Questions tagged [sociolinguistics]

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

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1answer
54 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 ...
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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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139 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 ...
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2answers
40 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 ...
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112 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).
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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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1answer
138 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, ...
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59 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 ...
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102 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 ...
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What is the meaning of “metaphorical sliding”

Can anyone please give a definition for a "metaphorical sliding"? I have problem understanding the "sliding" part. What exactly happens to this metaphor?
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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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164 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 ...
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217 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, ...
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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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60 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 ...
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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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1answer
107 views

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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42 views

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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1answer
135 views

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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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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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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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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87 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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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
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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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3answers
423 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
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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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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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203 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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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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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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27 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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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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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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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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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
119 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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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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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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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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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 ...