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"Evaluate the ways in which language variation is connected with people's sense of personal, social, and cultural identity."

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"Evaluate the ways in which language variation is connected with people's sense of personal, social, and cultural identity." Language has many different forms that exist simultaneously, in the same way that the above factors (a person's personal, social, and cultural identity) all exist simultaneously 'within' each other as factors relating to language variety. One example that encompasses all three of these factors becomes apparent at once when we consider an aspect of child language acquisition. Children do not all learn one solitary form of identical communication. They instead each learn and acquire their own form of communication that is distinctive to his or her social, regional and cultural background. In this essay, I aim to explore in detail each of the aforementioned areas and will try and establish links between them and the idea of language variation. Regional variation or specifically regional dialects are a big part of a personal social and personal background. They, (regional dialects) refer to the different varieties of language spoken in different geographical regions. Different regional dialects of the English Language include the Yorkshire dialect, the Cockney dialect and so on. A person's regional dialect is a key indicator of part of someone's personal background as most of us are able to recognize where a person grew up by the regional dialect that they adopt. For example, G.B. Shaw once wrote "You can spot an Irishman or a Yorkshire man by his brogue. I can place any man within six miles; I can place him within two miles in London. ...read more.


A sociolect is a variety of language associated with a particular social group. There are many of these groups and I intend to look into some of the main ones, firstly those based on socio-economic status. There can be no doubting the well-documented relationship between language and social class as it has been the subject of many investigations over the years and there is a lot of evidence to back up the idea that members of different social classes use language in different ways. In Britain especially, there is a higher incidence of regional features in the speech of people from lower social classes. Alternatively, speakers from higher social classes are more likely to use 'Standard English' forms and their speech will tend to be closer to Received Pronunciation. For example: Trudgill's Norwich research (1983) discovered that those respondents lower down the social scale were more likely to drop the 'g' sound in their pronunciation in words like 'fishing' and 'singing' (which would result in 'fishin' and 'singin') whilst those higher up the social scale were more likely to include the sound in their pronunciation. He also discovered that throughout all classes, the pronunciation increased according to the formality of a particular situation. This confirmed the notion that people are conscious of their speech; and that they tend to adopt more socially 'prestigious' features when the context warrants. He (Trudgill) also considered grammatical features in his research, including the use of verbs without an 's'ending. For example: saying 'she go' rather than 'she goes' As before, he found out that this non-standard feature was heard much more among the working-class speakers. ...read more.


More recent examples include those spoken in Germany among Turkish migrant workers. Roughly around 25% of the recognized creoles are English-based, but most Creole languages are spoken by descendants of African slaves. These include the Caribbean creoles derived from English. Jamaican Creole, for example has many grammatical features that distinguish it from Standard English. For example: ? Multiple negatives. ? No verb endings to indicate past tense; instead, the base form of the verb is used ('he go last week') ? Omission of auxiliary verbs ('me not = 'I am not') 'British Black English' is an example of the growing interest among linguists in their (pidgins and creoles) importance as an expression of personal and national identity. British Black English is a term used for several different varieties of Creole English spoken in Britain. These Creole's rather like regional accents and dialects are an important symbol or group identity and solidarity. They are closely associated with black youth culture and have produced a large amount of Creole literature including poetry and reggae lyrics. To conclude, the ways in which language variation is connected with people's sense of personal, social, and cultural identity are vast in their amount. A person's sense of personal identity relates to language variation when we consider the individuals dialect, idiolect and other areas such as gender age. An individual's social identity relates to language variation when we consider sociolects and the notion of social class. The possible use of Pidgins and Creoles are the main areas of a person's cultural identity when it comes to language variation. 1,983 Words. Matt Wall - MBR ...read more.

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