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Name : Hendra

Subject : Sociolinguistics

Sociolinguistics
I. Introduction

1.1 Sociolinguistics

1.1.1 A description

What’s a sociolinguistics?

It is the study of language in relation to society. Sociolinguistics is considered as a young


discipline, since most of its growth took place in the late 1960s and in the early 1970s.
Nevertheless, this study has taken a long tradition in the study of dialects and in the general study
of the relation between word-meaning and culture. What is new is the widespread interest in
sociolinguistics and the realization that it can throw much light both on the nature of language
and on the nature of society.

Sociolinguistics is a term including the aspects of linguistics applied toward the


connections between language and society, and the way we use it in different social situations. It
ranges from the study of the wide variety of dialects across a given region down to the analysis
between the way men and women speak to one another. Sociolinguistics often shows us the
humorous realities of human speech and how a dialect of a given language can often describe the
age, sex, and social class of the speaker; it codes the social function of a language.
When two people speak with one another, there is always something more than just
conveying a message. The language used by the participants is always influenced by a number
of social factors which define the relationship between the participants. Consider, for example, a
professor making a simple request of a student to close a classroom door to shut off the noise
from the corridor. There are a number of ways this request can be made:

a. Politely, in a moderate tone "Could you please close the door?"


b. In a confused manner while shaking his/her head "Why aren't you shutting the door?"
c. Shouting and pointing, "SHUT THE DOOR!"

(http://logos.uoregon.edu/explore/socioling/index.html)
What’s a dialect?

Any variety of a language characterized by systematic differences in pronunciation,


grammar, and vocabulary from other varieties of the same language is called a dialect. For
example, petrol (American English), gasoline (British English).
(http://www.sfs.uni-tuebingen.de/~dm/04/spring/201/socio.pdf)

Who are interested in sociolinguistics study?

Most of the people who are interested in sociolinguistics study have come from people
such as educationalists, who have a practical concern for language, rather than a desire simply to
understand better how this small area of the universe works.

1.1.2 Sociolinguistics and linguistics

Is there any difference between sociolinguistics and linguistics?

Yes, there is. Linguistics differs from sociolinguistics in taking account only of the
structure of language, to the exclusion of the social contexts in which it is learned and used. The
task of linguistics is to work out the rules of language X, after which sociolinguists may enter the
scene and study any points at which these rules make contact with society, such as where
alternative ways of expressing the same thing are chosen by different social groups.

The finding of sociolinguistics are highly relevant to the theory of language structure, for
instance, in relation to the nature of meaning and the analysis of alternatives in a grammar.

1.1.3 Sociolinguistics and the sociology of language

What is the relation between sociolinguistics and the sociology of language?

Both of them are a study of language.

Sociolinguistics as the study of language in relation to society, implying (intentionally) that


sociolinguistics is part of the study of language. Thus, the value of sociolinguistics is the light
which it throws on the nature of language in general, or on the characteristics of some particular
language. While, the study of society in relation to language (the converse of the definition of
sociolinguistics) defines what is generally called THE SOCIOLOGY OF LANGUAGE.
What is the difference between sociolinguistics and the sociology of language?

The difference between sociolinguistics and the sociology of language is very much one of
emphasis, according to whether the investigator is more interested in language or society, and
also according to whether he has more skill in analyzing linguistic or social structures.

In another words, Sociology of language focuses on the language's effect on the society. It
is closely related to the field of sociolinguistics, which focuses on the effect of the society on the
language. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_of_language)