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Q.2 Write short notes on the given topics.

The notes must include relevant

Distinguish between standard language and dialect.
ii. Distinguish between dialect and idiolect.
iii. Distinguish between pidgin and Creole
iv. What is an isogloss?
The term dialect (from the ancient Greek word dilektos, "discourse", from di,
"through" and leg, "I speak"). A variety of a language that is distinguished from other
varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use
by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially. OR
Standard Lanuage
A standard language is a language diversity used by a group of people in their conversation.
Difference between Language and a Dialect
A language is a well developed form of communication that is shared by members of a particular
group, whereas a dialect is a form of variation that occurs within that language based on several
One reason variation occurs is because of geographical proximity. For example, a people settled
on two banks of a large river. Prior to their settlement, they spoke the same dialect of the same
language. However, many years later, since they failed to cross over to interact with each other,
their language experienced independent growth on both banks of the river and ultimately formed
two different dialects [of the same language]. When the people finally crossed over to interact for
the first time, they noticed that they understood most of each other's speech.
Another way a dialect can be formed is by external influence. For example, a people (who speak
a singular dialect of the same language) settled in a valley and were bordered by another people
(who speak a totally different language) to their north. Those people who bordered these strange
people began interacting with them, while their counterparts to the south didn't. Over a series of
years, the northern half of the people started speaking differently from the southerners (although
they still spoke the same language). The southern people then realized that they could only
understand bits of the speech of their northern counterparts. This signals the development of a
new dialect within their language.

What is Sociolinguistics? Explain in detail its continuum as a subject of

Sociolinguistic is essentially a study of language used in society. Certainly, language is a very

significant and unique feature of the culture of any society since it gives clear indication as to
how people behave. The relationship between a language and its users is both complicated and
informative. Society shapes and colours language. A society is represented by its language.
Language in various forms and uses is the prime concern of the sociolinguistics. They study
society to get better view and understanding of the language- to be better informed about the
diverse linguistic choices that speakers have to make.
Sociolinguists argue that language exists in context, dependent on the speaker who is using it
and dependent on where it is being used and why. Speakers mark their personal history
and identity in their speech as well as their sociocultural, economic and geographical
coordinates in time and space. So taking a broad approach to the subject of
sociolinguistics would mean to include in it everything: from considering 'who speaks', what
language, to whom, and when and to what end, i.e. the social distribution of linguistic
items, to considering how a linguistic variable might relate to the formulation of a specific
grammatical rule in a particular language or dialect and, finally, to the processes through which
languages change. (Wardhaugh 1992) It is important to recognize that much of the interest in
sociolinguistics has come from people who have a practical concern for language, rather than a
desire simply to understand better how languages work. In particular it became possible in
the US in the 1960s & 1970s to fund relatively large scale research projects connected with
the speech of underprivileged groups, on the ground that the findings would make possible a
more satisfactory educational policy.
Relationship between language and society
There is a variety of possible relationships between language and society.


structure may either

structure such as
speak differently
children and, in

influence and
from other

from mature adults. Variety of language may also reflect regional, social or ethnic origin and
possibly even gender of people.
b) A second possible relationship is directly opposed to the first: linguistic structure and/or
behaviour may either influence or determine social structure. (The Whorfian hypothesis e.g. Bernstein claims that languages rather than speakers of these languages can be 'sexist').
c) There is another view which states that there is no relationship at all between linguistic structure
and social structure and that each is independent of the other. And it is thought that linguistics
differs from sociolinguistics in taking account only of the structure of language to the exclusion
of the social contexts in which it is learnt and used.
d) The fourth one is that the influence is bi-directional: language and society may influence each
other. This influence is considered to be dialectical in nature, i.e. that speech behaviour and
social behaviour are in a state of constant interaction' and that 'material living conditions'
are an important factor in the relationship (Dittmar 1976).
In fact, there are different ways that society can impinge on language which makes the field
of sociolinguistic reference extremely broad. Studies of the various ways in which social
structure and linguistic structure come together include personal, stylistic, social,
sociocultural and sociological aspects. But sociolinguistics should not be viewed as a
mechanical amalgamation of standard linguistics and standard sociology. Del Hymes has
pointed out that specific points of connection between language and society must be
discovered , and these must be related within theories that throw light on how linguistic and
social structures interact. Or, as Gumperz (1971) has observed, sociolinguistics is an attempt to
find correlations between social structure and linguistic structure and to observe any changes

that occur. Social structure itself may be measured by reference to such factors as social class
and educational background; we can then attempt to relate verbal behaviour and performance to
these factors.
The scope of sociolinguistic research is extremely broad. To sum up, we can say that linguistics,
sociology and sociolinguistics are complementary. The teacher of any foreign language needs to
have both a knowledge if the formal systems of that language (its grammar, vocabulary and
pronunciation) and an understanding of the social norms that govern appropriate choices of such

Discuss the importance of the term bilingualism and multilingualism in the field of
Sociolinguistics. Write their definitions, differences, similarities and their importance with special
reference to Pakistani society.

What do you understand by language variation? Is there any variation present in English
language? If yes, then please mention the variation with examples.

Variation in language use among speakers or groups of speakers is a notable criterion or change
that may occur in pronunciation (accent), word choice (lexicon), or even preferences for
particular grammatical patterns. Variation is a principal concern in sociolinguistics.
Studies of language variation and its correlation with sociological categories, such as William
Labov's 1963 paper "The social motivation of a sound change," led to the foundation of
sociolinguistics as a subfield of linguistics. Although contemporary sociolinguistics includes
other topics, language variation and change remains an important issue at the heart of the field.