What is Sociolinguistics?

Topics: Linguistics, Sociology, Psychology Pages: 3 (806 words) Published: November 14, 2014
 Definitions of sociolinguistics.
Name: YUSUF, Ademola Ali
Sociolinguistics is the study of the relationship between language and society. Sociolinguistic is concerned with identifying the social functions of language and the way it is being used to convey social meaning. It could therefore be regarded to as language and society. Several scholars have attempted to give comprehensive definitions of linguistic among which include: J.B Prides and J.Holmes (1972) define sociolinguistics as “the study of the structure and the use of language in it social and cultural context.” It studies the structure of language and examines how language is used differently in different social and cultural context. For instance, a student reporting a particular incident to his/her fellow student(s) make use of simple and jovial language. The student’s language will be characterized by digression and a high tendency to opt for the non-standard form of English. However, when the same student is a reporting the same incident to the Principal or Proprietor, one will notice elements of respect. The student tries to be as formal as possible. The student will not make use of crude language because he/she is conscious of the social context and would not want to be reprimanded. Therefore, one can conclude that the usage of language differs according to the contexts. Also, J.B Allen and S.P Corder (1975) view sociolinguistics as “the study of language in operation.” They explained that, its purpose is to investigate how conversions of language use relate to other aspects of social behavior. They try to examine how a particular language can influence our behavior in the society and the tendency for certain group of people who speak the same language to behave in a particular way. For instance, a language, whose lexicon is made up of vulgar and uncouth words, and the people use it naturally without any remorse. One would observe a tendency for such...
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