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Lecture 2

LING 320 Lecture 2: ling320_01.12.17

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LING 320
Charles Boberg

01/12/17 LING 320 LECTURE 2: Review from Last Class - what is sociolinguistics? - relation of language and society - main purpose of language is communication between people, therefore it is inherently social - language is a form of social behaviour, closely linked to social identity - allows you to identify with or contrast from a group - people vary, therefore language varies - sociolinguistics is empirical science; observation of language in use in a speech community - data-gathering is inherently biased and problematic 2 Schools of Thought - Chomsky (mainstream view) - variation exists but is of no theoretical interest; is more chaotic and random - believes in a system of rules and representations of grammar to unite all in a homogenous community - older view, not held by Boberg - Sociolinguistics - variation exists and is not random, but governed by systematic rules/representations of language - sociolinguists argue there is no competence without performance; it is an arbitrary distinction Course Content Division: - 1st half will cover: - how society influences language - later we will cover how language influences society Distinctions in Speech Style - walking / walkin / walkeen - (t / d) retained before a vowel but dropped before consonants (e.g. last August vs las_ Mon) - dropping of “s” in word-final Spanish - dropping of “l” in pronouns of French (e.g. i_ pleut vs il pleut) - variation is shown to be systemic, principled, and correlate to social factors Linguistic Influence - interaction of language and social structure is bidirectional - sets of change are called “variety” - one speaker or a dialect - dialect: (french def’n) is a written variety of language - patois: an oral variety of language without literature - dialect (eng def’n) vs accent - accent: inflectional/pronu
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