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'Language varies according to the social context in which speakers find themselves - The same speaker uses different linguistic varieties in different situations and for different purposes'.

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Introduction

'Language varies according to the social context in which speakers find themselves. The same speaker uses different linguistic varieties in different situations and for different purposes' Our use of language varies according to the situation in which we find ourselves. The term REGISTER is used to discuss the variety of language that we are required to use when in different situations. REGISTER is discussed by considering these 3 concepts: Field The term FIELD is used when discussing language that is connected to a particular activity or subject matter. Activities and subjects require particular 'field-specific vocabularies' to be used when they are being discussed e.g. Ballet - pirouette. Football - goal. Tenor - FORMALITY While the field relates to what language is about, TENOR refers to the social relationship between those who are communicating e.g. speech between individuals of 'unequal' rank is unlikely to be less relaxed and more formal, than speech between equals. Things that can be said in different ways, give verbal expression to the same meaning. ...read more.

Middle

Contains contractions and abbreviations. Informal English is more direct than Formal English. It is used in active rather than passive sentences. o Taboo- Words associated with 'socially sensitive subjects'. Taboo words are sometimes regulated by law. Reasons for using taboo include expressing of emotions, emotional outlet, humour, and cultural upbringing. o Jargon - English used by professional groups, technical language, words that only certain people will understand. Jargon is often used to be negative. It can sometimes be inappropriate, can intimidate people and elitist - remains superior to others that will understand. William Labov's New York research (1966) proved that people had 'high prestige' when the letter 'R' could be heard when pronounced in a word, e.g. car and beer. In the careful pronunciation, Labov found that the lower the prestige, the greater the increase in use of 'R' when speaking more carefully. Formality is defined in Labov's experiment, in terms of the amount of attention that the speaker directs towards her/his own speech. This approach is based on the theory that the speaker can, and does, shift between a low-prestige dialect which s/he uses in relaxed moments, and ...read more.

Conclusion

They 'actively promoted' it. Using similar methods to Labov, Peter Trudgil carried out research into the ways the formality of a style affected pronunciation in Norwich in 1983. -in' forms used in four contextual styles in Norwich. WLS (%) RPS (%) FS (%) CS (%) MMC 0 0 3 28 LMC 0 10 15 42 UWC 5 15 74 87 MWC 23 44 88 95 LWC 29 66 98 100 Trudgill's study of Norwich, showed clear social stratification (by 'class') of variables including dropping of final -s in third-person verbs, -in instead of -ing, glottal stops, h-dropping, and vowel qualities. The work carried out by Peter Trudgill on language change in Norwich,can be compared with the studies made by Labov in New York. Both studies are focused on social class and speech styles. However, whereas Labov found movements toward the prestige variants of the upper social class, Trudgill found movement toward variants of the lower classes. This fits in with what we know about the development of Estuary English. Trudgil's use of self-report data is used as a way of identifying prestige variants, and the major role played by covert prestige. ...read more.

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