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SPHR 2130 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Franz Boas, Reduplication, English Phonology

Speech and Hearing Science
Course Code
SPHR 2130
Study Guide

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Language Varieties
Language variety: used by linguists as a cover term to refer to many different types of language
variation;a language variety may be thoughts of as any form of language characterized by
systematic features
Term may be used in reference to a distinct language, such as french or italian, or in reference
to a particular form of a language spoken by a specific group of people
Sociolinguistics: study of the interrelationships of language varieties and social structure
Dialect: when a group of speakers of a particular language differs noticeably in its speech from
another group
In english, the term dialect sometimes carries negative connotations associated with
nonstandard varieties
Dialect is any variety of a language spoken by a group of people that is characterized by
systematic differences from other varieties of the same language in terms of structural or lexical
Accent: systematic phonological variation
Used in reference to foreign accents or regionally defined accents such as southern or
northern accents
Idiolect: the form of a language spoken by one person
Slang: stylistic choices in vocabulary
Common slang: neutral everyday language that is just a little too informal for letters of
application ( fridge or TV)
In group slang: the more specialized slang of a particular group
Can be used to keep insiders together and to exclude outsiders
Slang is the linguistic counterpart of fad behavior
Responds to the need that people to be creative in their language use and to show
group membership through their language use
Jargon: technical language
Clear, expressive and economical
Used for specific job and field of study
Mutual intelligibility: used to distinguish dialects from languages
If speakers of one language variety can understand speakers of another language variety and
vice versa, these varieties are mutually intelligible and therefore dialects of the same language
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Dialect continuum: in a large number of contiguous dialects, each dialect is closely related to the
next, but the dialects at either end of the continuum scale are mutually unintelligible
Speech community: a group of people speaking the same dialect
Defined by extralinguistic factors: region, socioeconomic status, age, gender and
Communicative isolation: results when a group of speakers forms a coherent speech community
relatively isolated from speakers outside that community
Speech styles: thought of as variations in speech based on factors such as topic, setting and
addressee and they are normally described in terms of degrees of formality
May be described as formal or informal, casual or careful
Registers: different levels of speech formality
Style shifting: automatically adjusting from one speech style to another
Notions of Prestige:
Standard dialect: idealization, variety used by political leaders, the media and speakers from
higher socioeconomic classes
The standard dialect is the dialect of prestige and power
Judgements are not linguistically founded but are instead governed by societal opinion
Overt prestige: type of prestige discussed as the standard dialect
Attached to a particular variety by the community at large and that defines how people
should speak in order to gain status in the wider community
Covert prestige: exists among members of nonstandard speaking communities and defines how
people should speak in order to be considered members of those particular communities
Variations at Different levels of Linguistic Structure
Phonetic Variation: differences tend to be those where a sound that functions the same in the
linguistic systems of two varieties has some difference in its physical characteristics
Every utterance produced is somewhat different
Phonetic variation in different styles of registers of speech
Phonological variation:
In some dialects, the words caught and cot are homophonous: the distribution of the phonemes
in the two dialects is different: they have different phonological systems
Sequences of sounds they allow:spanish does not allow the sequences /st/ so pronounces
student with initial vowel e
Morphological Variation:
The use of the possessive morpheme in english
Pro drop languages, where pronouns can be dropped (Spanish)
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