Social linguistic


One of the powerful emblems of behavior in the social setting is the language. It is used by the human being as well as the other creatures in the transfer of information; we send important messages concerning who we are, who we associate with and where we come from. Therefore, sociolinguistics is the study which deals with the effects of the entire aspects of the society that include cultural norms, context as well as the expectations based on the way the language has been used and the effects of its use in the community. Every society has its specific ways of the use of language which is different another society.

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This study will major on the study of the language and the society. There is a close correlation between the language and the society. In the society is the first place that a man acquires and understands on the uses of language. There is the various aspect of language that one need to keep in mind such as the dialects, idiolects sociolects et cetera. Hence, besides the linguistic components that compose a language, its geographical location plays a crucial role as well since it helps in understanding the culture of the society, the purpose of which it’s used the speaker as well as the listeners. (Knight, Studdert-Kennedy, & Hurford, 2012)

Language Varieties

The use of language varies from region to region, profession to profession, class to class, person to person, and situation to situation. In most cases, the social-linguistics tends to give a description of these language variations based on the relationship they have with the society. It proves that the relationship which exists between the society and the language change is a systematic relationship. There are four major social factors that that are involved in this kind of the language variation, they are social, economic status, gender, age as well as the language user’s ethnic background. Based on those four factors, there are four levels from which the language differs;

I.    Lexical level

II.    Phonological level

III.    Discourse level

IV.    Syntax level

In simple terms, the variation different in language is caused by the linguistic items included in it; therefore, the variety of language is simply a set of linguistic items which have a similar social distribution. Some of the factors which cause the language variation include;

•    The nature of the participants and their relationship, for example, the social, economic, occupation, sexual et cetera

•    The number of the participants, they can be two in a face to face conversation or one person addressing the large group of audience.

•    The pole of the participants, it can be a teacher, parishioner, student priest, father, wife, husband, son et cetera.

•    The function of the events, it determines the kind of the speech to be used, for instance, persuasion, convincing, verbal et cetera.

•    The nature of the medium to be used, example speech, scripted speech, writing of the speech that is reinforced by the gestures.

•    The genera of discourse, for example, experiment, scientific, art, sport or religion

•    The physical setting, the environment may be noisy, quiet, private, public, formal, family, familiar or unfamiliar. (Foley, 2014)

Therefore, for a language variation to be experienced either of these factors has to be there. It is important for them to be considered since if a particular mode of language is used in the wrong setting, it cannot be effective.


Foley, W. (2014). The Evolutionary Emergence of Language: Social Functions and the Origins of Linguistic Form. Journal Of Linguistic Anthropology, 11(2), 300-302.

Knight, C., Studdert-Kennedy, M., & Hurford, J. (2012). The Evolutionary emergence of language (1st ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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