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Linguistics - Essay Example

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Linguistics Assignment Chapter 9 - Dialect Variation 1. Dialect is modified synonym for language. It signifies the various forms of language influenced by geographical, political and socio-cultural factors. Often used in opposition to a language, it is a highly subjective term…
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Download file to see previous pages Hence, the “written” language enjoys the superiority of being official and acceptable everywhere. The difference between jargon, accents, slang and dialect is also important. Dialects keep changing since language is made and modified by the times people live in, which of course are incessantly in a flux. Some legitimacy is also enjoyed by different dialects depending on who speaks it, mainly subscribing to the various strata of society. Usually the choices of the elite determine the stratification of dialects and languages; via which many other stratification can also be explained for example fashion etc. 2. Non-standard dialects and its usage is quite political if you come to think of it. The chapters elaborates about how standard versus non-standard is largely a matter of what is in vogue at that particular point in history. For example, the r-lessness that suffers changing connotations on either side of the Atlantic is simply a matter of fashion. At the same time it is not so simple because it has serious implications for the members who speak in it as the way of talking is a very important judgment factor, voluntarily and involuntarily. This kind of stratification of language relegates communities to the periphery by defining ‘popular’ dialect etc. ...
The politicians and well-educated might also talk in the same vernacular dialect to portray a sense of belonging to their local community. 3. Linguistic variability is important because it represents the variety of cultures and styles. They are of many levels and types. The various levels are lexical (vocabulary and meaning), phonological (pronunciation), morphosyntactic (syntax and usage of words), and pragmatic (way of talking, pausing, and pacing). The various types are those of social class and social networks, gender, and ethnicity. Social status has varied influences on language, with no easy one on one relation. In some places, (Arabic speaking nations), the level education defines status and not the profession (unlike America, where occupation is the general parameter). Also, the high or correct Classical Arabic is not spoken in daily use. In America, and other western countries however, standard language is preferred over nonstandard by people who are of upper class, so to say. Loose social ties (usually in lower class groups) tend to be more open to language change as compared to people belonging to dense social ties who maintain vernacular speech features and are less likely to language change (Milroy and Milroy). Like Labov suggested, that the lower class are also more open to language change because they are the ones who are most upwardly mobile of all class groups. 4. Language variation and gender researches show markedly concrete inferences. In case of stable language features, women tend to use standard language more than men. For example, swimming instead of swimmin’. Interestingly, women are more subject to language change than men in many western countries. In another example, Labov observed ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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