The study of societal effects on language use and of language use on society.

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Are there any words that have changed usage/meaning multiple times (multiple semantic shifts) from 1850s to present time [closed]

I am interested in semantic shift undergone by words, and I am aware of classic examples like 'gay', which has shifted in meaning since the 1900s. However, are there any words that have actually ...
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81 views

why did the Franco-Provençal language decline in Switzerland?

In France, the Franco-Provençal language is endangered. The general dialect leveling in France proper is sometimes thought to be a consequence of public policy, the French government having been known ...
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32 views

Examples of tags?

I'm planning to do a study on tag-switching, but from the literature I read, tag-switching is commonly only found in sentences with 'you know', 'I mean', 'right?', and 'isn't it?'. Are there other ...
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115 views

Languages with no past tense?

Is there a name for languages that have no specific past tense? For example, in the language of Kiribati there is no separation between past and present tense. To indicate the past, one must specify ...
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102 views

Language transfer for second language learners (French-English)

How does language transfer occur from French to English within native french speakers' mind? Can we observe this phenomenon ?
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91 views

recent topics in linguistics [closed]

what are the recent controversial issues in - pragmatics. -socio-linguistics. that are receiving the experts' attention ?
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134 views

Language shift because of contact or interest

Are there any examples of language shift, where population A changes language because of contacts with population B? I am not looking about examples where population A was conquered or colonized by B. ...
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81 views

Psycholinguistic/Sociolinguistic theories of lying and/or deception

That is a very broad question, I understand. I am working in a project where my aim is to detect linguistic features of deception as a person is speaking or writing. Some work has been done for ...
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134 views

What is the sociocultural purpose of banning slang in schools?

There was an article in the Guardian recently about a headteacher in the Black Country banning the use of local dialect in school: (http://www.theguardian.com/educa...) He says he's seeing children ...
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Does being educated affect the rate and the quality of second language acquisition?

People move a lot and become immigrants in other countries. Many immigrants, in every historical time frame, come to countries without an prior knowledge of the language. However, they usually learn ...
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208 views

Strong accents and rural areas correlation

(I'm not a linguist, just a Stack Exchange user who thought this site is the one for this question) It is often the case that people living in rural areas (in any country) have a "stronger", less ...
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176 views

Is Language a social fiction or a social reality? [closed]

Is Language a social fiction? I'm required to write an essay about the following : "Is language a social fiction?" and honestly I've had a hard time to determine whether language is a social fiction ...
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88 views

Corpus analysis program

I'm looking for a program that will count information such as the most common terms in text, number of pronouns etc. I'm looking to input many song lyrics to see the most prevalent terms and the usage ...
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279 views

Linguistic Variation (Sociolinguistics)

I'm trying to understand the meaning of linguistic variation. What are some linguistic variations and how are they different from the definition of identity? I mean, if someone speaks American English ...
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What is the relation between the words “Cossack” and “Kazakh”?

These two words in English would appear to refer to foreign peoples / cultures known to the Rus within recorded history. The Russian wikipedia pages indicate a surface similarity in spelling: ...
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217 views

Role of educated speakers in language standardisation

Language standardisation has variously been described, for example by Einar Haugen, as a process involving the selection, codification, acceptance, and elaboration of a linguistic norm. I'm concerned ...
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1k views

Why did England not maintain French as a spoken language?

In many countries around the world, especially in Africa, the people natively speak both an indigenous language and French due to French colonization. The Norman conquest of England left us with ...
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27 views

Is there a model describing the relation between language and culture?

Is there a model describing the relation between language and culture ? I'm looking for a model integrating culture as part of the process of human communication.
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106 views

Has the use of body gestures during speech production the same importance in every culture?

I know that different cultures may use different (hand or other body part) gestures to convey the same meaning. But is the amount of gestures similar in number among cultures? Some recent research, ...
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55 views

Is there any evidence that modern telecommunication slows dialect differentiation?

Consider the area that includes Western Washington and Western Oregon. As many of us know, most English-speakers who were raised in this area speak more or less the same variety of English. ...
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321 views

Are there any loanwords in Turkish / Armenian languages?

In the Ottoman Empire, both Turks and Armenians shared common social and cultural domains, but are there any loanwords in either language from either side - i.e. Turkish loanwords in Armenian or ...
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385 views

What are the job opportunities in linguistics? [closed]

I like learning new languages so I am curious in getting a degree in linguistics. What kind of jobs are available as a linguist? What are the opportunities available in this field? From what I am ...
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458 views

Correlation between politeness of a culture and its languages

In the question Is there any reason why English doesn’t add respectful words in every sentence? that was asking why there's more respectful language in Korean and Japanese compared to English, the ...
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0answers
158 views

Do teachers of ESL need to know how first language is acquired?

In my class we are discussing teaching English as a second language. Some contend that to teach ESL we need to know the processes an theories about first language acquisition and it is not clear to me ...
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267 views

Is redundancy in language really impossible? (Case of the Spanish imperfect subjunctive)

I have heard time and again that languages will reject words and structures that are redundant. That is, for example, if though two words may seem like they are perfect synonyms (e.g., rotund and ...
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812 views

What does it mean if a person says, “I think” a lot

When I speak or write I tend not to speak in absolutes. I generally use phrases like "I think" or "I don't think" a lot. Further, I usually qualify my statements with words like "generally" or ...
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949 views

In what ways do the fields of linguistics and sociology overlap?

I'm a linguistics major and I'm considering a minor in sociology (among others). In what ways do these fields overlap? More specifically, what types of sociology classes are good for a linguistics ...
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99 views

Is there a recognized foremost social factor from which idioms are derived?

I've heard some people posit that the reason a large amount of idioms in American English come from sports terminology (e.g. "ballpark figure" or "the whole nine yards") is due to the "competitive ...
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408 views

Which languages are used for purposes other than facilitating communication?

Although it seems that most languages are used to facilitate communication, some languages seem to have secondary purposes as well. For instance, expatriates of a nation may continue to speak the ...
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160 views

What strategies for efficiency are adopted by languages with minimal phonemic inventories?

As the size of a phonemic inventory decreases, the information rate allowed by the inventory should likewise decrease. So are there any (semantico-)pragmatic or morphosyntactic strategies that ...
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69 views

measuring relative importance/social proximity of an addressee based on length of written explanation in letters with multiple addressees

I have a corpus of personal letters in which writers explain a tough decision to multiple addressees, each in its own section/paragraph of the letter (for the most part). I wonder if anybody has ...
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429 views

In cultures where genders speak different language varieties, how do genders quote each other?

In some cultures, females and males speak different language varieties[1]. When retelling, for example, what a man said, would a female say it in the male variety or translate it into the female ...
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1answer
239 views

How does individual linguistic behavior relate to one's attitude of language politics in Norwegian?

In his great answer to this question, the user kaleissin alluded to something that I've been particularly interested in, so I want to turn it into a question of its own to all Norwegian and ...
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4answers
857 views

What explains the Icelandic language conservatism?

The Icelandic language is often used as an example of a very conservative language, compared to other Indo-European languages, in general, and to other North-Germanic languages, in particular, all of ...
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403 views

Why do rhotics pattern together?

Looking at the IPA, many different types of sounds are given symbols based of of the Latin R,r: approximants, trills, taps/flaps; both coronal and uvular segments. Sometimes, these sounds are ...
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344 views

How powerful is literacy to slow down language change?

The degree of literacy of a certain community of speakers is generally proposed as one of the factors that affect the pace of language change. More specifically, literacy would slow down change, since ...
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2k views

What exactly is diglossia?

Any language has a formal variety, primarily (although not exclusively) used in writing, and one or more informal varieties, used in everyday speech. Yet, for some languages, like Norwegian and ...
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286 views

Vanishing phonemes, nasalization of vowels, tones

Looking at modern French in light of vulgar Latin, or Chinese compared with Proto-Sino-Tibetan (if that can even be reconstructed), there seems to be quite a few contexts in which phonemes are ...
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2answers
318 views

Is grammar the main barrier to Japanese people understanding English?

Although a much higher proportion of Japanese people understand English than people from English-speakering countries understand Japanese, it isn't as high as the Scandinavian countries. I wouldn't ...
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1answer
278 views

Is there an equivalent to the Flesch Kincaid test for measuring quality and understandability of speech?

I want to measure the quality of speech: is it higher level/lower level (vocabulary grammar etc.) and also the understandability of the speech, i.e. is the teacher using language above a student's ...
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3answers
348 views

Is urbanization correlated with language innovation?

In Brazil, the Portuguese dialects spoken in rural areas preserve, despite their own innovations, several features of the language that were common in the 16th century. This phenomenon is particularly ...
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121 views

What is the term for, and a list of, “continuous dialects”?

I remember reading that Portuguese and Spanish are really just extremes on a continuum of a dialects. That is, if one travels slowly from (for example) Madrid to Lisbon, one would note nothing more ...
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Reference request: ways of indicating disagreement

There are lots of ways to indicate you disagree with some aspect of an utterance. I'm thinking here of the spectrum that includes "No, not-X," "Well, not-X," "Hey, wait a minute! Not-X!" "Yes, you're ...
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262 views

Is anyone studying change in constructed language?

Is there any serious work being done on linguistic change in constructed languages (e.g. Esperanto, Interlingua, Lojban)? I would imagine it might be difficult given the small population of native ...
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73 views

Is it usual for facultative phenomenons to be socially connoted?

The sandhi phenomenon known as liaison in French bears a strong social connotation, that is to say when its realisation is facultative, it is a marker of a high social class. Are there facultative ...