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Lectured by Dr. Hasbi Sjamsir, M.Hum


Compiled by:
Mita Farani Azis (1005085019)
Puji Astuti Amalia (1005085009)
M. Yulian Eko Solehanto (1005085023)


Samarinda, June 03



INTRODUCTION .......................................................................................... 1
LITERATURE REVIEW ................................................................................ 9
DISCUSSION ................................................................................................. 16
CONCLUSION ............................................................................................... 17
REFERENCES ................................................................................................ 19



Language is the most important aspect in the life of all beings. We use language to
express inner thoughts and emotions, make sense of complex and abstract thought,
to learn to communicate with others, to fulfill our wants and needs, as well as to
establish rules and maintain our culture.
Generally the term language can be defined as verbal, physical, biologically
innate, and a basic form of communication. This kind of form actually bound as a
human system of communication that uses arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds,
gestures, or written symbols.
As the proliferation of social community, language also emerges at the first place.
To preserve the thoughts and emotions, people use language in order to
comprehend communication. Starting from simple communication between two
persons until the tremendous interaction which involving the whole society, the
role of language never forgotten at all.
The entwinement between language and society emerge the idea of language
within the society. Thus they create a theory which contributes to the proliferation
of language. Sociolinguistic is the study that covers language and society in one
place. This study investigates the relation between language and society--a branch
of both linguistics and sociology. Furthermore, sociolinguists discover several
ideas to adhere their theory about sociolinguistic. One of their discoveries is
speech community. The overview of speech community is social group which
share language variety. A Speech community is a group of people who share a
set of norms and expectations regarding the use of language.
Definitions of speech community tend to involve varying degrees of emphasis on
the following:
Shared community membership
Shared linguistic communication

Early definitions have tended to see speech communities as bounded and localized
groups of people who live together and come to share the same linguistic norms
because they belong to the same local community. It has also been assumed that
within a community a homogeneous set of norms should exist. These assumptions
have been challenged by later scholarship that have demonstrated that individuals
generally participate in various speech communities simultaneously and at
different times in their lives each of which has a different norms that they tend to
share only partially, communities may be de-localized and unbounded rather than
local, and they often comprise different sub-communities with differing speech
norms. With the recognition of the fact that speakers actively use language to
construct and manipulate social identities by signalling membership in particular
speech communities, the idea of the bounded speech community with
homogeneous speech norms has become largely abandoned for a model based on
the speech community as a fluid community of practice.
A speech community comes to share a specific set of norms for language use
through living and interacting together, and speech communities may therefore
emerge among all groups that interact frequently and share certain norms and
ideologies. Such groups can be villages, countries, political or professional
communities, communities with shared interests, hobbies, or lifestyles, or even
just groups of friends. Speech communities may share both particular sets of
vocabulary and grammatical conventions, as well as speech styles and genres, and
also norms for how and when to speak in particular ways.
History of definitions
The adoption of the concept of the "speech community" as a unit of linguistic
analysis emerged in the 1960s.
John Gumperz
John Gumperz described how dialectologists had taken issue with the dominant
approach in historical linguistics that saw linguistic communities as homogeneous
and localized entities in a way that allowed for drawing neat tree diagrams based

on the principle of 'descent with modification' and shared innovations.
Dialectologists rather realized that dialect traits spread through diffusion and that
social factors were decisive in how this happened. They also realized that traits
spread as waves from centers and that often several competing varieties would
exist in some communities. This insight prompted Gumperz to problematize the
notion of the linguistic community as the community that carries a single speech
variant, and instead to seek a definition that could encompass heterogeneity. This
could be done by focusing on the interactive aspect of language, because
interaction in speech is the path along which diffused linguistic traits travel.
Gumperz defined the community of speech:
Any human aggregate characterized by regular and frequent interaction by means
of a shared body of verbal signs and set off from similar aggregates by significant
differences in language usage.
Gumperz (1964)
This definition gives equal importance to the structural and interactional layers,
and does not aim to delineate either the community or the language system as
discrete entities. The community is a group of people that frequently interact with
each other. This is not a definition of a discrete group because frequency of
interaction is relative and graduated, and never stable. The definition of the
language system is also not exclusive because it is defined as being set off from
other systems by significant differences in usage.Furthermore Gumperz refines
the definition of the linguistic system shared by a speech community:
Regardless of the linguistic differences among them, the speech varieties
employed within a speech community form a system because they are related to a
shared set of social norms.
Gumperz (1964)
Here Gumperz again identifies two important components of the speech
community: its members share both a set of linguistics forms and a set of social
norms that govern the use of those forms. Gumperz also sought to set up a
typological framework for describing how linguistic systems can be in use within

a single speech community. He introduced the concept of linguistic range, the
degree to which the linguistic systems of the community differ so that speech
communities can be multilingual, diglossic, multidialectal
(including sociolectal stratification), or homogeneous - depending on the degree
of difference among the different language systems used in the community.
Secondly the notion of compartmentalization described the degree to which the
use of different varieties were either set off from each other as discrete systems in
interaction (e.g. diglossia where varieties correspond to specific social contexts, or
multilingualism where varieties correspond to discrete social groups within the
community) or whether they are habitually mixed in interaction (e.g. code-
switching, bilingualism, syncretic language).
Noam Chomsky
Gumperz' formulation was however effectively overshadowed by Noam
Chomsky's redefinition of the scope of linguistics as being :
concerned primarily with an ideal speaker-listener, in a completely homogeneous
speech-community, who knows its language perfectly and is unaffected by such
grammatically irrelevant conditions as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of
attention and interest, and errors (random or characteristic) in applying his
knowledge of the language in actual performance.
Chomsky (1965:3)
Where Gumperz formulation was designed to incorporate heterogeneity, by
focusing on shared norms of language use rather than a shared linguistic system,
Chomsky's definition explicitly rejected it. Chomsky argued that linguistic
competence was logically prior to linguistic performance, and that competence
was necessarily homogeneously distributed among all speakers of a linguistic
community, or language acquisition wouldn't have been possible.
William Labov
Another influential conceptualization of the linguistic community was that
of William Labov, which can be seen as a hybrid of the Chomsky an structural

homogeneity and Gumperz' focus on shared norms informing variable practices.
Labov wrote:
The speech community is not defined by any marked agreement in the use of
language elements, so much as by participation in a set of shared norms: these
norms may be observed in overt types of evaluative behavior, and by the
uniformity of abstract patterns of variation which are invariant in respect to
particular levels of usage.
Labov (1972:1201)
Like that of Gumperz, Labov's formulation stressed that a speech community was
defined more by shared norms than by shared linguistic forms. But like Chomsky,
Labov also saw each of the formally distinguished linguistic varieties within a
speech community as homogeneous, invariant and uniform. Labov's model was
designed to see speech varieties as associated with social strata within a single
speech community, and it assumed each stratum to use a single variety with an
well-defined, uniform structure. This model worked well for Labov's purpose
which was to show that African American Vernacular English could not be seen
as structurally degenerate form of English, but rather as a well defined linguistic
code with its own particular structure. Labov's model was designed to explain
variation between social groups within a single speech community, and for this
reason it assumed a structural integrity of the linguistic system of each social
group, and it also assumed each social group within the speech community to
form a neatly bounded unit definable in terms of discrete and correlatable
variables, such as ethnicity, race, class, gender, age, ideology, and specific formal
variables of linguistic usage.
Probably because of their considerable explanatory power, Labov's and
Chomsky's understandings of the speech community became widely influential
in linguistics. But gradually a number of problems with those models became


Firstly, it became increasingly clear that the assumption of homogeneity inherent
in Chomsky and Labovs models was untenable. The African American speech
community which Labov had seen as defined by the shared norms of AAVE, was
shown to be an illusion, as ideological disagreements about the status of AAVE
among different groups of speakers attracted public attention.
Secondly, in the eagerness to describe all kinds of variation in communities with a
shared linguistic standard, the concept of the speech community was extended to
include very large scale communities such as entire nation states, or the entire
international community of English speakers. By over-extending the concept in
this way Gumperz' basic requirement that the community be united by routine
interaction between its members could no longer be meaningfully evoked.
Thirdly, while Chomsky and Labov's models eschewed the possibility of
significant variation taking place at the level of the individual, research
in interactional sociolinguistics made it increasingly clear that intra-personal
variation is common. It also became clear that choice of linguistic variant is often
a situational choice made in relation to a specific speech context, than it is an
expression of a permanent social identity, such as class, gender, or age.
Finally, the models of speech communities that assumed a set of shared norms
that differed slightly among different social classes, were criticized for assuming
that each individual have equal access to all linguistic forms, but just choose to
produce the kind of speech associated with their particular social group. This
assumption did not take account of power differentials within the community that
sometimes work to restrict individual speakers' access to speech forms of other
social groups, or which impose certain linguistic varieties on certain groups and
The force of these critiques led to a general unease with the concept of "speech
communities" because of the many contradictory connotations of the term, and
because of the general turn in anthropology towards looking at social organization
in terms of hierarchy and power relations rather than studying social coherence
and the construction of shared norms. Some scholars recommended abandoning

the concept altogether as a preexisting object that can be studied instead
conceptualizing it as "the product of the communicative activities engaged in by a
given group of people. Others have proposed simply acknowledging the
community's ad hoc status as "some kind of social group whose speech
characteristics are of interest and can be described in a coherent manner".
Practice theory
Practice theory, as developed by social thinkers such as Pierre Bourdieu, Anthony
Giddens and Michel de Certeau, and especially the notion of the community of
practice as developed by Jean Lave and Etienne Wenger has been influentially
applied to the study of the language community by linguists such as William
Hanks and Penelope Eckert
Eckert's primary interest was in finding an approach to sociolinguistic variation
that didn't presuppose any social variable as a given (e.g. class, gender, locality).
Instead she aimed to build a model which was able to discover which variables are
in fact the ones that matter to the group of individuals in question, the common
purposes around which communities organize themselves. For Eckert the crucial
defining characteristics of the community is a persistence of over time and
commitment to shared understanding.
Eckert wished to focus on the subgroups and how tension between the goals and
practices of subgroups that coexisting within a macro-community dynamically
interrelate and generate social change. She acknowledges that Gumperz' definition
of the speech community is not incompatible with the practice approach, but
rather complimentary to it, and she suggests to study the two simultaneously as
they mutually affect each other. Eckert's perspective on the community of practice
privileges the study of how social identity is produced, and as such it studies
language primarily as it relates to questions of identity.
Hanks' concept of the linguistic community as defined by linguistic practices is
different from that of Eckert and Gumperz, in that rather than studying the
dynamics of identity production, it studies the ways in which shared practices

relate to the production of linguistic meaning. Where Eckert primarily studies how
communities of practice employ linguistic practices informed by shared ideologies
to demarcate themselves from other such communities, Hanks studies how
linguistic practices are related to a variety of inhabitable positions within the
different social fields that are constructed through shared practices.
Language Variation
The notion of speech community is most generally used as a tool to define a unit
of analysis within which to analyse language variation and
change. Stylistic features differ among speech communities based on factors such
as the group's socioeconomic status, common interests and the level of formality
expected within the group and by its larger society.
In Western culture, for example, employees at a law office would likely use more
formal language than a group of teenage skateboarders because most Westerners
expect more formality and professionalism from practitioners of law than from an
informal circle of adolescent friends. This special use of language by certain
professions for particular activities is known in linguistics as register; in some
analyses, the group of speakers of a register is known as a discourse community,
while the phrase "speech community" is reserved for varieties of a language or
dialect that speakers inherit by birth or adoption. The elaboration of speech
community will be then presented in this paper.



Language is defined as an aspect to bring out some thought and emotions. Not
only to reveal several thoughts and emotions, language as a system to
communicate as well. Using arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or
written symbols, language escalates its function in the society.
To emphasize the idea of language as a communication that inherent to society,
Oxford has defined the language as well. According to Oxford
page, language is a method of human communication, either spoken or written,
consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way used by a
particular country or community. But overall the idea of language is still the same,
a method in the communication which involves particular community.
This involvement encourages a theory named as sociolinguistic, a study for
evaluating language and its role in the society. To investigate more about this kind
of theory, let examine several definition of sociolinguistics according to experts.
1. P. Trudgill (1974: 32), Sociolinguistics:
"Sociolinguistics.. is that part of linguistics which is concerned with
language as a social and cultural phenomenon. It investigates the field of
language and society & has close connections with the social sciences,
especially social psychology, anthropology, human geography and
2. Wm. Downes (1984: 15), Language and Society:
"Sociolinguistics is that branch of linguistics which studies just those
properties of language and languages which REQUIRE reference to social,
including contextual, factors in their explanation."
3. Janet Holmes (1992, 16), An I ntroduction to Sociolinguistics:

"The sociolinguists aim is to move towards a theory which provides a
motivated account of the way language is used in a community, and of the
choices people make when they use language."
4. Florian Coulmas (1997), Handbook of Sociolinguistics "Introduction" (1-
The primary concern of sociolinguistic scholarship is to study
correlations between language use and social structure It attempts to
establish causal links between language and society, [asking] what language
contributes to making community possible & how communities shape their
languages by using them [It seeks] a better understanding of language as a
necessary condition and product of social life Linguistic theory is a
theory about language without human beings.
Based on those sociolinguistics definitions, vividly we can see there is a
connection between the language and the society which furthermore examine as a
speech community. Speech community is defined as a group of people who form
a community and share the same language or a particular variety of language. The
communication happens with one another, steadily hearing one anothers speech
and following the same conversation patterns/norms.
Here we divide several points regarding to the speech community.
I . Defining speech community
As the definition of speech community mentioned before, this term regulates
on how a particular community share the same language which followed by a
conversational patterns/norms. An expert named Lyons in 1970 also defined
that speech community is individuals who share the same language or dialect.
But just stick on this basic definition is not significantly strong enough to
defining the speech community as a whole. We have to consider several
categories which influence the speech community:
1. Guilty of Circularity
It is term which is used for people who use same language but they have
different conversational patterns/norm. This circumstance happens when

one community is isolated from another community. Taken an example
of an African-American and an Australian, they share same language
which is English. But the way they pronounce it is different. The cause of
the different locates on the place where they live. An African-American
originally comes from Africa meanwhile an Australian comes from
Australia. The distinctions of place which isolate them create different
way of using English.

2. Social Class Grouping
Labov (1972), an expert of sociolinguistics, discovered that whilst
selected linguistic variables were being pronounced differently by
members of the different social class groupings. When examining
different speech styles, speakers from all social class groups style-shifted
in the same way, using more variants that were non-standard when
speaking in the most informal style, and vice versa.
Therefore, whilst speakers were using language in different ways, there
was evidence of shared evaluations, with speakers from all the differing
social classes evaluating the standard language forms in the same way,
using the most prestigious forms with greater frequency in the most
formal and therefore the most self-conscious situations.
The different between the social classes emerge a consensus model of
society, whereby those lower-class speakers simply share the values of the
upper middle classes. Because there is a gap in the society, this conflict
model (Milroy and Milroy 1997b) which posits that there are distinct
divisions existing between unequal social groups in society, maintained by
language ideologies, which result in conflict.

3. Model of a speech community
The membership of different speech communities, as well as acknowledge
that speech communities may very well overlap with one another. In order
to come up with a comprehensive model of a speech community, Patrick

(2001: 591) conceptualized a concept of nesting. Santa Ana and Parodi
(1998) develop nesting, in conjunction with adapting and reworking
Labovs model. They characterize four nested fields, used to signify
points where groups of speakers are embedded with one another (1998:
23) locale, vicinity, district and national

I I . Social networks
Social networks focus on the social ties that specific speakers have with
each other, and examines how these ties affect speakers linguistic usage.
(Milroy 2001:550) We calculated the social network model by measuring its
strength, by classifying whether networks are dense or loose or uniplex
or multiplex. A network is dense if person (member) that you interact with
really interacts with each other. It is loose if person that you interact with
does not interact with each other.
It is multiplex, if the members know each other in more than one way,
example they work together, or they are family otherwise it is uniplex.
Dense and multiplex social networks tend to support localized linguistic
norms; they function as a method of norm reinforcement. Linguistic and other
social norms are maintained by these members of network. In contrast, in
loose and uniplex social network, there will be language change, lack of norm
reinforcement. Milroy and Gordon (2003) argue that migration, war,
industrialization and urbanization have caused disruption of close-knit,
localized network.

I I I . Communities of practice
There is a distinct focus on examining language as a form of practice.
Communities of practice can develop out of formal or informal enterprises.
Communities of practice can survive changes in membership, they can be
small or large, and they can come to existence and go out of existence.
Eckert (2000), a community of practice is defined simultaneously by its
membership and by the shared practices that its member partake in Eckert and

McConnel-Ginet (1999) point out that the notion of a community of practice
can also extend to more global communities, such as academic fields,
religions or professions. They point out that owing to the size and
dispersion of these global communities, face to face interactions never link
all members and their focal practices are somewhat diffuse. Wenger
(1998) expands upon the community of practice framework by producing a
set of useful criteria. He first defines three dimension of practice that need
to be fulfilled in order to make up community practice: mutual
engagement: a joint negotiated enterprise and a shared repertoire.
He then further details the concept by proposing that the following
fourteen points operate as indicators that a community of practice has
1. Sustained mutual relationships harmonious or conflictual.
2. Shared ways of engaging in doing things together.
3. The rapid flow of information and propagation of innovation.
4. Absence of introductory preambles, as if conversations and interactions
were merely the continuation of an on-going process.
5. Very quick set-up of a problem to be discussed.
6. Substantial overlap in participants descriptions of who belongs.
7. Knowing what others know, what they can do, and how they can
contribute to an enterprise.
8. Mutually defining identities.
9. The ability to assess the appropriateness of actions or products.
10. Specific tools, representations and other artifacts.
11. Local lore, shared stories, inside jokes, knowing laughter.
12. Jargon and short cuts to communication as well as the ease of producing
new ones.
13. Certain styles recognized as displaying membership.
14. A shared discourse reflecting a certain perspective on the world.
(Wenger 1998: 1256)


I V. Comparing the Framework
Overall, when comparing the three approaches, the social network and
communities of practice models immediately appear to have more in common
with each other than with the speech communities framework. Both tend to
favour qualitative methods for data collection, and the most high-profile
figures from these approaches (Milroy for social networks and Eckert for
communities of practice) have both used participant observationwhen
collecting data in their studies in Belfast and Detroit respectively. Both
frameworks also explicitly detail how membership of groups is constructed,
which the speech community model does not do even when it considers
simultaneous membership of speech communities.
Despite these differences, when considering social networks and speech
communities, there are distinct parallels between dense multiplex networks
and Saville-Troikes (2003) hard-shelled speech communities defined above,
with both categories demonstrating how high forms of integration and lack of
influence from outsiders result in an established set of stable norms.
When comparing speech communities with communities of practice, Holmes
and Meyerhoff (1999) highlight that whilst speech communities have their
membership defined externally, membership is constructed internally within
communities of practice, which also differ by stressing shared
social/instrumental goals. For example, in a workplace community of practice,
individuals regularly engage in social practices such as business meetings
(Mullany 2006). They mutually define themselves as community of practice
members when interacting in these social practices, and they simultaneously
demonstrate that they share social/ instrumental goals, reflected through
linguistic practices such as responding appropriately to the meeting agenda
when allocated a turnin a meeting. The speech communities model does not
require any mutual engagement in order to signify membership or any sharing
of social/instrumental goals, owing to its disparate nature.
Holmes and Meyerhoff (1999) point out that social networks and
communities of practice can be distinguished by considering speaker contact.

Whilst the social network approach includes people who have limited or
infrequent contact, a community of practice requires regular and mutually
defining interaction (1999: 17980). Milroy and Gordon (2003) have also
considered social networks with communities of practice, arguing that the
differences between them are primarily of focus and method. Whilst social
networks aim to discover social ties which are important to an individual,
communities of practice seek to identify the clusters that form the crucial
loci of linguistic and social practice (2003: 119).
Despite these differences, Holmes and Meyerhoff (1999: 180) suggest that a
possibility for future research may be to come up with an index of an
individuals degree of integration into a Cof P which may then be compared
with the categories that have been devised in order to measure the different
degrees of integration into social networks. This would be an interesting and
fruitful line of further enquiry which draws upon the strengths of both



Every person belongs to a speech community, a group of people who speak the
same language. Estimates of the number of speech communities range from 3,000
to 7,000 or more, with the number of speakers of a given language ranging from
many millions of speakers down to a few dozen or even fewer. The following list
probably includes (in approximate descending order) all languages spoken
natively by groups of more than 100 million people: North Chinese vernacular
(Mandarin), English, Spanish, Arabic, Hindi or Urdu, Portuguese, Bengali or
Bangla, Russian, French, Japanese, German, and Malay or Bahasa Indonesia.
Roughly 120 languages have at least a million speakers, but some 60% of the
world's languages have 10,000 or fewer speakers, and half of those have 1,000 or
fewer speakers.
Many persons speak more than one language; English is the most common
auxiliary language in the world. When people learn a second language very well,
they are said to be bilingual. They may abandon their native language entirely,
because they have moved from the place where it is spoken or because of politico-
economic and cultural pressure (as among Native Americans and speakers of the
Celtic languages in Europe). Such factors may lead to the disappearance of
languages. In the last several centuries, many languages have become extinct,
especially in the Americas; it is estimated that as many as half the world's
remaining languages could become extinct by the end of the 21st cent.
There are several speech communities in Indonesia. Those speech communities
are based on the ethnicity. They are Banjarese, Javanese, Bugis, Batak,
Minangkabau, Balinese, Sundanese, Madurese.



Britain and Matsumoto (2005) observe a general trend away from the speech
communities model towards the communities of practice model in recent years
owing to transitions in sociolinguistic theorizing. They argue that such a change
reflects the long-standing historical debate between structure and agency in
the social sciences in general. Instead of favouring a top-down approach which
focuses on social structure, as is the case with the speech communities model,
over the last forty years they observe a gradual shift towards a bottom-up model,
whereby the focus is now on specific individual identitiesbeing jointly negotiated
with one another whilst performing different practices.
Britain and Matsumoto credit this change in focus to Le Page and Tabouret-
Kellers (1985) work on individual identity (see Chapter 12). However, this top-
down/bottom-up dichotomy oversimplifies the picture somewhat. Advocates of
the communities of practice approach are quick to point out that individuals do not
have total autonomy to choose how they use language, and constraints imposed by
societal power structures which govern how language is used within specific
communities of practice are evident. For example, both Eckert (2000) and Mills
(2003) use Bourdieus (1991) notions of habitusand the linguistic marketto
demonstrate how constraints are placed on language use within communities of
Patrick (2001) makes an important practical point about sociolinguistic research in
general when he states that the legitimacy of analytical choices [. . .] depends
upon selection of the research question, in addition to the site (2001: 589). He
also reiterates a crucial point which can be applied to all three frameworks, that it
is essential for researchers to remember that speech communities (or social
networks, or communities of practice) do not already exist as predefined entities

waiting to be researched (2001: 593); instead it is essential to view them as tools
which researchers constitute themselves.
Whilst there may have been an observable move towards the communities of
practice approach, Patrick (2001) firmly argues that there is still a place for a
speech communities model in current sociolinguistic research, though he does
acknowledge that this may need to be in conjunction with social network or
communities of practice approaches. Indeed, moving away from dichotomous
thinking in order to consider more integrated community frameworks may be of
real value to the discipline in future research.