Idiolect Definition

(Realized by Stamina team)
1) The term idiolect refers to the language of an individual. It is etymologically related to the Greek
prefix idio- (meaning own, personal, private, peculiar, separate, distinct) and a back-formation of
dialect. Its specific meanings predominantly fall in two categories:
-The sum total of language of one person, including all possible utterances.
-The linguistic output of one person (i.e., only what that person says and not the internal knowledge
in the mind). For some scholars, emphasis here is on the constellation of language variation patterns,
which distinguish an individual from other speakers of the same dialect. 1
2) Idiolect, a compound from the Greek, idios, ‘one’s own,’ and lektos ‘chosen expression or word’ is
defined most generally as the language use that is characteristic of an individual speaker, which
necessarily includes all aspects of an individual’s particular speech habits, patterns, and mannerisms. 2
3) An idiolect is a homogeneous part of an individual speaker’s share of a language (a speaker’s total
share of a language, called a ‘personal variety’, is not an idiolect in this sense but is a set of idiolects).
Such an idiolect, understood as an individual (linguistic) means of communication of a person during a
certain period of time, simultaneously belongs to certain period of language, to a certain dialect,
sociolect, register, medial variety, etc.3
4) Idiolect (coined by linguist Bernard Bloch from Greek idio (personal, private) + (dia) lect) is a
variant of the language used by one person, the distinctive speech of an individual, considered as a
linguistic pattern unique among speakers of his or her language or dialect. It is expressed in specific
principles of word choice and grammatical features, as well as in words, expressions, idioms and
pronunciation, specific to a given person. Each person has his or her own idiolect. Joining of words
and sentences in speech is more unique than the use of certain specific words that nobody else uses. 4
5) Idiolect is the distinctive speech of an individual, considered as a linguistic pattern unique among
speakers of his or her language or dialect. The term idiolect, made up of the Greek idio (personal), and
(dia) lect. Because each of us belongs to different social groups, we speak a language variety made up
of a combination of features slightly different from those characteristic of another speaker of the
language. The language variety unique to a single speaker of a language is called an idiolect. ! our
idiolect includes the vocabulary appropriate to our various interests and activities, pronunciations
reflective of the region in which you live or have lived, and variables of speaking that shift subtl
depending on whom you are addressing.5
6) In linguistics, an idiolect is a variety of a language unique to an individual. It is manifested by
patterns of vocabulary or idiom selection (the Individual's lexicon), grammar, or pronunciations that
are unique to the individual. Every individual's language productions in some sense unique. Linguists

1 Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics, 2006, p: 512
2 JOSEPH W. KUHL, August 2003, THE IDIOLECT, CHAOS AND LANGUAGE CUSTOM FAR
FROM EQUILIBRIUM: CONVERSATIONS IN MOROCCO, p 4.
3 Robin Sackmann, 2008, Explorations in Integrational Linguistics, p: 4.
4 Ilona Bestiuk, Idiolect – language of an individual, 2011,
5 Made Sariyanta . Idiolect .May 28, 2015, p: 1.

Analyzing English Grammar. Univ. when family members talk to each other. linguists have been interested in idiolects. 2011. used by a particular individual. Westview. South Africa) p: 105 11 Ronald Wardhaugh.7 8) Almost all speakers make use of several idiolects. Muriel R.6 7) Because each of us belongs to different social groups. edited by Rajend Mesthrie (university of Cape Town.11 6 Speed Said. the speech characteristics and linguistic behavior of individuals. depending on the circumstances of communication. They have also maintained that.Idiolect Definition (Realized by Stamina team) disagree about exactly what is shared. and a dialect marks a person's membership in a particular group. 2007 8 Zdeněk Salzmann. or linguistic system. Klammer. in terms of the underlying knowledge of the language. 7 Thomas P. pronunciations reflective of the region in which you live or have lived. and they attempt to describe that speaker’s language using appropriate field methods.9 10) An idiolect is the total speech repertoire of a single person. Sociolinguistic Patterns. p: 153 . The language variety unique to a single speaker of a language is called an idiolect. The term dialect. Culture. is an abstraction. that is usually the approach linguists adopt in studying an exotic language: they find a speaker who is willing to serve as an informant. Schulz. 2003 9 William Labov. say. an interview with a prospective employer. p:1.10 11) Traditionally. of Pennsylvania Press. FIFTH EDITION. an idiolect is highly representative of the linguistic behavior of all the speakers of that language. among speakers of the same language. and variable styles of speaking that shift subtly depending on whom you are addressing. and Society. 1972 10 CONCISE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SOCIOLINGUISTICS. The concept of idiolect refers to a very specific phenomenon--the speech variety. Longman. Your idiolect includes the vocabulary appropriate to your various interests and activities. then. In fact. once free variation is taken into account. Idiolect. their speech habits typically differ from those any one of them would use in. 8 9) It must be noted that the very existence of the term 'idiolect' as a proper object of linguistic description represents a defeat of the Saussurian notion of langue as an object of uniform social understanding. All those idiolects that have enough in common to appear at least superficially alike belong to a dialect. For example. Jan 16. AN INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLINGUISTICS. we each speak a language variety made up of a combination of features slightly different from those characteristic of any other speaker of the language. Language. and Angela Della Volpe.