Speech Communit y

Yesicha Ryona A1B011041

• “a group of people who share a set of rules and norms for communication and interpretation of speech” • “A speech community is a group of people who share one or more varieties of language and the rules for using those varieties in everyday communication.” - Ottenheimer

• “some kind of social group whose speech characteristics are of interest and can be described in a coherent manner” - Wardhaugh • “the kind of group that sociolinguistics have generally attempted to study.”


A speech community is defined as much by what it is not as what it is. The group must manifest regular relationships between language use and social structure, and there must

Intersecting Communities  A great deal of bilingualism in the modern world.  Most speech communities are fairly fluid.  What should the ‘target’ language and dialect be?  Individuals shift identities and speech and languages freely.

Communities of Practice
• “an aggregate of people who come together around mutual engagements in some common endeavor. Ways of doing things, ways of talking, beliefs, values, power relations – in short, practices – emerge in the course of their joint activity around that endeavor”. • a very interesting variant of this notion is the idea that speakers participate in various communities of

• Examples = Gangs, reading groups, etc…

Networks and Repertoires
Various network relationships on page 130. These diagrams show that a person can be part of various speech communities, some that intersect and some that do not. Certain individuals may be in one or more groups but not others.

Diagram 1. Simple Network Relationship

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