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Questions tagged [sociolinguistics]

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

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The use of upper case

Can the use of upper case be considered a graphological feature? And therefore be suitable for inclusion in an analysis? A newspaper article has to be analysed. In its first sentence, it presents some ...
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1answer
48 views

Is author profiling based on gender possible for English?

I was recently told by a friend who works in IT that certain neural networks can be trained to predict the age and gender of authors from anonymous texts written by them (cf. arXiv:1707.03764). The ...
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Are there languages with no euphemisms?

I feel that euphemisms are a function of how society views certain aspects of life and feels that they should not be talked about directly. So are there languages with no euphemisms?
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124 views

Charles Hockett - 'F' article?

In the Guardian, there is an article on cultural determinants of phonological feature choice. A recent article in Science supposedly supports the hypothesis that the existence of labiodental ...
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2answers
72 views

Phonological changes and how they spread

An important part of language change is surely phonological variation. I'd assume that phonological changes happen involuntarily, driven mainly by articulatory mechanisms, and then slowly spread to ...
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106 views

Is linguistic change pushed by humor?

Through "meme culture," young people are inventing all sorts of new linguistic constructions purely because they think they sound funny. The interesting thing is that these jokes don't end at a ...
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2answers
143 views

Rejecting writing down a language for various reasons

I remembered reading somewhere about a language that its speakers believe the written words are sacred (or some other reasons) they chose to refrain from putting spoken words into written forms even ...
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1answer
52 views

Plural form as respect form - based on what?

Many languages use the plural as respected mood for a singular (even English use "you" which is basically a plural form of thu). Now my question is: based on what those who started to speak in ...
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1answer
71 views

Can sociolinguistic research contribute in solving L2 learning problem? [closed]

I want to write my thesis sociolinguistically about a new linguistic phenomenon, but the main contribution to my study is to solve speaking anxiety.. my thesis will include a question, after ...
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33 views

Conversational Storytelling Techniques

Pardon my ignorance, but I have a specific demand, if you may help me. I am a higher studies student, working on my thesis, which is "Conversational Storytelling techniques used by graduates". I ...
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2answers
115 views

Triggering emotions with language

Emotional responses to certain words is often argued to be a result of nurture(acquired through development), while emotional responses to Tone is largely attributable to nature(born with). Shouldn't ...
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120 views

In “internet Linguistics” theory, does David Crystal include sociolinguistic patterns as affecting language changes?

I'm going to discuss language changes among social sites. I'm using internet linguistics as a theoretical framework, but one of my questions related to social aspect-gender... internet linguistics ...
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1answer
575 views

Difference between sociolinguistics and pragmatics

I have been doing some intense research on sociolinguistics and pragmatics and am becoming more and more confused as to what the distinction between them is. If someone could describe both concepts ...
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At what point does a language become its descendant?

With the possible exceptions of constructed languages, languages seem to evolve. As a real-world example, we note that Latin has evolved into Italian, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Romanian, etc. What ...
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170 views

Sociolinguistics and slang [closed]

if slang is part of sociolinguistics, can you give me some explanations about why slang is part of sociolinguistics? what is the relation between slang and sociolinguistics? Thank you
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Why did the pronunciation of the rhotic phoneme /r/ change after the 2ndWW in public speech?

For example why did radio presenters roll the r on the BBC before the war and not after? Why did Brecht roll the r extensively? Why did Hitler roll the r extensively? My perspective is from the ...
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23 views

How to determine word frequency based on demographic? (Does a public library of word frequencies exist by demographic)

I'm not sure "sign post" questions are appropriate however that is what this is. I am looking for a tool, a means of answering questions such as "Word X is used more by demographic Y than demographic ...
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68 views

Is accent prejudice well-established in film/television hubs other than Hollywood?

In US films and television, characters with a British accent are typically smart. Characters with a deep south accent are typically foolish or uneducated. And characters with a Scottish accent are ...
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3answers
205 views

Is there a natural language that doesn’t use an action verb to describe death?

English uses “activity” verbs such as the verb “to be” to describe that a person is dead, as in “He is dead,” or “He died.” Is there a language that doesn’t do this? I know that some languages have ...
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2answers
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How does ghetto talk work in tonal languages?

Among historically low income/education groups in the US and in my native Mexico City, "ghetto talk" is heavy on the use of pitch to convey meaning. I've always attributed this to people compensating ...
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60 views

Where can I find the HISTORICAL data on the total no of speakers of a language?

E.g. in total, how many people around the world spoke Spanish and French respectively in the 18th century? Well, I know the data on most languages are scanty. So no, I'm focusing on major world ...
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1answer
73 views

What is the linguistic cause of the formation of “competete” a wrong variant of “compete”?

Competete a variant of Compete used in colloquial speech, but is written with the same spelling as the latter, has come into use (at the least) in Indian English variants if in no other English ...
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72 views

Terminology for masculine vs. feminine speech/language styles

I'm looking for terminology to describe voices/speech/language patterns in a dataset in a publication based on whether they seem to the linguistically-educated transcriber to be "masculine", "feminine"...
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32 views

How do I report the distribution of a variant among genders?

Just a quick question as I'm slightly confused If I want to report the use of e.g. [t] among males and females, in a graph, would the percentages be worked out as follows: males/ all tokens ...
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1answer
223 views

Why would sociolinguists want to study perceptual dialectology?

In other words, how would understanding non-linguists' (or the folks') beliefs about and attitudes towards language help us understand dialect diversity?
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2answers
168 views

Educating people in their mother tongue

Not all nations provide education in the national tongue. In India, being educated in English is generally preferred. I am looking for any study with details about the situations in different ...
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1answer
2k views

Definitions of extra-linguistic, internal and external change?

I am new to linguistics, and have just started reading about sociolinguistics. I'm interested in language change and motivations for it. There are three terms that I have come across, but am ...
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Is this what English/Mandarin Chinese or other 21st century dominant langauges would eventually do too? (details below)(yup that's opinion based) [closed]

Umbrians, for example, continued to make inscriptions in their language for centuries after Roman annexation. But eventually the power and status of Latin prevailed, particularly after all residents ...
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233 views

Do languages tend to lose the distinction between formal and informal language?

It would make sense to me that, as the social differences decline due to the progresing demographic transition, the societies would tend to loose the the distinction between formal and informal ...
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1answer
134 views

Are there tribes speaking Indonesian?

I'm learning Indonesian and I was telling myself it's great for an anthropologist to be able to aproach so many aboriginal languages in the group. Though, I'm not really sure if this could be a real ...
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2answers
149 views

Why is “intrusive r” not stigmatized like other “mispronunciations”?

Why is it that dropping h's pronouncing (th) as (f), or using a flapped intervolic t/d are taken as signs of poor education, when it's, objectively, just as orthographically wrong?
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1answer
268 views

The current status of Irish Gaelic in Ireland

In addition to all the usual phonology, grammar, and vocabulary one has to learn for a new language there is the social situation, among many things when is it appropriate to speak in one register or ...
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2answers
148 views

Is there a general term for certain words or phrases that are socially acceptable for some groups to say, but not others?

There are some words or phrases that are socially acceptable for some groups to say, but not others. A famous example in American culture is the N-word, which is acceptable for blacks to say, but not ...
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Term for universally-used quote with additional, non-compositional meaning

There exist certain fixed expressions which people use to convey quite specific meanings and (at least to me) always invoke a famous saying which is assumed to be common knowledge, such as I am not a ...
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4answers
171 views

Interesting exemplary cases where natural/political boundaries have led to language divergence

I'm looking for nice examples of the influence of natural or political boundaries to dialect divergence for introductory purposes. Generally through some limitations on the ability of people to ...
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2answers
121 views

Can framing lang acquisition as nature vs nurture be harmful? [closed]

I'm taking a class in language acquisition called "Nature vs Nurture". I'm not particularly fond of that framing, because the divide seems overly dichotomous. In addition, the N-vs-N debate has been ...
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3answers
267 views

How would a trained linguist describe this hypothesis of Symbolic Leverage

Context Two economics students are attempting to describe a concept of language, but do not know of any formally-recognized terms or research that explain this concept. They believe there is an ...
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0answers
83 views

Question about Michael Silverstein and Linguistics Ideology

I'm trying to understand Silverstein approach to ideological change. To my understanding he claims speakers are aware of the social and power relations reflected in the language usage and structure, ...
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2answers
402 views

Why do we need erudite langage?

I am not a native English speaker and thus, am not sure whether 'erudite language' is putting it right. Yesterday, a friend of mine stated that he thinks that lots of people, including himself, do ...
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1answer
1k views

Overt prestige and covert prestige vs convergence and divergence

Hi I've been reading a lot about overt and covert prestige from Labov's experiments in the department stores and convergence and divergence from Howard Giles' Communication Accommodation Theory and ...
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1answer
284 views

What are the differences between theoretical perspectives of the uses of the term “register”?

I'd be interested in asking people about their understanding of the term register and what this signifies for them. This would be a discussion about a specialised term and I'm sure there are multiple ...
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0answers
172 views

Saying words aloud to confirm/disprove accuracy of written language

I had a really interesting thought the other day: Is oral language dominant/superior in some way to written language? I bring this up because every time I need to correct or edit my written words (I ...
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5answers
966 views

Is honorific “uncle” common across the languages of the world?

In Russian and English (and as far as I know Chinese) it's customary for kids to use honorific "uncle" when addressing elders by name (as a kid, you'd rather call an adult "uncle John" than "John", ...
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1answer
256 views

Sociolinguistics VS Rhetoric

Can anyone tell me major differences between rhetoric and sociolinguistics? And what theoretical commonalities they share? I'm a rhetoric student, and I'm looking to go to grad school, but I'm not ...
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175 views

How does the use of slang words / language among young people affect their relationship with older generation? [closed]

I'm doing a research for my sociolinguistics class. Do you think this is a good topic?
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2answers
249 views

language distinctions based on gender (sex) of “speaker”

UPDATED BELOW In portuguese women say obrigada and men say obrigado In thai women say sawadee ka and men say sawadee krap Is there a linguistic term for these gender based distinctions? How ...
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1answer
75 views

“Dexenoethnic exonyms”: typological studies, references and/or resources?

By "dexenoethnic exonym" (my own coinage for the purpose of this particular question) I mean an ethnonym/glottonym derived from a name originally applied to a (language of a) different ethnic group, ...
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0answers
43 views

Theories/Models to explain the language evolution? [closed]

I'd like to read about the language evolution and the models related to it such as the Schneider's Model. Any help? :)
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1answer
144 views

Is language is more about “intent” rather than a great tool for communication? [closed]

Do you think it's fair to say Language is more about "intent" rather than a great tool for communication? I wonder if it is a limitation of language in some way, that its so easy to miscommunicate ...
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189 views

Help us save a dying language with only 1 speaker left! [closed]

It's difficult to do this single-handedly, so I could use some professional help. :) I'm a professor of Ancient Egyptian (and cosmology as well, which means I'm a perfect target for conspiracy ...