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Lecture 10

LING 2P72 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Noam Chomsky, Sociolinguistics, Linguistic Competence


Department
Linguistics
Course Code
LING 2P72
Professor
Tom Farrell
Lecture
10

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Review Lecture: Sociolinguistic Competence
Linguistic competence: knowledge of language of ideal speaker-hearer in
homogenous speech community
-strong reaction from leading sociolinguist of time, Dell Hymes
-Chomsky
-challenge: must account for knowledge people have to use language appropriately
in a range of diverse social contexts
Appropriate: know sociolinguistic rules for speaking in a community
-understand the in"uence of social factors on speech behavior
-children gradually develop linguistic repertoire of linguistic codes/varieties
appropriate for di%erent domains (innately)
Sociolinguistic competence: ability to use language appropriately
-signalsones membership of various overlapping social groups
-immigrants granddaughter di%ers from grandfather – may have lost ethnic
language while developing wider range of styles in language of new community;
may have retained ethnic language
Status and functions of di%erent languages
-Vernacular: +rst language that people learn, may be unwritten
-Lingua franca: language of wider community; often essential addition to repetoire
-Standard: has writing system; gramma+ed; people with money; more status and
used more widely than vernacular
-Pidgin/creole: develop initially as a lingua franca; pidgin is never the only language
in someone’s repetoire
-if You live in a particular region
-depends on class, caste of group
-if you live in monolingual community, social group you belong to is indicated by
your pronunciation, grammar, vocab or all of these
-you can also indicate gender/age in the way you speak
-we belong to overlapping social groups
Using language appropriately takes into account:
-who you are talking to
-the setting and purpose of interaction also in"uence speech style – relaxed or
formal?
-sociolinguistic competence includes: knowing when to speak/when to be silent and
how to use language for di%erent functions
-language constructs social reality
Sociolinguistic universals – All speech communities have linguistic means of:
-distinguishing di%erent social relationships – solidarity and status
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