well as about the topic of discussion. • Linguistic variation occurs at other levels of linguistic analysis: sounds, word-structure, grammar as well as vocabulary.
  29. • Sociolinguistics is a field of study that research on how language is used in the community. • The way a person speak to another depends on some social factors (the participants, setting, topic, and function) and social dimensions (solidarity scale, status scale, formality scale, and functional scales).
  31. • RONALD Wardaugh An introduction to sociolinguistics • R. Hudson Sociolinguistics • Janet Holmes Introduction to Sociolinguistics
  32. • The benefit of studying sosiolinguistics • What’s the differences between socioling and sociology of language • The position of sociolinguistics in linguistics study • Sociolinguistics phenomena around you