SOCIOLINGUISTICS - studies how language is used in society
social register - a style of language usage
STYLISTICS - study of speech etiquette which style is appropriate
English - formal, colloquial, substandard
Zuni (New Mexico) - sacred, conversational, frivolous
Chukchi (Russia, Bering Strait) - male and female styles
Lakhota (Sioux) - also has male, female speech
Japanese - styles for young, old, social standing, male, female
Motherese, Fatherese - special forms parents use
diglossia - when separate languages are used as styles in a society
Examples: written vs. spoken ARABIC, GREEK, CHURCH LATIN
Some specialized styles of language
jargon - special technical or professional use of language
argo - thieves' language (illegal professional jargon)
SLANG - non-standard use of language by general public or certain non-professional groups (kids, teenagers, etc.)
taboo word - word forbidden to be uttered in normal company
obscenity - word considered extremely vulgar
expletive - unprintable expression of emotion
euphemism - polite, acceptable substitute for a taboo word
dysphemism - deliberately crude expression for something
normally not taboo
dialectology - study of dialects
DIALECT - major geographic, ethnic or socio-economic variety of a language
idiolect - special way an individual speaks
lect - any variety of a language: family lect, village lect, etc.
are varieties of speech different languages or different dialects?
There is no single answer. Four factors may be important:
1. Linguistic - mutual intelligibility
2. Cultural - values and opinions of ordinary speakers
Standard form - is there a norm followed by literate users?
3. Political - what the people in charge dictate
If two speech forms are mutually intelligible, share one standard, are considered one language by the speakers, then they are dialects--unless politics intervenes.
But if two speech forms are not mutually intelligible, they are different languages--unless there is some overriding political or cultural reason to consider them one language
JOKE: "A language is a dialect with an army and a navy."