Questions tagged [sociolinguistics]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
2 votes
0 answers
68 views

Why did older languages lose the informal "you" if modern languages are losing the formal "you"?

English and (I believe) Brazilian Portuguese have to varying degrees lost T-V distinction via adoption of the formal second-person pronoun for both formal and informal situations. English completely ...
3 votes
1 answer
101 views

Estimating the greatest number of languages that have existed simultaneously [duplicate]

Currently, the number of languages is estimated to be between 6500 and 7000. 500 years ago, this number was higher because European colonization wiped out many languages in America, Oceania and ...
  • 431
32 votes
10 answers
7k views

Is pronouncing loanwords according to their "native" pronunciation stigmatised across most cultures and languages?

This old CollegeHumor sketch highlights an interesting phenomenon: it's often frowned upon or disapproved of, at least in the US and England, to pronounce a loanword according to the phonetics of the ...
  • 1,243
-1 votes
1 answer
65 views

Could anyone destroy human spoken, and written language? [closed]

I believe that there are or have been people/systems who believe in eradicating one specific language or sets of languages through suppression of its usage and removal of native speakers from their ...
1 vote
0 answers
69 views

Why do women's forms of address and honorifics vary more than men's forms of address and honorifics?

What I mean is in English, the form of address used for men we are not familiar with is "sir", whatever their age (technically, "master" is sometimes used for males under 25 years ...
3 votes
0 answers
57 views

How much (or little) will living in solitude affect the language ability of a grown up?

For example, is the fictional case of Robinson Crusoe realistic? He's still able to speak after being alone on an island for more than twenty years. I read that people would lose their ability to ...
  • 159
-1 votes
1 answer
53 views

Are there examples of orthogonal linguistic variables (ling-vars)?

Many ling-vars seemingly (to me, at least) are not: race gender (certainly NOT binary but countable) education level (HS, college, grad school) 1st language income level (e.g.,above, between, below $...
's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
127 views

How to identify politeness strategies?

I'm working on a project and I need to learn how to recognize politeness strategies based on Brown and Levinsons' theory. Even though I've read the theory and many different examples I still have ...
  • 9
2 votes
1 answer
106 views

Differences in referring to people's houses in different languages

In my mother tongue Armenian it is customary to refer to people's houses with a plural noun in the genitive case, e.g. Armenenc‘ tun ‘Armen's [and his family's] house/home’ (literally ‘Armens' house/...
  • 121
1 vote
0 answers
43 views

Do different Akan varities (Asante, Bono, Fante) in Ghana still have separate written standards in use in the current education system and media?

There are four varieties of Akan that have at some point been developed as distinct written standards: Asante, Akuapem, Bono and Fante. However schools today in all the Akan-speaking regions seem to ...
2 votes
1 answer
98 views

How common is Teke as a written language in Gabon and what variety is usually the basis of the written language?

In many instances of Gabonese media, "Teke" seems to be regarded as a single language, however there are several varieties that are distinct enough to be considered as separate languages. ...
0 votes
1 answer
199 views

Why is the intransitive form of "obtain" so common in academic writing and so uncommon elsewhere? [closed]

There's a low-frequency use of "obtain" that's intransitive, and means something like "occur" or "hold true." Merriam Webster says: intransitive verb 1: to be generally ...
  • 249
0 votes
0 answers
73 views

What is it called when an argumentative yes-or-no question has different meanings depending on the answer?

I'm wondering if there's a word for this specific type of informal fallacy. An example of such a question is "Do black lives matter?", where the questioner specifies the literalness of the ...
  • 101
-2 votes
1 answer
98 views

language varieties that are languages

Language varieties Any set of linguistic forms which patterns according to social factors: i.e. used under specific social circumstances. The term includes different accents, different linguistic ...
1 vote
0 answers
49 views

Is there an instrument for measuring language vitality?

I currently am doing an anthropological research in a community where two languages are spoken. A community language X, which is the language historically spoken by the ancestors of that community, ...
  • 141
2 votes
0 answers
222 views

diglossia vs. register

How does Diglossia differ from Register? This author never defines or mentions "register", nor this Bristol University website on British Sign Language or Reddit. 2.3 Diglossia Diglossia ...
's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
113 views

What is the name of the view that language is that which is used by people?

Some people believe that language should be managed or engineered. That is to say, new words should be created, wrong usages should be rectified, etc. On the contrary, some others believe that a ...
  • 111
0 votes
0 answers
50 views

Analysing the data from the study on Jocks and Burnouts by Eckert

I have a question for those who are familiar with the study by Eckert. I got stuck trying to analyze the table (the screenshot is attached). Do you know what "Input" and "Sig." ...
2 votes
1 answer
74 views

Is there a linguistic term for apologetic prefacing?

I was editing a question on Stack Overflow. Like so many questions it started with an apologetic or diminishing preface: I am genuinely sorry if this is seen as simple but I am new to coding in ...
  • 123
3 votes
2 answers
154 views

Is there any academic research on what kind of speech makes the speaker sound smart?

In other words, what kind of language-use (independent of content) makes the audience think more highly of the speaker’s qualifications and intellect? I am aware that the answer will heavily depend on ...
  • 587
1 vote
0 answers
30 views

Can someone suggest resources to slang and particularly queer/ LGBTQ slang?

I am working on a paper on queer communication and I need resources for sociolinguistic studies on slang and queer/ LGBTQ slang. Thanks!
0 votes
1 answer
65 views

What evidence does Tannen offer for the rapport-/report-talk distinction?

Regarding gender differences in conversation style, Tannen draws bold conclusions which seem to get at what men and women want out of conversation, how they approach the world, and so on. For example: ...
  • 186
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

Languages with words for "childless wife" or "childless husband"?

Are there any languages words for a "childless wife" and "childless husband"?
  • 317
0 votes
1 answer
1k views

What is an example of a speech repertoire?

From what I read, a speech repertoire is defined as a set of varieties controlled and used by an individual, including varieties associated with their region and social class but also with the ...
0 votes
0 answers
23 views

Theoretical framework of comparing linguistic landscapes of an urban and a rural location

I am working on a thesis and I chose a topic about comparing linguistic landscapes of two locations. One is urban with international community and relatively economically privileged class of the ...
5 votes
0 answers
57 views

Have there been any reconstructive efforts of proto-languages, where aspects of historic culture have been inferred for languages other than PIE?

I'm not sure if this is the right SE to ask this question (possibly History SE?), but here goes! Similar to the source material for this video, have there been any efforts to infer aspects of culture ...
0 votes
0 answers
81 views

Adoption of another language by a community

I am interested in conditions under which a community adopts (or does not adopt) another language, even though this community is sufficiently isolated to be able to continue the use of its previous ...
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Is the variable involved in a linguistic change from above necessarily a 'stereotype'?

William Labov's (1971) concept of the 'stereotype' is that of a dialectal variable which has attracted sufficient attention to be the subject of overt comment or metapragmatic discussion. Such ...
  • 31
7 votes
1 answer
194 views

Why are sound changes regular?

Say, there is a word that used to be pronounced [ten] but gradually shifted to [tin]. I get it. There is always variety in how people pronounce words. Throw in some population dynamics, and the median ...
  • 111
2 votes
1 answer
125 views

Why is direct affix borrowing generally thought to be impossible?

F. Seifart (Seifart, 2015) says: "a widespread assumption in the language contact literature is that affixes are never borrowed directly, but only indirectly, that is, as part of complex ...
  • 79
0 votes
0 answers
52 views

Languages with words for human relationships based on the marital status of the persons related?

What languages, if any, have generic words for describing the following human relationships: Relation of: Unmarried man Married man Unmarried woman Married woman To: Unmarried man ? ...
  • 317
-4 votes
1 answer
188 views

Why is there pressure to change seemingly neutral words that some consider 'offensive' to their more 'neutral' synonyms?

Clearly, there is now pressure to stop using words such as whitelist/blacklist (which are now considered racist) and instead replace them with allowlist/denylist; master/slave terminology in tech is ...
  • 197
4 votes
1 answer
244 views

Do Native Americans' names mean the same to Native Americans as to English (or other languages) speakers?

I was researching on the topic of representation of ethnic minorities in the dominant ethnic group's media, when this question came up. What I'm trying know more is whether and to what extent ...
  • 141
0 votes
1 answer
301 views

Is language change universal, ongoing, and arbitrary?

Learning that arbitrariness from Saussure means there is no logical connection between the sound of morpheme and its meaning. But can we brain storm about this topic a little bit? When it comes to ...
3 votes
2 answers
52 views

Population models in language formation

In the same way that there are population models in epidemiology, for example the spread of diseases, is there anything equivalent in linguistics to model the dynamics of language formation? These ...
-2 votes
1 answer
929 views

What's the right phonetic transcription of the word man?

Is it [mɛən] or [mæən] ? I've seen both of them in some videos; however, I'm not really sure Which one of them truly represents the sound (with the æ raising).
1 vote
1 answer
96 views

Slang, colloquial use, informal speech, etc [closed]

Background The question is motivated by this post in the Russian forum, where the answers repeatedly refer to verb пересечёмся as "young people's slang" or "teenage slang". (пересечёмся = "we'll cross ...
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Difference between sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics?

What is the difference between sociolinguistics and anthropological linguistics? Is there more to it than the research methods (sociolinguistics being more survey and statistics focused, ...
  • 33
5 votes
0 answers
85 views

What is the historical-linguistic origin of the high variety of the Burmese language?

In Myanmar (Burma), a state of diglossia exists. How did the high (formal) variety originate historically? Did it use to have native speakers at some point in the historical development of the ...
  • 51
1 vote
0 answers
165 views

How could Proto-Indo-European not get dissolved into creoles during the Indo-European expansion?

First of all, I must say that I realise that this is not exactly a linguistics question so much as it is an anthropological, sociological, or historical question, but I suspect this might be the best ...
  • 316
3 votes
1 answer
306 views

Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and Gender Identity: Empirical Studies?

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states, briefly put, that linguistic structures affect cognitive processes. I am interested in finding out how much is known about the development of gender identity from ...
  • 624
-1 votes
3 answers
345 views

why is syntax interesting? [closed]

I hear a lot the argument that "language is just a way of communication, therefore it is not "really" interesting to waste the time on studying aspects such as syntax, rather the truly interesting ...
  • 7
0 votes
3 answers
83 views

Is there a specific name for the area of linguistics studying external constructs as encoded/embedded in languages?

I've recently become curious about this area of language/linguistics. I'm thinking about how mental, environmental and societal constructs are encoded within languages. Also about what a language ...
  • 127
4 votes
0 answers
60 views

Can the shift in grammatical usage of "an X-ese [person]" be explained linguistically?

While reading An Introduction to Information Theory by John R. Pierce, I was distracted by a linguistic artifact (on page 251 of the second edition): We can tell our friends apart, […] but we find ...
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
187 views

Have pronoun introductions spread to non-English-speaking communities/languages?

There seem to be two forms of these pronoun introductions, intended to promote transfeminism, one voluntary/declarative and one interrogative: For an example of a voluntary/declarative one: Kamala ...
  • 175
3 votes
1 answer
408 views

What Languages have historically had Purification Movements? [closed]

Greek has been notorious for trying to purify the language. People tried to conserve the Attic Dialect which evolved to what is today called Katharevousa, which even means purified. Historically, ...
22 votes
9 answers
6k views

Do any languages mark social distinctions other than gender and status?

Many languages have pronouns that reflect gender, and some have pronouns that reflect relative social hierarchy or formality. (To pick an example I actually know, in Dutch the second person singular ...
  • 321
3 votes
0 answers
73 views

Which are the social differences which lead to the variance in the way to address a person?

My question is: Which are the social differences which lead to the variance in the way to address a person? An example of the difference is T-V distinction some languages abolished it while others ...
1 vote
0 answers
36 views

What is 'Category Affiliation' in sociolinguistics?

I came across this term in a paper talking about the first wave and second wave studies. Anyone know what it means?
  • 173
2 votes
0 answers
61 views

How do people pick an abbreviation for a technical term?

Today I heard “regex,” short for “regular expression,” out loud for the first time with a /dʒ/ instead of a /g/ as I had always guessed. I felt the same experience when I first heard the abbreviation ...
's user avatar