Loading...

The Rules of Speech Communities

1. Introduction

A speech community is a group of people who share a set of linguistic norms and expectations regarding the use of language. The concept of a speech community is important in sociolinguistics, anthropology, and other fields that study human communication.

2. What is a Speech Community?

A speech community is a group of people who share a set of linguistic norms and expectations regarding the use of language. The concept of a speech community is important in sociolinguistics, anthropology, and other fields that study human communication.

The term “speech community” was first introduced by William Labov in the 1960s. Labov defined a speech community as “a group of speakers with similar linguistic patterns who share norms for appropriate use of their language”.

Other scholars have since elaborated on Labov’s definition. For example, Deborah Tannen (1984) argues that speech communities are not simply groups of people who share the same language; they are also groups of people who share the same “rules” for using that language. Tannen uses the analogy of a game to explain how speech communities work: just as there are rules for playing chess or basketball, there are also rules for speaking English or French or any other language. These rules may be explicit (like the rules of Chess) or they may be implicit (like the rules of etiquette).

3. Deborah Talbot’s Speech Community

Deborah Talbot is the boss of a small marketing firm. Her assistant, Paul Roberts, has just returned from his vacation in France. Deborah Talbot is giving Paul Roberts some instructions about what needs to be done in the office.

Talbot: OK, Paul, I’ve looked through the minutes of last board meeting and I’ve drawn up a list of things that need to be done before we can start redecorating your office and unpacking all those boxes in there…

Roberts: Sorry, Deborah, I didn’t quite catch that last bit… Could you repeat it please?

Talbot: I said, I’ve drawn up a list of things that need to be done before we can start redecorating your office and unpacking all those boxes in there…

Roberts: Oh, right…OK.

The conversation between Deborah Talbot and Paul Roberts shows two things about speech communities. First, members of a speech community share certain linguistic norms; in this case, they both speak English and they both expect each other to speak English. Second, members of a speech community also share certain non-linguistic norms; in this case, they both expect each other to follow the rules of polite conversation (e.g., taking turns speaking, not interrupting each other).

4. Paul Roberts’ Speech Community

Paul Roberts is the assistant to the boss of a small marketing firm. His boss, Deborah Talbot, has just returned from her vacation in France. Deborah Talbot is giving Paul Roberts some instructions about what needs to be done in the office.

Talbot: OK, Paul, I’ve looked through the minutes of last board meeting and I’ve drawn up a list of things that need to be done before we can start redecorating your office and unpacking all those boxes in there…

Roberts: Sorry, Deborah, I didn’t quite catch that last bit… Could you repeat it please?

Talbot: I said, I’ve drawn up a list of things that need to be done before we can start redecorating your office and unpacking all those boxes in there…

Roberts: Oh, right…OK.

The conversation between Deborah Talbot and Paul Roberts shows two things about speech communities. First, members of a speech community share certain linguistic norms; in this case, they both speak English and they both expect each other to speak English. Second, members of a speech community also share certain non-linguistic norms; in this case, they both expect each other to follow the rules of polite conversation (e.g., taking turns speaking, not interrupting each other).

5. Conclusion

A speech community is a group of people who share a set of linguistic norms and expectations regarding the use of language. The concept of a speech community is important in sociolinguistics, anthropology, and other fields that study human communication.

The term “speech community” was first introduced by William Labov in the 1960s. Labov defined a speech community as “a group of speakers with similar linguistic patterns who share norms for appropriate use of their language”.

Other scholars have since elaborated on Labov’s definition. For example, Deborah Tannen (1984) argues that speech communities are not simply groups of people who share the same language; they are also groups of people who share the same “rules” for using that language. Tannen uses the analogy of a game to explain how speech communities work: just as there are rules for playing chess or basketball, there are also rules for speaking English or French or any other language. These rules may be explicit (like the rules of Chess) or they may be implicit (like the rules of etiquette).

FAQ

A speech community is a group of people who share a common language or dialect.

Linguistic anthropology studies how language affects social interaction and communication within speech communities.

Some examples of speech communities include regional dialects, professional jargon, and secret languages.

Speech communities can change over time due to migration, contact with other groups, and changes in the way words are used.

Cite this assignment

Free Essay Samples (December 2, 2022) The Rules of Speech Communities. Retrieved from https://essayholic.com/the-rules-of-speech-communities/.
"The Rules of Speech Communities." Free Essay Samples - December 2, 2022, https://essayholic.com/the-rules-of-speech-communities/
Free Essay Samples April 16, 2022 The Rules of Speech Communities., viewed December 2, 2022,<https://essayholic.com/the-rules-of-speech-communities/>
Free Essay Samples - The Rules of Speech Communities. [Internet]. [Accessed December 2, 2022]. Available from: https://essayholic.com/the-rules-of-speech-communities/
"The Rules of Speech Communities." Free Essay Samples - Accessed December 2, 2022. https://essayholic.com/the-rules-of-speech-communities/
"The Rules of Speech Communities." Free Essay Samples [Online]. Available: https://essayholic.com/the-rules-of-speech-communities/. [Accessed: December 2, 2022]

More Related papers

Top