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Sociology of language
The branch of sociology concerned with language. Unlike Sociolinguistic this approach studies the social contexts of Lange without recourse to analysis of linguistic structure
The study of how languages survive, or the continuing use of a (minority) language in the face of a more regionally, socially or politically dominant language
Sometimes used synonymously with language planning, language policy refers to the goals underlying the language planning process
Conscious efforts by government, society organizations, etc. to affect the role and status of languages
Rooted in the social psychology of language, this term refers to how widely a language or variety associated with a particular culture or ethnicity is spoken
The gradual replacement of one language by another as the primary language of communication and socialization within a speech community
A complete language shift in which the original language is no longer used by anyone anywhere
The social or institutional context of language use
WHen differences between age groups repeat as each generation ages, that is when all speakers in a particular community favor a particular variant at one age and then a different variant at another. People sometimes change their (reported) behavior over the years as their life situation changes
A theory about language and thought that argues that the way a particular language describes the world actually affects its speakers' view of reality
A type of language planning concerned with choosing between available languages or language varieties and promoting one over another, often including the declaration of an official language
A language declared the language of a particular region or country as a result of legislation
A the of language planning concerned with choosing between available variants within a language in order to build up that language to the point it can be used for all the requirements of a modern society. AKA language development
Creating new words
Factors that can influence language retention
- 1. Institutional support: Is your language used in education/government/churches/media?
- 2. Power and prestige: Of your language, of other language groups. How much formal power do speakers have? What's the language of important stuff and "cool" stuff?
- 3. Demography: Size of group, dispersion of speakers, marrying out, new speakers arriving?
- 4. Community choices: How important is it to the community, how necessary is it to the community, how much do people want to fit in?
Shifts happen when
- Socially, old language is used in fewer and fewer domains. Often old language is used for intimacy and new language is used for status
- Shifted happens between generations/language is not transmitted to younger generations
- Individual speakers and families decide which language to use
Graded intergenerational dislocation scale
- 1. Education, mass media, Nationwide
- 2. Mas media and government, Local/Regional
- 3. Work, Local/Regional
- 4. Transmitted through education, literacy
- 5. Oral and written, all generations
- 6. Oral, all generations; first language of children
- 7. Parents use with grandparents but not with children
- 8. Only grandparent's generation
Perceived ehtnolinguistic vitality
- Can be affected by local events and contexts
- People who speak a language with a low perceived EV are more likely to shift
EV and power
Some languages have more economic political and demographic clout
The shift to English
- Could be linguistic imperialism
- Perceived value of English is high
- The language of some rich powerful countries
Language planning: what is it?
- "Human intervention into natural processes of language change, diffusion and erosion" -Wardhaugh
- Or the choice to not intervene
Language planning: Who can do it?
- Governments: Choose official languages status of minority
- Non government groups: Chamber of commerce, corporations
- Churches: Language of religious observations
- Dictionary makers: decide what to include, acknowledge
- Pundits: Columnists, bloggers
- Writers: Choose which language/variety to write in
- Educators: Often expected to enforce language policies
- Publishing industry: Spelling standards
- Independent social or political groups
- Individuals: make language choices
Language planning: Why do it?
- Many languages, few countries.
- Most countries decide to make official choices
Language planning ideologies
- Linguistic assimilation: Encourages everyone to learn the dominant language
- Linguistic pluralism: Recognize more than one language
- Vernacularization: Promote an indigenous language to official status
- Internationalization: promote a non-indigenous langage
Language planning: how to do it?
- Status planning aka language determination: Choosing between available language varieties, the group of the chosen one will often get more political or economic power
- Corpus planning aka language development: Building up a language so it can be used in all domains, for all purposes of a modern society
Language planning: does it work?
Some success stories, which are often associated with nation building