Questions tagged [sociolinguistics]

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

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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 ...
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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 $...
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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 ...
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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/...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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." ...
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1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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!
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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: ...
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Languages with words for "childless wife" or "childless husband"?

Are there any languages words for a "childless wife" and "childless husband"?
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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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 ? ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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).
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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 ...
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2 votes
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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, ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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, ...
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9 answers
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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?
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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 ...
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4 votes
1 answer
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Difference between dialect levelling and pidgin formation?

So dialect levelling is, in which the speech of a group of people converges towards a common norm, with extreme differences being ironed out. While pidgin is a grammatically simplified means of ...
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How have dialectology surveys changed over the years?

*Apologies for any ill terminology I may use, I'm pretty new to the field I've been working on the transition of dialectology surveys from the traditional methods to the modern ones, now that we not ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Is there a tendency to name money after other things?

Back in Spanish.StackExchange there was a question about the use of the word plata (literally "silver") in American dialects of Spanish instead of the proper word, dinero. European Spanish also avoids ...
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Reference request on sociolinguistical matters [closed]

I am not linguist, but I am looking for reference on the following matter: 1. Social function of language and relation of the function with other functions of language. 2. Variability of language on ...
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Sociolinguistics/Psycholinguistics: Does imitation play any role in child language acquisition?

Sociolinguistics and Psycholinguistics: Does imitation play any role in child language acquisition?
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