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Discuss with examples the sociolinguistic notions of linguistic heterogeneity and linguistic homogeneity in the speech community - Essay Example

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The relationship between society and language is an important aspect of development of both language and speech community. In this essay I will…
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Discuss with examples the sociolinguistic notions of linguistic heterogeneity and linguistic homogeneity in the speech community

Download file to see previous pages... First of all, let us define sociolinguistic notions of a speech community, linguistic heterogeneity and linguistic homogeneity and then proceed to the examples of linguistic heterogeneity and linguistic homogeneity in a speech community within the context of sociolinguistics. It must be noted that the definition of speech community sparks controversy among notable linguists to date. Early definitions of a speech community proceeded from the basis that a speech community is a group of people residing within the area of compact settlement, which is densely inhabited by those who share the same vernacular language and tend to use the same standardized language for communication. According to the notable American linguist, William Labov, who is regarded to be the father of such discipline as variationist sociolinguistics, a speech community is a group of people who share the same language norms that do not depend on social context changes.1
However, it is important to understand that the dependence of a language on social processes can be manifested in a set of different language subsystems (i.e. forms of existence and functioning of a specific language), bilingualism or diglossia, availability or nonexistence of a written language, language policy, etc. These are important but not exclusive manifestations of the connection between a language and conditions of its functioning. Lexicon, grammatical structure and the evolution of linguistic styles exert a substantial influence upon the use of language within a speech community as well. A speech community tends to share a certain set of norms of the language use, which is manifested in the process of communication within the framework of a certain group of people who are bounded by the same lifestyle, profession, interests or represent the same social stratum, which resulted in a long-term delusion, according to which a speech community is always characterized by linguistic homogeneity. However, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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