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Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of
society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, measure, and nominal number, label. The original examples are the natural numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, and so forth. Numbers can be ...

society
, including cultural
norms Norm, the Norm or NORM may refer to: In academic disciplines * Norm (geology), an estimate of the idealised mineral content of a rock * Norm (philosophy), a standard in normative ethics that is prescriptive rather than a descriptive or explanato ...
, expectations, and
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence language use, language variation, and discourse summary. Computing * Context (computing), the virtual environment required to ...
, on the way
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
is used, and society's effect on language. It differs from
sociology of language Sociology of language is the study of the relations between language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages ...
, which focuses on the effect of language on society. Sociolinguistics overlaps considerably with
pragmatics In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the m ...
and is closely related to
linguistic anthropology Linguistic anthropology is the interdisciplinary Interdisciplinarity or interdisciplinary studies involves the combination of two or more academic disciplines into one activity (e.g., a research project). It draws knowledge from several oth ...
. Sociolinguistics' historical interrelation with anthropology can be observed in studies of how language
varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of algebraic structures defined by equations in universal algebra Hort ...
differ between groups separated by social variables (e.g.,
ethnicity An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups. Those attributes can include common sets of traditions, ancest ...

ethnicity
,
religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and whether the exchange is voluntary/involuntary. Etymology ...

religion
,
status Status (Latin plural: ''statūs''), is a state, condition, or situation, and may refer to: * Status (law) Legal status is the position held by something or someone with regard to law. It is a set of privileges, obligations, powers or restricti ...
,
gender Gender is the range of characteristics pertaining to, and differentiating between femininity Femininity (also called womanliness or girlishness) is a set of attributes, behaviors, and roles generally associated with women A woman is ...

gender
, level of
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...

education
, age, etc.) and/or geographical barriers (a mountain range, a desert, a river, etc.). Such studies also examine how such differences in usage and differences in beliefs about usage produce and reflect social or socioeconomic classes. As the usage of a language varies from place to place, language usage also varies among social classes, and it is these ''
sociolect In sociolinguistics, a sociolect is a variety (linguistics), form of language (nonstandard dialect, non-standard dialect, restricted register (sociolinguistics), register) or a set of lexicon, lexical items used by a socioeconomic class, a professi ...
s'' that sociolinguistics studies. Sociolinguistics can be studied in various ways such as interviews with speakers of a language, matched-guise tests, and other observations or studies related to dialects and speaking.


Sociolinguistics in history


Beginnings

The social aspects of language were in the modern sense first studied by Indian and Japanese linguists in the 1930s, and also by
Louis Gauchat Louis Gauchat (born 12 January 1866 in Les Brenets, Switzerland ,german: Schweizer(in),french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under a multi-party assembly ...
in Switzerland in the early 1900s, but none received much attention in the West until much later. The study of the social motivation of
language change Language change is variation over time in a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages have a writing ...
, on the other hand, has its foundation in the
wave model In historical linguistics Historical linguistics, also termed diachronic linguistics, is the scientific study of language change over time. Principal concerns of historical linguistics include: # to describe and account for observed changes ...
of the late 19th century. The first attested use of the term ''sociolinguistics'' was by
Thomas Callan Hodson Thomas Callan Hodson (1871–1953) was the first William Wyse Professor of Social Anthropology The William Wyse Professorship of Social Anthropology is a list of professorships at the University of Cambridge, professorship in social anthropology at ...
in the title of his 1939 article "Sociolinguistics in India" published in ''Man in India''.


Western contributions

The study of sociolinguistics in the West was pioneered by linguists such as
William Labov William Labov ( ; born December 4, 1927) is an United States, American linguist, widely regarded as the founder of the discipline of variationist sociolinguistics. He has been described as "an enormously original and influential figure who has c ...
in the US and
Basil Bernstein Basil Bernard Bernstein (1 November 1924 – 24 September 2000) was a British sociologist known for his work in the sociology of education. He worked on Sociolinguistics, socio-linguistics and the connection between the manner of speaking and soc ...
in the UK. In the 1960s, William Stewart and
Heinz Kloss Heinz Kloss (30 October 1904, in Halle, Saxony-Anhalt Halle (Saale), or simply Halle (; from the 15th to the 17th century: ''Hall in Sachsen''; until the beginning of the 20th century: ''Halle an der Saale'' ; from 1965 to 1995: ''Halle/Saale'') ...
introduced the basic concepts for the sociolinguistic theory of
pluricentric language A pluricentric language or polycentric language is a language with several interacting codified standard forms, often corresponding to different countries. Many examples of such languages can be found worldwide among the most-spoken languages, inc ...
s, which describes how
standard language A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology ...
varieties differ between nations (e.g.
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...
/
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...
/
Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the At ...
/
Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines ...
''
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
'';
Austrian Austrian may refer to: * Austrians, someone from Austria or of Austrian descent ** Someone who is considered an Austrian citizen, see Austrian nationality law * Something associated with the country Austria, for example: ** Austria-Hungary ** Austr ...
/
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...
/
Swiss Swiss may refer to: * the adjectival form of Switzerland , french: Suisse(sse), it, svizzero/svizzera or , rm, Svizzer/Svizra , government_type = Federalism, Federal semi-direct democracy under an assembly-independent Directorial ...
''
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...
'';
Bosnian Bosnian may refer to: *Anything related to the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina or its inhabitants *Anything related to Bosnia (region) or its inhabitants * Bosniaks, an ethnic group mainly inhabiting Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of three Ethnic gr ...
/
Croatian Croatian may refer to: *Croatia *Croatian cuisine *Croatian language *Croatian name *Croats, people from Croatia, or of Croatian descent *Citizens of Croatia, see demographics of Croatia See also

* Croatia (disambiguation) * Serbo-Croatian (di ...
/ Montenegrin/
Serbian Serbian may refer to: * someone or something related to Serbia, a country in Southeastern Europe * someone or something related to the Serbs, a South Slavic people * Serbian language * Serbian names See also

* * * Serbian Uprising (disamb ...
''
Serbo-Croatian Serbo-Croatian () – also called Serbo-Croat (), Serbo-Croat-Bosnian (SCB), Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian (BCS), and Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian (BCMS) – is a South Slavic language The South Slavic languages are one of three branche ...
'').
Dell Hymes Dell Hathaway Hymes (June 7, 1927 in Portland, Oregon – November 13, 2009 in Charlottesville, Virginia) was a linguist, Sociolinguistics, sociolinguist, anthropologist, and folkloristics, folklorist who established disciplinary foundations for t ...
is another sociolinguist credited with building the foundation of the study of sociolinguistics and is the founder of the journal ''
Language in Society ''Language in Society'' is a Peer review, peer-reviewed academic journal of sociolinguistics. It was established in 1972 and is published five times a year by Cambridge University Press. The current editors in chief are Susan Ehrlich (York Universi ...
.'' His
SPEAKING Speech is human vocal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use of sufficiently mutua ...

SPEAKING
method, an acronym for setting, participants, ends, act sequence, keys, instrumentalities, norms, and genres, is widely recognized as a tool to analyze speech events and measure linguistic competence in a speech event.


Applications

A sociolinguist might study how social attitudes determine what is considered appropriate language use or inappropriate language use in a particular setting. Sociolinguists might also study the
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
,
phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lang ...

phonetics
,
vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed la ...
, and other aspects of various sociolects. Sociolinguists also study language on a national level among large populations to find out how language is used as a social institution. William Labov, a Harvard and Columbia University graduate, is often regarded as one of the founders of the study of sociolinguistics. He focuses on the quantitative analysis of variation and change within languages, making sociolinguistics a scientific discipline. Studies in the field of sociolinguistics typically take a sample population and interview them, assessing the realization of certain sociolinguistic variables. A commonly studied source of variation is regional dialects.
Dialectology Dialectology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...
studies variations in language based primarily on geographic distribution and their associated features. Sociolinguists concerned with grammatical and phonological features that correspond to regional areas are often called dialectologists. Another Method is the Matched-guise test. This technique has the listener listen to a pair of words and evaluate them based on personality and dialect, as some groups have shared views on language attitude.


Sociolinguistic interview

The sociolinguistic interview is the foundational method of collecting data for sociolinguistic studies, allowing the researcher to collect large amounts of speech from speakers of the language or dialect being studied. The interview takes the form of a long, loosely-structured conversation between the researcher and the interview subject; the researcher's primary goal is to elicit the
vernacular A vernacular or vernacular language refers to the language or dialect that is spoken by people that are inhabiting a particular country or region. The vernacular is typically the native language, normally Spoken language, spoken informally rath ...
style of speech—i.e., the
register A register is an authoritative list of one kind of information. Register or registration may refer to: Arts entertainment, and media Music * Register (music), the relative "height" or range of a note, melody, part, instrument, etc. * ''Regis ...
associated with everyday, casual conversation. This goal is complicated by the Observer's Paradox: the researcher is trying to elicit the style of speech that would be used if the interviewer were not present. To this end, a variety of techniques may be used to reduce the subject's attention to the formality and artificiality of the interview setting. For example, the researcher may attempt to elicit narratives of memorable events from the subject's life, such as fights or near-death experiences; the subject's emotional involvement in telling the story is thought to distract their attention from the formality of the context. Some researchers interview multiple subjects together, in order to allow them to converse more casually with each other than they would with the interviewer alone. The researcher may then study the effects of
style-shifting In sociolinguistics, a style is a set of linguistic variants with specific social meanings. In this context, social meanings can include group membership, personal attributes, or beliefs. Variation (linguistics), Linguistic variation is at the he ...
on language by comparing a subject's speech style in more vernacular contexts, such as narratives of personal experience or conversation between subjects, with the more careful style produced when the subject is more attentive to the formal interview setting. The correlations of demographic features such as age, gender, and ethnicity with speech behavior may be studied by comparing the speech of different interview subjects. Interviews with native language speakers can be used in an attempt to study
dying languages In linguistics, language death occurs when a language loses its terminal speaker, last First language, native speaker. By extension, language extinction is when the language is no longer known, including by Second language, second-language speaker ...
as well. This is depicted in the documentary ''
The Linguists ''The Linguists'' is an independent 2008 American documentary film A documentary film is a non-fictional film, motion-picture intended to "document reality, primarily for the purposes of instruction, education, or maintaining a Recorded histor ...
''.


Fundamental concepts

While the study of sociolinguistics is very broad, there are a few fundamental concepts on which many sociolinguistic inquiries depend.


Speech community

Speech community A speech community is a group of people who share a set of linguistic norms and expectations regarding the . It is a concept mostly associated with and . Exactly how to define ''speech community'' is debated in the literature. Definitions of spe ...
is a concept in sociolinguistics that describes a distinct group of people who use language in a unique and mutually accepted way among themselves. This is sometimes referred to as a
Sprechbund A Sprechbund (; , "speech Speech is human vocal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and p ...
. To be considered part of a speech community, one must have a
communicative competenceCommunicative competence encompasses a language user's grammatical knowledge of syntax In linguistics, syntax () is the set of rules, principles, and processes that govern the structure of Sentence (linguistics), sentences (sentence structure) i ...
. That is, the speaker has the ability to use language in a way that is appropriate in the given situation. It is possible for a speaker to be communicatively competent in more than one language.Deckert, Sharon K. and Caroline H. Vikers. (2011).
An Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Society and Identity
Page 59
Speech communities can be members of a profession with a specialized
jargon Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative context and may not be well understood outside that context. The conte ...
, distinct
social groups In the social sciences, a social group can be defined as two or more people who interact with one another, share similar characteristics, and collectively have a sense of unity. Regardless, social groups come in a myriad of sizes and varieties ...
like high school students or hip hop fans, or even tight-knit groups like
families In human society, family (from la, familia) is a Social group, group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or Affinity (law), affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to maintain the w ...

families
and friends. Members of speech communities will often develop
slang Slang is vocabulary (words, phrases, and usage (language), linguistic usages) of an informal register, common in spoken conversation but avoided in formal writing. It also sometimes refers to the language generally exclusive to the members of p ...
or specialized jargon to serve the group's special purposes and priorities. This is evident in the use of lingo within sports teams.
Community of Practice A community of practice (CoP) is a group of people who "share a concern or a passion for something they do and learn how to do it better as they interact regularly". The concept was first proposed by cognitive anthropologist Jean Lave and educati ...
allows for sociolinguistics to examine the relationship between socialization, competence, and identity. Since identity is a very complex structure, studying language socialization is a means to examine the micro-interactional level of practical activity (everyday activities). The learning of a language is greatly influenced by family, but it is supported by the larger local surroundings, such as school, sports teams, or religion. Speech communities may exist within a larger community of practice.


High prestige and low prestige varieties

Crucial to sociolinguistic analysis is the concept of
prestige Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige may also refer to: Arts, entertainment and media Films *Prestige (film), ''Prestige'' (film), a 1932 American film directed ...
; certain speech habits are assigned a positive or a negative value, which is then applied to the speaker. This can operate on many levels. It can be realized on the level of the individual sound/phoneme, as Labov discovered in investigating pronunciation of the post-vocalic /r/ in the North-Eastern USA, or on the macro scale of language choice, as realized in the various
diglossia In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
that exist throughout the world, where Swiss-German/High German is perhaps most well known. An important implication of the sociolinguistic theory is that speakers 'choose' a variety when making a speech act, whether consciously or subconsciously. The terms acrolectal (high) and basilectal (low) are also used to distinguish between a more standard dialect and a dialect of less prestige. It is generally assumed that non-standard language is low-prestige language. However, in certain groups, such as traditional working-class neighborhoods, standard language may be considered undesirable in many contexts. This is because the working class dialect is generally considered a powerful in-group marker. Historically, humans tend to favor those who look and sound like them, and the use of non-standard varieties (even exaggeratedly so) expresses neighborhood pride and group and class solidarity. There will thus be a considerable difference in use of non-standard varieties when going to the pub or having a neighborhood barbecue compared to going to the bank. One is a relaxed setting, likely with familiar people, and the other has a business aspect to it in which one feels the need to be more professional.


Prestige in Pittsburgh

In a book by Barbara Johnstone, she refers to a study by Christina Gagnon in which she analyzed perceptions of the Pittsburghese dialect from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania compared to standard English. Pittsburghers were asked to read short passages in their own dialect and in standard English without the Pittsburgh accent, then participants listening to the voice recordings were asked to rate the speakers on level of success, education, if they were neighborly, etc. all based on their voice and way of speaking. The results showed that the participants, who were Pittsburghers, preferred the standard English in terms of social status. The stereotype that Pittsburghers are poor, uneducated, and less motivated showed through in the participants' answers. However, when asked to rate the readers in terms of friendliness, trustworthiness, and community involvement, participants rated the Pittsburghese dialect higher, likely because people generally find more trust among those who sound more like them, as did those involved in the study.


Social network

Understanding language in society means that one also has to understand the
social network A social network is a social structure made up of a set of social actors (such as individuals or organizations), sets of Dyad (sociology), dyadic ties, and other Social relation, social interactions between actors. The social network perspectiv ...
s in which language is embedded. A social network is another way of describing a particular speech community in terms of relations between individual members in a community. A network could be ''loose'' or ''tight'' depending on how members interact with each other. For instance, an office or factory may be considered a tight community because all members interact with each other. A large course with 100+ students would be a looser community because students may only interact with the instructor and maybe 1–2 other students. A ''multiplex'' community is one in which members have multiple relationships with each other. For instance, in some neighborhoods, members may live on the same street, work for the same employer and even intermarry. The looseness or tightness of a social network may affect speech patterns adopted by a speaker. For instance, Sylvie Dubois and Barbara Horvath found that speakers in one Cajun Louisiana community were more likely to pronounce English "th" as (or as if they participated in a relatively dense social network (i.e. had strong local ties and interacted with many other speakers in the community), and less likely if their networks were looser (i.e. fewer local ties).Dubois, Sylvie and Horvath, Barbara. (1998).
Let's tink about dat: Interdental Fricatives in Cajun English
" Language Variation and Change 10 (3), pp 245–61.
A social network may apply to the macro level of a country or a city, but also to the interpersonal level of neighborhoods or a single family. Recently, social networks have been formed by the Internet through online chat rooms, Facebook groups, organizations, and online dating services.


Differences according to class

Sociolinguistics as a field distinct from
dialectology Dialectology (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxim ...
was pioneered through the study of language variation in urban areas. Whereas dialectology studies the geographic distribution of language variation, sociolinguistics focuses on other sources of variation, among them class. Class and occupation are among the most important linguistic markers found in society. One of the fundamental findings of sociolinguistics, which has been hard to disprove, is that class and language variety are related. Members of the working class tend to speak less of what is deemed
standard language A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural Norm (sociology ...
, while the lower, middle, and upper middle class will, in turn, speak closer to the standard. However, the upper class, even members of the upper middle class, may often speak 'less' standard than the middle class. This is because not only class but class aspirations, are important. One may speak differently or cover up an undesirable accent to appear to have a different social status and fit in better with either those around them, or how they wish to be perceived.


Class aspiration

Studies, such as those by William Labov in the 1960s, have shown that social aspirations influence speech patterns. This is also true of class aspirations. In the process of wishing to be associated with a certain class (usually the upper class and upper middle class) people who are moving in that direction socio-economically may adjust their speech patterns to sound like them. However, not being native upper-class speakers, they often
hypercorrect In sociolinguistics, hypercorrection is nonstandard dialect, non-standard usage (language), use of language that results from the over-application of a perceived rule of Prescriptive grammar, language-usage prescription. A speaker or writer who p ...
, which involves overcorrecting their speech to the point of introducing new errors. The same is true for individuals moving down in socio-economic status. In any contact situation, there is a power dynamic, be it a teacher-student or employee-customer situation. This power dynamic results in a hierarchical differentiation between languages.


Social language codes

Basil Bernstein Basil Bernard Bernstein (1 November 1924 – 24 September 2000) was a British sociologist known for his work in the sociology of education. He worked on Sociolinguistics, socio-linguistics and the connection between the manner of speaking and soc ...
, a well-known British socio-linguist, devised in his book, 'Elaborated and restricted codes: their social origins and some consequences,' a method for categorizing language codes according to variable emphases on verbal and extraverbal communication. He claimed that factors like family orientation, social control, verbal feedback, and possibly social class contributed to the development of the two codes: elaborated and restricted.


Restricted code

According to Basil Bernstein, the restricted code exemplified the predominance of extraverbal communication, with an emphasis on interpersonal connection over individual expression. His theory places this code within environments that operate according to established social structures that predetermine the roles of their members, in which the commonality of interests and intents due to a shared local identity creates a predictability of discrete intent and therefore a simplification of verbal utterances. Such environments may include military, religious, and legal atmospheres, criminal and prison subcultures, long-term married relationships and friendships between children. Due to the strong bonds between speakers, explicit verbal communication is often rendered unnecessary and individual expression irrelevant. However, simplification is not a sign of a lack of intelligence or complexity within the code; rather, communication is performed more through extraverbal means (facial expression, touch, etc.) in order to affirm the speakers' bond. Bernstein notes the example of a young man asking a stranger to dance: there is an established manner of asking, and yet communication is performed through physical graces and the exchange of glances. As such, implied meaning plays a greater role in this code than in the elaborated code. Restricted code also operates to unify speakers and foster solidarity.


Elaborated code

Basil Bernstein defined 'elaborated code' according to its emphasis on verbal communication over extraverbal. This code is typical in environments where a variety of social roles are available to the individual, to be chosen based upon disposition and temperament. Most of the time, speakers of elaborated code utilize a broader
lexicon A lexicon is the vocabulary A vocabulary is a set of familiar words In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, pra ...

lexicon
and demonstrate less syntactic predictability than speakers of restricted code. The lack of predetermined structure and solidarity requires explicit verbal communication of discrete intent by the individual in order to achieve educational and career success. Bernstein notes, with caution, the association of this code with upper classes (while restricted code is associated with lower classes), where the abundance of available resources allows persons to choose their social roles, warning, however, that studies associating the codes with separate social classes used small samples and were subject to significant variation. He also asserts that elaborated code originates due to differences in social context rather than intellectual advantages; as such, elaborated code differs from restricted code according to the context-based emphasis on individual advancement over assertion of social/community ties.


The codes and child development

Bernstein explains language development according to the two codes in light of their fundamentally different values. For instance, a child exposed solely to restricted code learns extraverbal communication over verbal, and therefore may have a less extensive vocabulary than a child raised with exposure to both codes. While there is no inherent lack of value to restricted code, a child without exposure to elaborated code may encounter difficulties upon entering formal education, in which standard, clear verbal communication and comprehension is necessary for learning and effective interaction both with instructors and other students from differing backgrounds. As such, it may be beneficial for children who have been exposed solely to restricted code to enter pre-school training in elaborated code in order to acquire a manner of speaking that is considered appropriate and widely comprehensible within the education environment. Additionally, Bernstein notes several studies in language development according to social class. In 1963, the Committee for Higher Education conducted a study on verbal IQ that showed a deterioration in individuals from lower working classes ages 8–11 and 11–15 years in comparison to those from middle classes (having been exposed to both restricted and elaborated codes). Additionally, studies by Bernstein, Venables, and Ravenette, as well as a 1958 Education Council report, show a relative lack of success on verbal tasks in comparison to extraverbal in children from lower working classes (having been exposed solely to restricted code).


= Contradictions

= The idea of these social language codes from Bernstein contrast with famous linguist Noam Chomsky's ideas. , deemed the "father of modern linguistics," argues that there is a
universal grammar Universal grammar (UG), in modern linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging t ...
, meaning that humans are born with an innate capacity for linguistic skills like sentence-building. This theory has been criticized by several scholars of linguistic backgrounds because of the lack of proven evolutionary feasibility and the fact that different languages do not have universal characteristics.


Sociolinguistic variations

The study of language
variation Variation or Variations may refer to: Science and mathematics * Variation (astronomy), any perturbation of the mean motion or orbit of a planet or satellite, particularly of the moon * Genetic variation thumb File:Genetic Variation and Inhe ...
is concerned with social constraints determining language in its contextual
environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biophysical environment, the physical and biological factors along with their chemical interactions that affect an organism or ...
. The variations will determine some of the aspects of language like the sound, grammar, and tone in which people speak, and even non-verbal cues.
Code-switching In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
is the term given to the use of different varieties of language depending on the social situation. This is commonly used among the African-American population in the United States. There are several different types of age-based variation one may see within a population as well such as age range, age-graded variation, and indications of linguistic change in progress. The use of slang can be a variation based on age. Younger people are more likely to recognize and use today's slang while older generations may not recognize new slang, but might use slang from when they were younger. Variation may also be associated with gender. Men and women, on average, tend to use slightly different language styles. These differences tend to be quantitative rather than qualitative. That is, to say that women use a particular speaking style more than men do is akin to saying that men are taller than women (i.e., men are on average taller than women, but some women are taller than some men). Other variations in speech patterns of men and women include differences in pitch, tone, speech fillers, interruptions, use of euphemisms, etc. Variations in language can also come from ethnicity, economic status, level of education, etc.


See also

*
Anthropological linguistics Anthropological linguistics is the subfield of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The trad ...
* Audience design *
Ausbausprache In sociolinguistics, an abstand language is a variety (linguistics) , language variety or cluster of varieties with significant linguistic distance from all others, while an ausbau language is a standard language , standard variety, possibly with r ...
*
Axiom of categoricity The axiom of categoricity is a term coined by J. K. Chambers in 1995 to refer to the once-widespread tenet of linguistic theory that in order to properly study language, linguistic data should be removed or abstracted from all real-world context s ...
*
Discourse analysis Discourse analysis (DA), or discourse studies, is an approach to the analysis of written, vocal, or sign language use, or any significant semiotic Semiotics (also called semiotic studies) is the study of sign processes (semiosis Semiosis (, ...
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Discursive psychology Discursive psychology (DP) is a form of discourse analysis that focuses on psychological Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, ...
* Folk linguistics *
In-group In sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phyto ...
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Interactional sociolinguistics Interactional sociolinguistics is a subdiscipline of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed lan ...
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Jargon Jargon is the specialized terminology associated with a particular field or area of activity. Jargon is normally employed in a particular Context (language use), communicative context and may not be well understood outside that context. The conte ...
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Language ideology Language ideology (also known as linguistic ideology or language attitude) is used within anthropology (especially linguistic anthropology), sociolinguistics, and cross-cultural studies, to characterize any set of beliefs about languages as they are ...
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Language planning In sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of society A society is a group A group is a number A number is a mathematical object used to counting, count, measurement, meas ...
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Language policy Language policy is an interdisciplinary academic field. Some scholars such as Joshua A. Fishman and Ofelia García consider it as part of sociolinguistics Sociolinguistics is the descriptive study of the effect of any and all aspects of socie ...
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Language secessionism Language secessionism (also known as linguistic secessionism or linguistic separatism) is an attitude supporting the separation of a language variety from the language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, inclu ...
* Linguistic landscape * Linguistic marketplace * Metapragmatics *
Mutual intelligibility In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
* Raciolinguistics * Real-time sociolinguistics *
Sociocultural linguisticsSociocultural linguistics is a term used to encompass a broad range of theories and methods for the study of language in its sociocultural context. Its growing use is a response to the increasingly narrow association of the term sociolinguistics wit ...
* Sociohistorical linguistics *
Sociolinguistics of sign languages The sociolinguistics of sign languages is the application of sociolinguistics, sociolinguistic principles to the study of sign languages. The study of sociolinguistics in the American Deaf community did not start until the 1960s. Until recently, th ...
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Sociology of language Sociology of language is the study of the relations between language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languages ...
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Style-shifting In sociolinguistics, a style is a set of linguistic variants with specific social meanings. In this context, social meanings can include group membership, personal attributes, or beliefs. Variation (linguistics), Linguistic variation is at the he ...
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T–V distinction The T–V distinction is the contextual use of different pronouns that exists in some languages, and serves to convey formality or familiarity. Its name comes from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language ...
* Sociolinguists


References


Further reading

*Bastardas-Boada, Albert (2019). ''From Language Shift to Language Revitalization and Sustainability. A Complexity Approach to Linguistic Ecology''. Barcelona: Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona. . * * * *Kadochnikov, Denis (2016)
Languages, Regional Conflicts and Economic Development: Russia
  In: Ginsburgh, V., Weber, S. (Eds.). The Palgrave Handbook of Economics and Language. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 538–580. * * * * * * * *


External links

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Sociolinguistics: an interview with William Labov
ReVEL, vol. 5, n. 9, 2007. {{Authority control Interdisciplinary subfields of sociology +