The nature and the scope of sociolinguistics SOCIOLINGUISTICS = the study of language in its relation to society “a discipline concerned with linguistic diversity from the point of view of social factors “ (Pavlík: 29) “an attempt to find correlations between social structure and linguistic structure” Gumperz 1971) Issues: o role of language in society o language variation in relation to social factors Task: explain the causality of the covariation between the structures and functions of society and language Working assumption: both society and language are structured and functional systems, and not collections of individuals and/or items Relationship between language and society - 5 perspectives: A.Dependence - unidirectional: 1. language determines the structure of society e.g. non-standard language → low class 2. society determines the structure of language cf. the “Sapir and Whorf hypothesis” - bidirectional: 3. Language and society co-determine each other 4. Language and society are determined by other factors e.g. psychological, physiological, cognitive, etc. B. Independence 5. Language and society are independent with no relation between them cf. Chomskyan attempt at ´asocial´ linguistics Rise of sociolinguistics – 1960s in opposition to Chomsky´s generativism: o ideal speaker/hearer o homogeneous community o language competence is subject of linguistic theory Claim: language is subject to variation (geographical, social, situational, gender, … ) Subject of study of sociolinguistics = l. user´s COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE D. Hymes´ model of CC: A.Language Competence 1.Organizational Competence a/Grammatical Competence = knowledge of language resources on all structural level b/Textual Competence = knowledge to produce out of them well-formed structures above the sentence-level 2.Pragmatic Competence Illocutionary Competence = the ability to comprehend speaker´s intent and to produce structures to convey one´s own intent Sociolinguistic Competence = the ability to produce messages appropriate to the social contexts of their use. B.Strategic Competence determines communicative goals, assesses resources, involves planning and executing plans etc. Branches of sociolinguistics: A. Theoretical vs. applied o Theoretical s. Focus: models and methods used in the analysis of language in society o Applied s. Focus: implications of language variation (political, social, national…) implementation of theory into l.planning, standardization, education… B. Descriptive vs. dynamic o Descriptive s. Focus: description of WHO uses WHAT language to WHOM in WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES and for WHAT PURPOSE o Dynamic s. explanation of the reasons for l. variation in social environment C. Quantitatvive vs. Qualitative o Quantitative/Variational/correlational/Labov´s paradigm based on W. Labov´s work, traditional, dominated o Qualitative/interpretational/interactional/ethnographic approach/understanding soc. based on D.Hymes´s communicative competence and ethnomethodology (incl. Sack´s Conversation Analysis) Synthesis – “Gumperz´ interpretative approach” Sociolinguistics: Quantitative Qualitative Point of departure: abstract system, distribution of items in relation to social factors (class) empirical theories l.factors are determined by social f. l. is a mirror of society: l.=dependent variable souiety = independent variable static social categories (gender, age) as always relevant speaker, whats/he performs through the use of l. forms teleological explanations l. is a part of social processes using l. = performin a social act phenomena studied selected l. forms (phonological) entire varieties (cf. code switching, bilngualism), everything that is relevant for speakers themselves social phenomena selected (class, gender, race …) all which are made relevant by speakers Explanation Lang. vs. society approach dynamic particular identities are relevant only The scope of sociolinguistics: = variability of language caused by social factors: A. in a NARROW sense: Social factors: → social linguistics o social class, age, gender, ethnicity, race disciplines: Social Dialectology Correlational Sociolinguistics B. in a BROAD sense: → sociolinguistics “proper” Social factors: → social linguistics o social class, age, gender, ethnicity, race disciplines: Social Dialectology Correlational Sociolinguistics Geographical factors: o birth place, residence disciplines: Regional Dialectology Situational factors: → situ(ational)linguistics o style, register (medium, field, mode), setting disciplines: Stylistics Pragmatics Conversation Analysis Ethnography of Communication Discourse Analysis → geolinguistics Literature: Crystal, D.2003. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: CUP. Holmes, J. 2008. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Longman/Pearson. Gramley, S. and Patzold, K.-M. 2006. A Survey of Modern English. London and New York: Routledge. Pavlík, R. 2006. Elements of Sociolinguistics. Bratislava: UK. Trudgill, P. 2000. Sociolinguistics. London: Penguin. Wardhaugh, R. 1992. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Blackwell.