The Impact of Sociolinguistic Variation on Communication
Nowadays, it is considered that the sociolinguistic variation is one of the most interesting and important phenomena in linguistics. It can be defined as a set of different linguistic forms which are used in various social contexts by the speakers of the same language. The aim of this paper is to investigate the main features of sociolinguistic variation with the help of specific examples.
2. The main body
2.1 Sociolinguistic environment
It is necessary to say that the sociolinguistic environment is the most important factor which defines the variations of linguistic norms within different social groups. It includes such features as age, gender, occupation, level of education, social class, etc. All these factors influence the way people speak and choose particular linguistic forms to communicate with each other.
2. 2 Variations of linguistic norms
Variations of linguistic norms can be divided into two types: verbal and non-verbal. Verbal variations include such features as intonation, vocabulary, and grammar. Non-verbal variations involve such features as gestures, facial expressions, and body language. In this paper, we are going to focus on verbal variations only.
2. 2.1 Greetings
One of the most common examples of verbal variation is a greeting. It is necessary to say that greetings vary depending on the age, gender, and occupation of the person you are greeting. For example, if you are greeting your boss, you will use a more formal variant of a greeting than if you are greeting your friend.
2. 2.2 Social structure
Another example of verbal variation is connected with the social structure of the society. It is widely known that there are four main types of social structures: egalitarian, stratified, hierarchical, and caste-based. Each type of social structure has its own specific features which influence the way people communicate with each other.
For instance, in an egalitarian society, all members are considered to be equal and there is no strict hierarchy between them. That is why people usually use informal variants of greetings and do not show much respect to each other. In contrast, in a stratified society people are divided into different social classes and there is a strict hierarchy between them. That is why people usually use formal variants of greetings and show more respect to those who have a higher social status than they do.
2. 2.3 Gender
Another important factor which influences the way people communicate is gender. It is widely known that men and women have different communication styles. For example, women tend to use more emotional language than men do and they are more likely to cooperate during a conversation than men are (Tannen, 1990). That is why it is not surprising that men and women use different variants of greetings depending on the situation they are in.
2. 4 Age
Age also plays an important role in communication since people of different ages tend to use different linguistic forms (Coates, 1998). For instance, younger people tend to use more informal variants of greetings than older people do because they are less likely to show respect to those who are older than they are. In addition, younger people are also more likely to use slang than older people are (Coates & Cameron, 1988).
However, it should be noted that there are some exceptions to this general rule. For instance, in some cultures, it is considered to be disrespectful to use informal variants of greetings when talking to older people.
2. 2.5 Level of familiarity
The level of familiarity is another important factor which defines the way people communicate with each other. It is widely known that people tend to use more formal variants of greetings when they are talking to strangers than when they are talking to friends or family members. That is why it is not surprising that people usually use different variants of greetings depending on the level of familiarity they have with the person they are talking to.
2. 2.6 Occupation
Last but not least, occupation is also an important factor which influences the way people communicate with each other. It is widely known that people tend to use more formal variants of greetings when they are talking to someone who has a higher occupation than they do. For instance, if you are a doctor and you are talking to a patient, you will use a more formal variant of a greeting than if you are talking to another doctor.
In conclusion, it should be emphasized that the sociolinguistic environment is the most important factor which defines the variations of linguistic norms within different social groups. All these factors influence the way people speak and choose particular linguistic forms to communicate with each other.
Cite this assignment
More Related papers
- The Story of Sodom and Gomorrah: A Reminder of the Consequences of Our Actions
- The views of Adam Smith and Jean-Jacques Rousseau on the operation of society.
- The Case of Robinson v. City of San Francisco: A Landmark Decision on the Use of Eminent Domain
- The Benefits of RFID for Accounting Information Systems
- The Impact of the Market Revolution on Women and African Americans