What do Sociolinguists do? (Janet Holmes Sociolinguistics)

summary of Janet Holmes Sociolinguistics:

CHAPTER 1-What do Sociolinguists do?

Sociolinguistics: a term that refers to the study of the relationship between language and society, and how language is used in multilingual speech communities. Continue reading “What do Sociolinguists do? (Janet Holmes Sociolinguistics)”

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Hudson’s Sociolinguistics: Linguistics and Social Inequality

Linguistics and Social Inequality

According to Hudson, there are three types of linguistic inequality.

  1. Subjective Inequality, which concerns what people think about each other’s speech. Virtues are rated based on the individual’s ways of speaking. Language in this sense is used as a yard-stick to evaluate people’s intelligence, friendliness etc.
  2. Strictly Linguistic Inequality relates to the linguistic items that a person knows.
  3. Communicative Inequality. This is concern with knowledge of how to use linguistic items to communicate successfully, rather than simply with knowledge of linguistic items themselves.

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Hudson’s Sociolinguistics: The Quantitative Study of Speech

Hudson says that quantitative studies of speech seem relevant to theoretical linguistics because they involve central areas like sounds, words-forms and constructions. He restricts the study to English (non-standard variety). It is concerned with form of words and constructions. Continue reading “Hudson’s Sociolinguistics: The Quantitative Study of Speech”

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Hudson’s Sociolinguistics: The structure of speech

Entries and exits

About entering and ending an interaction, Hudson explains that speech is structured, and it is composed of grammatical structures: sentences (short or long) like questions and answers. Greetings and farewells all offer the nearest example of structure in speech. Continue reading “Hudson’s Sociolinguistics: The structure of speech”

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Hudson’s Sociolinguistic: Linguistic and cultural relativity

Semantic relativity

He discusses how far meanings may differ from variety to variety (concidering cultural relativism) and whether there are any connections between differences in meaning and differences in culture. Determinism is concerned with the influence of language on thought. With relativity, Continue reading “Hudson’s Sociolinguistic: Linguistic and cultural relativity”

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Hudson’s Sociolinguistics: Code-switching and Code-mixing

Mixture of Varieties


He says that code-switching exist in a multilingual community where a speaker can choose to use a language that fits a particular circumstance or better understood by the hearer. A particular language can be for church, school, or work. He calls this situational code-switching. Continue reading “Hudson’s Sociolinguistics: Code-switching and Code-mixing”

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Global and specific statements

In this chapter Hudson examines the extent to which it is possible to describe the relation of language to society in terms of global linguistic categories such as languages and dialects and global social categories like communities. Continue reading “HUDSON’S SOCIOLINGUISTICS: Linguistic items”

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Conformity and individualism

In the discussion of sociolinguistics, it is important to put the individual in the centre. How individuals work and behave must be understood. Continue reading “HUDSON’S SOCIOLINGUISTICS: SPEAKERS AND COMMUNITIES, AND THE LINGUISTIC DEVELOPMENT OF A CHILD”

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