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Models of the Interaction of Language and Social Life

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on 19 March 2014

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Transcript of Models of the Interaction of Language and Social Life

A Model for Describing the Way we Speak
"The Hallmark of Sociolinguistics"

Diversity of speech presents itself as a problem in many sectors of life (Education, National Development, Trans-cultural Communication)
Linguistic Repertoires

Switching Among the Ways of Speaking
In Search of a Model of Interaction & Social Life
Description and Taxonomy
Toward a Descriptive Theory
What is needed to obtain an adequate descriptive theory of the sociolinguistic system of a community?
"Models of the Interaction of Language and Social Life"

Dell Hymes

By: Corbin Jackson

No body of systematic knowledge and theory
no agreement on a mode of description of language in interaction with social life
no agreement on the desirability or necessity of such a mode of description
Scientific Consensus?
Bilingualism as a basis for a model or theory of the interaction of language and social life?
"Bilingualism is neither a unitary phenomenon nor autonomous."
(Pg. 30)
"The presence of a bilingual society or individual allows for a variety of underlying functional social relationships. However, two distinct languages are not necessary for the expression of those underlying social relationships."
What are examples of different ways to "switch" ones way of speaking?
Between Varieties of a Single Language
Standard German: Swiss German Dialect
Between pronouns within a single variety
Spanish: Vos, Tú, Usted
Between Languages
French: Haitian Creole in Haiti
Classifications of Languages
- according to features descended from a common ancestor
- according to features diffused within a common area
- according to features manifesting a common structure, irrespective of origin
- according to features of common use or social role
Which of these classifications are most encompassed by the field of Sociolinguistics?
Genetic, Areal, Typological, Functional
"Sociolinguistic research reinforces the intermittent interest that areal classification has received, and can properly claim the most neglected sector, functional classification, the interaction between social role and features of languages, for its own."
(Pg. 34)

"Even the ethnographies that we have, though almost never focused on speaking, show us that communities differ significantly in ways of speaking, in patterns of repertoire and switching, in roles and meanings of speech."
(Pg. 33)
The Word and the Sword
In today's society, in what ways or settings would ones oratory or speaking skills give them more "power?"
Is being eloquent in ones speech something that is highly esteemed in all cultures? Or just those of the western world?
The provision of the analysis of individual communities by specifying technical concepts required for such analysis, and the characterization the forms that analysis should take.
Speech Community & Speech Situation
Speech Community
"A community sharing rules for the conduct and interpretation of speech, and rules for the interpretation of at least one linguistic variety."
(Pg. 36)
Language and Speech Field
"The total range of communities within which a person's knowledge of varieties and speaking rules potentially enable them to move communicatively."
(Pg. 37)
Speech Network
"Within the speech field... the specific linkages of persons through shared varieties and speaking rules across communities."
(Pg. 37)
Speech community
= a single locality or a portion of it

Language field
= delimited by one's repertoire of varieties

Speech field
= delimited by one's repertoire of speaking patterns

Speech Network
= a union of ones speech field and language field.

Speech Situations
"Situations associated with or marked by the absence of speech."
(Pg. 38)
Examples: Ceremonies, fights, hunts. meals, lovemaking
More examples?
Speech Event & Speech Act
Restricted to activities, or aspects of activities that are governed by the rules or norms for the use of speech.
An utterance that has a performative function in language and communication
1.) A party (
2.) A conversation at a party (Speech
3.) A joke within the conversation (Speech
Components of Speech
S: Settings & Scenes
P: Participants
E: Ends
A: Act sequences
K: Keys
I: Instrumentalitites
N: Norms
G: Genres
"While at the quinceanera reception for their little sister Sofia, Catalina and Pepe start to have an argument over which of them is Sofia's favorite sibling. During the argument, Pepe says something harsh that makes Catalina cry. Despite expressing a very heartfelt apology, Catalina does not forgive him for the rest of the evening."
Identify the Speech Act, Event, and Situation
Situations, Events & Acts
Bilibili Islanders of the Vitiaz Strait in New Guinea

A group of traders and potmakers that have a collective knowledge of all the communities that they have traded with. Some even know the language of each of particular community in which they have had trading partners.
Identify the Speech Situation, Event, and Act(s)
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