1 Sociolinguistic Study Overarching Methodology Individual & Indexation Group Influence Language & Culture Definitions and goals ? Goal of theoretical linguistics: ? Stating mental rules of a specific language ? Sociology of language ? The study of society in relation to language ? Sociolinguistics ? The study of language in relation to society ? Boundary Problem ? How do we know where one language stops and another ends? ? Social groups identify boundaries General Assumptions of Linguistic Behavior 1. Style-shifting principle ? We all shift styles 2. Vernacular principle ? Most regular speech is relaxed and unconscious 3. Subordinate shift principle ? Shifts generally from subordinate > standard 4. Attention principle ? Order style by attention: more aware = more formal 5. Formality principle ? Difficult to get at real vernacular Some Sources of Individual and Group Variation ? Personal differences ?Class ?Gender ?Age ?Race ?Culture ? Social structure ? Register and styles ?Geography ? ... Social Slices of Interest Why make choices? Language as Indexation (Nash 1989:24-6) Cultural Markers kinship commensality common cult Surface Pointers dress language physical features Must imply differences Markers are often hidden Language as political or social item ? Sprechbund (speech bond)? ?Mutual intelligibility ? Linguistic continua ? Sprachbund (language bond)? ?Autonomy ? Power differential ?Heteronomy ? Power dependency 2 Language and culture ? Does having a certain grammar compel us to see the world in a certain way? ? Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis (?Strong view?) ? We are linguistically conditioned into our thought world and into our behavior patterns ??Weak view? ? Some correspondence between culture and linguistic items; not genetics ? Some lexical relevancy with culture (snow) ? Some syntactic structures lead to certain observations?but this does not prohibit other observations Harlem, English language dominant speakers from Working Class homes Boston, English language dominant speakers from Middle Class homes Navajo community, English language dominant speakers Navajo community, Navajo language dominant speakers Shape acquired after size & color, except 3 yr old Navajo speakers get shape early Triad sorting experiment Tom Purnell Microsoft PowerPoint - Sociolinguistic Study.ppt
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