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Chapter 4

ANT253H1 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Chick Flick, Nerd, Markedness

Course Code
Marcel Danesi

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Chapter 4 Anthro Outline
main focus social dialects → sociolects
extending traditional geographical notions to encompass variation in the social
domain - deals with sociolectal variation in F2F and CMC spaces and other
slang, jargon, cants, registers, styles, and language codes
those who speak the “standard” have advantage
more likely to be educated and possess higher job skills
more likely to be represented in mainstream media and in politics
reverse is true of dialect speech or speakers of some non-dominant
society: underrepresented or overrepresented in negative ways
dialect speakers can also exclude based on language
Saussure - first to use the term “speech communities”
indicate a group of people sharing a common language or dialect → extend to
include sociolectal variation
indicates that people use language to convey their connection to distinct groups
professional organisations: jargon
groups such as school cliques, families, and gangs: slang
● Slang
- also arises from popular culture/mass communications language
may be a new world (glitzy
) or an old one with a new meaning (fly
used more often in writing than speech
slang bespeaks of friendliness and commonality; jargon does not
lots of slang becomes colloquialisms (expressions used in every
conversation that are not considered appropriate for formal
speech or writing)
slang/jargon: examples of sociolects
variants produced by social variation
regional → dialect
class, age, gender, ethnicity (etc.) → sociolect
4.1.1 - Slang
typically arises within a group(s) or community for reasons of group solidarity or allegiant
2 forms: general and group-base
○ general = usually emerges in special situations and then spread to society at
large through expressive activities
i.e. “scuffle” - appeared in Shakespeare → originally slang but due to his
influence on English, gained currency, becoming a colloquialism
not part of a standard conversation but used as a part of ordinary
or familiar conversation
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