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University of Toronto Mississauga

- types of sociolinguistics - background of discipline - Personalizing sociolinguistics - the linguistic variable - intro to linguisitic variation and its social implications: especially quantitative study of variant speech features and correlations with age, sexm ethnicity, + other variables - office – north building 240 – wed 3 pm – 5 pm or by appointment – ask in help lab or office lab - book recommended: helpful for class project – step by step guide for it – - each assignment = 5% - upload all work to blackboard – NO paper copies – click on assignments: option to upload file – - assignments: 15% - upload to blackboard before lecture on the day its due 1) identifying linguistic variables 2) thinking about social status 3) key and peele “phone call”, gender, sexuality and ethnicity – re-writing of script – - class project = 20% - 5 parts – each builds on the last – feedback on parts 1-4 but no marks – MARKS are for final only part 5 – combination of part 1,2,3,4,5 - midterm – written in class – questions from lec and readings - INTRODUCTION - ex. Machine – what does it dispense? Pop, soda, soft drinks,carbonated beverage, fizzy drink, cola, coke (used for all pop), cold drinks = 9 potential ways to describe same thing – sociolingusitics study which one we choose and why ppl do that - variable ~ variant disctinction: foundation of what sociolinguistics does– soething in language that varies – have one constant meaning and a lot of options to express meaning - variable: generic name for sweet non alcoholic carbonated beverage: written in /variable/ = rep more general term – rep underlying cognitive representation – happening in the brain Variants: pop, soda, soda pop, soft drink, coke – written in [variant] - happening in surface form – whats happening out in mouth -can have lexical variable – lexeme/form with a lot of different surface forms - other variables: (not talking about meaning here) /adverb location/ = variation Ex: [pre-verbal]- I loudly sang the national anthem = variant (all variants are trying to say the same thing) - type of linguistic variable this is: can have syntactic variable - variable /past-tense/ - variant: [-t] – eg. kicked (6 diff ways to express past tense) – all rep same cognitive ideas, but have different surface forms = morphological variable - /aw/ variable (Canadian raising) - variabnts: [aw] eg. house, or house = phonological variables - also have phonetic variables (not discrete because don’t have 2 clearly defined – they are gradient), also have discourse – pragmatics – FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT***** - often times, the same meaning/idea can be expressed in different ways - which way is right? (want to know what do people think is right – not judging what is and isn’t – rather look at why people think it is right) Who decides? - speakers make choices - what does each choice mean? (why pop over soda) - sometimes we aren’t even aware theres a choice - so what determines which choice we use? (ex. Where people live in a certain area and don’t even know theres other words for it, why do they still choose pop?) - the choices don’t stay the same - how do they change? - “regular” linguistcs search for theory of universal gammer – concerned mostly with structure - concerned with Language (capital L) - language and Language (capital vs lower case for l) – capital = big language faculty (i.e. looking at ability to speak)– in other places might be called “langue” - little l language = how people speak to eachother – words used in actual communication – not universal idea - often called “parole” - sociolinguists look at language in context – little l language Language depends on speaker, situation, purpose of communication - speakers mark personal history and identity in their speech as well as their socioculutual, economic, and geographical coordinates in time and space ** we are interested in little l language * types of sociolinguistics – - on a continuum from more “linguistic” to more “socio” - different types of socio linguistics – people who are more linguistic – to socio LINGUISTIC END - variationist linguistics – (example is the recommended book of the course) - explain why language varies and changes - focus on language structure - usually quantitative (using numbers) , often large scale - constraints (determine which choice we make) are probbailitiecs -, NOT categorical i.e. they’re likelihoods, no absolute - ie.e weather is probabilistic – we think based on best judgement – vs tommorw os Thursday (absolute) - can be doen without considering big picture issues like power EXPLAINING *language (little l language) - example: why and how people “drop their g’s” – ex. If speak quick, with friends, singing song – e.g. say runnin’ vs running said to queen How would we set this up as linguistic variable: note 1 *factors are based on alveolar variant  linguistic explanations (factors) - get velar variant - less often with learned words (i.e. difficult vocab) - use velar variant Less often in formal , structured speech - less often with nouns  SOCIAL EXPLANATIONS (factors) - more often by boys than girls -more often by working class speakers - less often by “model” kids – KIDS WHO DO WHAT MOMS TELL THEM TO DO – SINCE CAREGIVERS CORRECT IT - SOCIO END - how and why societies choose which lang/dialect to use - official languages - school - emdia - want to know attidtudes toward language varieties – want to tknow what ppl think about English, French - language and power – want to know how lang is used to maintain power in communiities - research can be done without considering little picture issues like language structure - often qualitative (interviews, not counting) - Studying sub areas: - people may specialize in looking at communities (social groups, regional and ethinic differ) - social categories (class, gender, sexuality, age, ethnicity) - social relationships Relatp between lang groups – - this class is variationist sociolinguistic perspective to studying languge – use ideas more from socio end - look at how researchers OPERATIONALIZE******* these ideas in quantitative research (ex. How to test these ideas = operationalize) - FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPT - in variationist socioling, 3 key principles - 1) orderly heterogeneity (– variation is systematic/patterned – state where things aren’t same, and the way in which things aren’t the same is patterned – its not chaotic, it’s not random – there is order to the difference – DIRECT opposite of free variation 2) language is always changing - not stasis, always evolving 3) language conveys social as well as semantic meaning – (when one talks, a lot of info apart from semantic meaning is communicated: info about age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, opinions about Toronto, opinions about you) - HISTORY OF SOCIOLINGUISTICS - people have long noticed linguistic differences based on social disctinctions, although not in scientific way - even without studying it, you can tell quite a bit about people based on how they talk – even if its stereotypical - TPS excersice : think – pair- share - think: of question - pair: discuss with person next to u - share: - TPS: what you already know – what can you often tell about someone from speech (eg. on phone) – what can you tell about them based on how they sound – region, gender, sexuality, ethnicity,first lang, personality, age, lifestyle - what linguistic features gives this info (such as pronounciation, words, sentence constructions) *ideas: pitch of voice gives away gender – (size of vocal tract determines pitch) – differs across male/female – but can change pitch – thus there must be other things – perhaps males use more offensive lang (swearing) – use words that are considered less polite – - maybe different attitudes across men and women - ex. Women make small talk – develop convo (to get person to understand their perspective, establish common ground) – vs men (get to the point) - females uptalk – pitch goes up at the end of utterance each time - women use more intensifiers – ex. “very” good - can tell what first language is : based on grammatical errors, or not every lang has “th” sound – but this can vary across regional dialects even tho eng is their first language, word order might be different, stress patterns -can tell age – by different slang – - ethnicity – (cultural identity) – politeness strategy, word choice, accent, interaction strategies - more social forces .. - many studies find linguistic differences among ppl basd on: sex, age, sexual orientation, region, race, ethnicity, class, formality of speech situation, conversational topic - more local or unusual things: field worker vs store worker, fanciness of store worked in, how they felt about tourists, or Iraq war, even if they watched grey’s anatomy (differ based on how they watch whether they do or don’t watch) - science of socioling - JOHN L. Fisher (fishinG) (g-droppin’ new England students in late 1950’s) – noticed this phenomenon - William labov – - the godfather of modern sociolinguistics - studies in martha’s vineyard (island in masschutes – looked at how they spoke, how it relates to age, job), new York city (department store study) in 1960’s – found difference between new York and new yark - (dev’pd) variationist sociolingusitics - Joshua Fishman - studies of language planning, status, endangered languages - sociology of language Why socioling grew in 1960 snad 70s - technology improving: better recording equip, computer
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