Sociolinguistics Chapter 3

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Minimal Groups Paradigm

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17 Terms

1

Minimal Groups Paradigm

  • To investigate intergroup discrimination (Henri Tajfel)

  • Participants told they will receive resources allocated to them by other participants

  • Fairness in allocation, but also significant in-group advantages (i.e. intergroup discrimination)

  • Occurs in the absence of any previously existing hostility or dislike toward the outgroup

  • Groups matter to people

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2

Essentialism

  • the idea that people can be placed into fixed social categories and that all members we assign to a category share certain traits which we see as the essence of this category

  • assumes that social categories reflect an essential underlying identity

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3

Stereotype

a generalisation about members of a group based on the idea that all members of the group will share certain personal characteristics

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4

Anti-Essentialism

proposes that there is no essential underlying identity to particular social groups and that identity is something that changes according to time, place, and context

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5

Speech Community

  • a group of people with shared norms or common evaluations about language forms

  • Members of a speech community don't necessarily speak the same way, but they attribute the same (or very similar) social meanings to particular ways of speaking

  • broad unit of analysis

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6

Criteria for a speech community

◼ Shared language use ◼ Frequency of interaction by a group of people ◼ Shared rules of speaking and interpretations of speech performance ◼ Shared attitudes and values regarding language forms and language use ◼ Shared sociocultural understandings and assumptions regarding speech events

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7

Shared Norms

  • a common feeling about linguistic behaviour in a particular community; giving the same (or very similar) social meanings to particular ways of speaking

  • can be hard to understand for outsiders

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8

Language Crossing

shifting into a dialect or language that doesn’t necessarily ‘belong’ to the speaker; speakers “are not accepted members of the group associated with the second language [or variety] that they are using”

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9

CoP (Community of practice)

  • a group of people who engage on an ongoing basis in some common activity or endeavour

  • Differences also at linguistic level (phonology and grammar)

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10

Mutual Engagement

the relationships that members of the community forge with each other, their investment in time and resources

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11

Joint Enterprise

the goal that they pursue together

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12

Shared Repertoire

the set of behaviours (linguistic and non-linguistic) that members of the community share

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13

Social Network

-the social connections that inform how and when people interact with each other

  • The degree to which a person is integrated in a social network (the strength of their network) can be measured on two dimensions: ◼ Network density ◼ Network multiplicity

  • to reveal how particular linguistic usages can be related to the frequency and density of certain kinds of contacts among speakers

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14

Network Density

  • the number of connections in a network

  • high-density; dense network (if people you know interact with one another)

  • low-density; loose network

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15

Network Multiplexity

  • how people are tied together in the network

  • linked through multiple capacities; mulitplex

  • linked through one capacity; uniplex/simplex

  • Dense and multiplex networks often act as norm-enforcement mechanisms

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16

Perceptual dialectology/folk linguistics

  • the study of non-linguists’ ideas about the regions, features and values of dialects

  • Methodology: give people a map and ask them to draw dialect regions, label them and describe them

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17

matched-guise paradigm

  • The same speaker is recorded reading a passage in two or more language varieties. People listen to these recordings and evaluate the speaker on his or her intelligence, kindness, ambition, leadership, sincerity, sense of humour, etc.

  • Criticisms: ◼ Artificial setting ◼ There is a danger of resorting to stereotypes which may, in turn, evoke stereotyped reactions

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