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ENG510 Sociolinguistics Assignment No 01 Fall 2019 Solution & Discussion
Assignment No. 1
Total Marks: 20
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Q1. According to Holmes (2001), sociolinguistics is the study that is concerned with the relationship between language and the context in which it is used. Considering this definition, explain how language choices are determined according to the context. Also, discuss what type of relationship exists between language and society. Give examples to prove your point of view. (5=5+10 Marks)
Q2. Differentiate between the terms ‘dialect’ and ‘language’ giving their exact definitions. Listen to the topic video 33 carefully and elaborate the four processes a language undergoes to become a standard language. (2+ 4*2=10 Marks)
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a language is written in addition to being spoken, while a dialect is just spoken. But in the scientific sense, the world is buzzing with a cacophony of qualitatively equal “dialects,” often shading into one another like colors (and often mixing, too), all demonstrating how magnificently complicated human speech can be. If either the terms “language” or “dialect” have any objective use, the best anyone can do is to say that there is no such thing as a “language”: Dialects are all there is. “Is it a dialect?” asks Nathan. Properly, Sacha could have answered, “Yes, a beautiful one.” And Nathan should have understood that he was speaking a “dialect” too.
A language is an important thing in a given community, a speech community. It is not a means for communication and interaction but also for establishing and maintaining human relationships.
One characteristic of a language is that is social. That is to say that all speech events must be in relation to the social aspects. A new-born child acquires a language in the social environment (family as a part of the speech community). A language use also occurs in the speech community.
Based the geographical area, one community may be different from one to another. This results in the different varieties of language: dialects. These kinds of dialects are known as geographical or regional dialects. The fact also shows us that the members of a community or speech community are in the same social hierarchy. Consequently, there are also varieties of the same language used by the different types of the language users. These kinds of language varieties are known as social dialects.
Sociolinguistics studies a language and its varieties, and how they are used in the speech community in relation to the socio-cultural background of the language use itself.