I'm sure this question has an extremely simple answer, but I'm comparing the dialects from two movies, one being a typical Hollywood movie, and one being a documentary. I am listing any linguistic difference from Standard English into their categories so that I can compare the two.

Currently I'm focusing on differences in Phonetics, Syntax and Vocabulary. However, I noticed that one of the dialects uses informal contractions (whaddya, whatcha, ain't, oughta, outta) very frequently and was wondering what category they would fit into.

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    Whatever category their unabbreviated counterparts have.
    – Greg Lee
    May 6, 2020 at 20:19

2 Answers 2


The linguistics concept that best matches what you are interested in is "register", within the field of sociolinguistics.


"Sociolinguistics" is the field of looking at how language is used in a social context - including the sorts of word choices you seem to be interested in.

  • Right, but I'm using sociolinguistics to compare the two dialects in a broader sense. I'm looking for the specific category that an informal contraction falls in so that I can put them in a table. Difference in rhoticity or pronunciation of vowels would go in the phonetics table, frequent use of the word "broad" to refer to a woman would go in the vocabulary table etc. May 6, 2020 at 17:32
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    Of your categories, that would probably go in "vocabulary" May 6, 2020 at 19:27
  • Yes, they're chunks of sedimentary language. Vocabulary is as good a term as anything. Unless you want to put sand and pebbles in different bins.
    – jlawler
    May 7, 2020 at 20:30

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