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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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13 votes
1 answer
596 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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
131 views

Are there any studies on vocabulary loss and/or simplification of "thought structures" due to multilingualism?

(I am not a linguist, so please forgive any wrong term or concept) This question comes from personal experience. I have studied in a trilingual university, so that each student knew at least three ...
1 vote
1 answer
93 views

Is there a "lingua franca" of sign languages?

I noticed at an airport a deaf person signing at check-in. This made me wonder: when abroad (in an airport, but also generally) I would spontaneously switch to English (which is not my first language) ...
4 votes
0 answers
64 views

Is there any place in the US where the Northern Cities Vowel Shift is not reversed among young speakers?

The Northern Cities Vowel Shift (NCVS) is a chain shift of vowels affecting six vowels in the Inland Northern United States during the twentieth century. This sound change progressed and spread ...
16 votes
4 answers
4k views

What explains the Icelandic language conservatism?

The Icelandic language is often used as an example of a very conservative language, compared to other Indo-European languages, in general, and to other North-Germanic languages, in particular, all of ...
3 votes
0 answers
142 views

What makes a dialect a prestige dialect?

The dialect of upper-class Brits has been considered a prestige dialect not only in the U.K., but also all over the English-speaking world. Even today, kitchen gadgets are often hawked on American T....
0 votes
0 answers
72 views

Hidden philosophy in languages?

The 'usual self-introduction' in English is 'I am [name]' or 'My name is [name].' The former indicates that someone's name is something they are, while the latter suggests that the name is a property ...
0 votes
0 answers
15 views

Metastasizing attributes of a member of a class to a class, in cognitive grammar

I would like to know if there is a theoretical analysis regarding how people cognitively process information about, and form judgments about, a class of things, based on knowledge of specific members ...
11 votes
3 answers
7k views

Are the vast majority of Ukrainians more proficient in Russian than Ukrainian?

An answer to a different question pointed out that the vast majority of search engine queries coming from Ukraine, before the invasion, seemed to be in Russian. That was despite the fact that the ...
0 votes
1 answer
37 views

Is sociolinguistics the more modern form of early anthropological linguistics?

From what I saw, sociolinguistics was founded by William Labov, who is a chemist by training, so little to see with linguistics, and by people like the German Heinz Kloss and the Swiss Louis Gauchat ...
0 votes
0 answers
36 views

Looking for a resource about internet language

I am looking for scholarly resources from the past decade (a little wiggle room there) that discuss the language which is used on the internet. Specifically, I would like this source to cover informal ...
0 votes
1 answer
307 views

What is the name of the linguistic phenomenon where speakers of the same language find one usage "strange"?

I recently started my career as a French teacher, and I'm noticing lot of my students, whose mother tongue is Persian, argue on the usage of a given sentence or idiom in their native language. For ...
3 votes
1 answer
164 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. ...
3 votes
1 answer
555 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 ...
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

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 ...
6 votes
1 answer
217 views

How do Latin American Spanish speakers acquire vosotros forms?

In travels throughout Latin America, during which I spoke Spanish learned in Spain, local people had no problem understanding my use of vosotros forms even if they lived in very isolated rural areas ...
12 votes
3 answers
7k views

What exactly is diglossia?

Any language has a formal variety, primarily (although not exclusively) used in writing, and one or more informal varieties, used in everyday speech. Yet, for some languages, like Norwegian and Arabic,...
1 vote
1 answer
77 views

Is there any way to describe how languages are typically spoken, like there is a way to describe grammar?

In English, when ordering food, you'd say "I would like x," not "Please let me purchase x," even though both are grammatically correct. You can say that "I would be liking x&...
1 vote
3 answers
120 views

Is this interview approach a good methodology for dialect fieldwork? [closed]

How do I design a language survey of a local dialect? Intro I’m a rising high school senior who has been very interested in linguistics for the past few years. I live in a mid-size U.S. city known for ...
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Are there any objective and universal criteria to identify taboo words?

I'm trying to tag taboo words in a corpus. I wonder if there are any objective and universal criteria to identify them. I know taboo words are culturally determined, but I want to be as objective as ...
2 votes
1 answer
213 views

Why did the ancient people use different languages for speaking and writing and why don't we?

Why did the ancient people use different languages for speaking and writing? For example, in my country in 10-13th centuries people used for speaking colloquial Slavic language which evolved into ...
-2 votes
1 answer
79 views

Technical term for words that are almost completely pejorated

My question is to some extent similar to this one. Unlike the infamous n-word, the word Negro was originally not so objectionable as it is nowadays, but nowadays it is considered acceptable only in ...
0 votes
1 answer
118 views

Technical term for terms never used naturally by native speakers?

Apparently, there are some terms that are never used naturally by native speakers. They may only appear under extremely peculiar circumstances (e.g. in some translations of foreign-language texts). A ...
34 votes
10 answers
8k 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 ...
7 votes
1 answer
321 views

Sociolinguistics of pre-handover Hong Kong cinema and dialogue in non-Cantonese Chinese “dialects”

I have always heard that mutual intelligibility between the Sinitic languages of China is low. However, I am confused by the sociolinguistics of Hong Kong cinema in 1980s and 1990s. Films from that ...
1 vote
1 answer
157 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
66 views

Paralinguistic features

If pragmatics deal with how the extralinguistic environment affects the interpratation of an utterance, which branch of linguistics deals with how the paralinguistic environment affects the ...
3 votes
1 answer
91 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
116 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 ...
4 votes
2 answers
254 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
151 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 ...
-1 votes
1 answer
74 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
149 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 ...
4 votes
1 answer
273 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 ...
4 votes
6 answers
4k views

Are there any loanwords between Turkish and Armenian?

In the Ottoman Empire, both Turks and Armenians shared common social and cultural domains, but are there any loanwords in either language from either side - i.e. Turkish loanwords in Armenian or ...
-1 votes
1 answer
73 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 $...
2 votes
1 answer
114 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/...
3 votes
2 answers
161 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
83 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
339 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
92 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 ...
-2 votes
1 answer
147 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
66 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, ...
2 votes
0 answers
463 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 ...
0 votes
0 answers
90 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." ...
0 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
2 votes
1 answer
81 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 ...
1 vote
0 answers
33 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
226 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: ...
0 votes
0 answers
70 views

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

Are there any languages words for a "childless wife" and "childless husband"?