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_ Lecture One - virtuelcampus.univ-msila.dz

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SociolinguisticsLecture One
Oftenculturepresupposessociety and inturnsocietyisdependenton culture.Hence,Sociolinguisticscanbedefinedas the study of the linguistic identity of social groups, social attitudes to language, standard and non-standard forms of language, the patterns and needs of national language use, social varieties and levels of language, the social basis ofmultilingualism, andsoon.
Thestudyofdialectsissometimes seen as a branch of sociolinguistics, and sometimesdifferentiated fromit, under the heading of dialectology, especially when regional dialectsare the focus of study.Moreover, the term accent is always used by people and therefore it deserves to be differentiated from others
Accent:isrestrictedtovarietiesofpronunciationDialect:coversdifferencesofgrammarandvocabulary.Sometimeslanguageusersareconfused--someonespeakingStandard Englishwhichispopularlydescribedas abroadregionalaccentwillbesaidtobespeakingindialect.Suchphrase «indialect»couldbeusedby non-linguists, tomean«in adialectotherthanStandard English», «withan accent»isfrequentlyemployedin GreatBritain, andespeciallyinEnglandtomeanwithan accentotherthanRPorwithan accentotherthanthesomeoneisusedtohear.
Itisfairelypossible tosaythateveryonespeaksin onedialectoranother. Itisalsopossible fordifferentpeople tospeakthesamedialectwithstrikinglydifferentaccents.Oneexampleofthat( Cockney / Newcastle–Geordie/Tyneside–Scousethe speech of Liverpool )areusedwithreferencetothosewhosedialectingrammarandvocabulary,isforpracticalintentsandpurposesclassifiable as Standard English.Hence,whenoneisdescribingthe speech ofinhabitantsof GreatBritainhecanclassifylanguagetoStandard and non-standarddialects.Frequently, thetermReceivedPronunciationconvergewiththesetwotermsorsometimeswemayspeakof anotherterm«TheQueen’sEnglish» or «BBC English»
Moreover,itisworthpointingoutthattermslike« British English » and « American English » areoftenlooselyemployedevenbylinguists, as iftheyreferredtotworelativelyuniformdialectsof thesamelanguage.There are of coursemanylexicaldifferencesbetweenthe speech of theaveragewell-educatedAmerican andthatof thewell-educatedEnglishman,Welshman, Scot or Irish man.ElevatorVs LiftGasVs.PetrolYetmostof thevocabularyof Standard American English andsofar asthere’ssuchathing, of British Standard English ,isidentical.
Gramaticallyspeaking,thereare constructions orformsorwordsthataretypicallyAmerican English «younot come,gotten… » andthosethataretypicallyBritish « inhospital,betweenyouand I,…. »Suchconstructions andformsare notsonumerousas far as the standarddialectsof thetwocountries areconcerned, andsomeofthemare notusedin all parts ofeitherAmericaorBritain.
Sometimestheterm« British English »ismisleadingin awaythat« American English,AustralianEnglish,IndianEnglish, orAustralianEnglish ,etc»isnot.Whatismeantby « American English »isusuallymeantby « Standard English » asspokenandwrittenin the USA. Mostauthorswhouse theterm« British English »restrictittomean« Standard English » asspokenandwritteninEngland.
Thereare of course goodsociopoliticalreasonsfordoingso,sincethatwasthe version of standard Englishthatservedthepurposesof administration andeducationthroughoutthe empire. Theterm« British English »isneverthelessmisleadinginthatitconcealthefactthatScottish English and Irish English stand inmuchthesamerelation to the English ofEnglandas American Englishdoes.Yet,comparedwithmanylanguagesspokenover awidearea , Englishisquitehighlystandardizedas far asgrammarandvocabularyareconcerned.

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_ Lecture One - virtuelcampus.univ-msila.dz