Hudson’s Sociolinguistics: Summary of Chapter Seven

This chapter which is the last is a summary of the topics discussed in the earlier chapters. It includes The Family–tree and ware theories of change, variety based and items based models of language, the ‘classical’ and ‘prototype theories of thought, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis about language and that the ‘face’ theory of interaction.

The accommodation ‘network’ and ‘act’ of identity of linguistic chores

Hudson says that over the past decades, linguists have invented theories about language organization syntax, semantics, phonology and morphology. They do not include data concerning sociolinguistics but everybody accepts that linguistic items are linked to social ‘items’. He says, most linguists see issues of sociolinguistics as outside language but argues that they are related, and any a theory of language structure should cover the links that have been explored so intensively by sociolinguistics. He attempts to build a theory that will capture all the theories of linguistics.

The social functions of language

These are ways in which language is used to give views of relationships to other people saying things like Listen, I am boss here or You can be my best friend or She’s my daughter.

About the speaker’s ‘face’, the public image of the speaker contributes to social information. It reflects ones observable behaviour. The face is like a word. The way you speak tells the people about your face (the kind of person you want people to think you are).

Hudson says that solidarity relationship is a very important aspect of social relationship because relationship reflects shared experience like linguistic similarity. Children make effort to speak like those of their models as a result of the desire to reduce differences in behaviour in order to stress solidarity (accommodation theory).

The accommodation theory is important because it contradicts functionalism theory which states that the structure of language can be explained by the communicative functions that it has to perform.

A child is not equally close to every person it hears. The social world is formed in a network where the child recognizes a list of individuals with solidarity differences among them. As a result of mutual accommodation, a close–knit network of people can share a lot of similarities in speech. Accommodation theory states that the degree of accommodation depends on how much the speaker wants the other persons to like him/her. Two people may experience different solidarity to a persons they both make effort to established a relationship with. Solidarity is subjective thereby central to our social face. An individual can be linked to different social networks thereby learning different social behaviours at the same time.

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