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."