Socioeconomic variable 1

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Labov�s study in NYC (1972) r-less variety (e.g., car, four) is less prestigious than with r in NY: hypothesis Interviewed salespersons in different department stores: salespersons will reflect the customers� socioeconomic level. Difference in careful speech and in casual speech was big in Macy�s salespersons speech: /r/ for Macy�s employees is the norm or target at which they aim, yet not the one they reached most of the time Sak�s employees did not show big differences in both styles--> They had more security in linguistic sense. Martha�s vineyard

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Labov�s study in Martha�s vineyard (1961) subject: centralized diphthong /aj/, /aw/-->/c j/, /c w/ What causes this variation? Ethnic group, economic background, geography? Resident of the island pronounced centralized diphthongs whereas summer residents and mainland residents did not. Among mainland islanders, an increase with age, peaking b/n 31 and 45 and decrease. Native Americans and Portuguese populations who had attempted to enter the mainstream island life displayed higher incidence of centralization High school students who plan to go to college but to return exhibited greater centralization whereas those who planed not to return exhibited lesser centralization. Many mainland islanders showed resistance to summer residents and took pride in being different from those. In conclusion, the degree of centralization depends on group identification; how closely speakers identified with the island (Group solidarity)

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Social Variation on Speech Styles: Taboo, Euphemism, Slang, Jargon, and Argot 3 different ways speech styles vary: � Semantics � Morphology � Phonology

Vocabulary (semantics) � taboo - words that are seen as offensive �bad words� � was borrowed from the togan language and refers to the prohibition on the use of, mention of, or association with particular objects, actions, or persons � as originally used in the Polynesian language taboo had religious connotations, but in sociolinguistics it now denotes any prohibition on the use of particular lexical items � English taboo�s are: bodily functions, body parts, sex, and death � usually replaced with euphemisms � euphemism - the avoidance of words that can be perceived as offensive, obscene, or somehow disturbing to listeners or readers Some common euphemisms in English � Euphemisms � privates � make love � perspire � pass away � collateral loses � Definition � genitals � sexual intercourse � sweat � die � civilian casualties Taboo and Euphemism � existence of taboo and euphemism represent the existence of power by dominant groups over their subordinates � controlling what one can say is a way of controlling behavior

Slang � slang - a label that is frequently used to denote certain informal or faddish usage's of nearly anyone in the speech community � low or disreputable character � non-standard variety of language � Particular �slangs� are associated with memberships in groups and serve as affirmation or solidarity when used in the presence of a member of the same group � Context is the key to understanding slang Two Types of Slang � Common Slang � neutral everyday language that�s just a little too informal for letters of application e.g. fridge or T.V. � In-group Slang � a more specialized, shorter-lived �slangier� slang of certain group that exists within a specific time e.g. get off my case Morphological Techniques involving word formation � A study of slang at UCLA found that there were definite word formation processes used to produce slang � The different types of word formation used: derivation, blending, clipping,acronym, and compounding Process of word formation in UCLA slang � Slang Meaning Source Process � sucky �awful� suck derivation[v to adj] � gork �nerd� geek+dork blending � cas �all right� casual clipping � T.F.A. �great� totally acronym fucking awesome � fake- �tanning fake+bake compound bake salon� Semantic techniques of Metaphor

� Often an existing lexical item is replaced by another which suggests an image similar to the image of the word that it replaces e.g. blow chunks �vomit� � This replaces the older phrases with a new phrase that has greater impact Phonological Variations � We may be less aware of changing our pronunciation than we are when we change our vocabulary, yet our phonology does change with style � Dropping the g at the end of words is the most obvious phonological change � [n] nasal velar to [n]nasal alveolar e.g. bitchin�, walkin�, talkin� � Men are said to drop more g�s than women and boys drop the most � Contraction use is another way phonology varies e.g. he�ll, she�d, won�t, and can�t - neutral in style � In tag questions the contraction of not is obligatory e.g. Herbert could do that, couldn�t he? Versus You are studying English, are you not? --sounds like a nonnative speaker or highbrow Jargon and Argot � Jargon - a technical language that exists between formal and informal speech. It is common to specialized fields and is also called occupational sociolect � Argot - a secret language that was associated with social groups whose members wished to conceal some aspect of their communication from nonmembers .e.g rhinoplasty sounds better than nose job � Both terms can be used interchangeably