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Page history last edited by Agus D. Priyanto 13 years, 5 months ago



Sociolingustics is the study between language and society. Sosiolinguistics is the study of inter relationships of language and social structure, linguistics variation and attitudes toward language. It is any set of linguistics form which pattern according to social factors.

The study of sociolinguistics also focuses on the language variations that emerge in the society.  For example, the way of how to speak of  a group of students is different from the way of a group of bus drivers. 


Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used.

Sociolinguistics divided into two:

  1. Micro-sociolinguistics

The study of language in relation to society deals with small group of people in certain community. Example: meeting.

  1. macro-sociolinguistics

The study of language related to how the society treats the language.  



Fundamental Concepts in Sociolinguistics

1. Speech Community

Speech community is a concept in sociolinguistics that describes a more or less discrete group of people who use language in a unique and mutually accepted way among themselves.

Speech communities can be members of a profession with a specialized jargon, distinct social groups like high school students or hip hop fans, or even tight-knit groups like families and friends. Members of speech communities will often develop slang or jargon to serve the group's special purposes and priorities.

 For example, your book Language Files gives you an example of speech from an older man with many well known characteristics of Appalachian English:

1) I used to could read. (double modal)

2) I ain't no girl now. (multiple negation)

3) He has a broken back ____ was never set. ("that" deletion)

4) Put some bakin' sody on it. (sody instead of soda)

5) I fell upside of the building. (lexical substitution--upside of for against the side of)

What they point out, though, is that the speaker is a native of Southern Ohio, not actually a native of Appalachia. And his speech is affected by factors such as age, sex, and socio-economic status.


2. High prestige and low prestige varieties

Crucial to sociolinguistic analysis is the concept of prestige; certain speech habits are assigned a positive or a negative value which is then applied to the speaker. This can operate on many levels.


3. Social network

Understanding language in society means that one also has to understand the social networks in which language is embedded. A social network is another way of describing a particular speech community in terms of relations between individual members in a community. A network could be loose or tight depending on how members interact with each other (Wardhaugh, 2002:126-127).


4. Internal vs. external language

In Chomskian linguistics, a distinction is drawn between I-language (internal language) and E-language (external language). In this context, internal language applies to the study of syntax and semantics in language on the abstract level; as mentally represented knowledge in a native speaker. External language applies to language in social contexts, i.e. behavioral habits shared by a community.


Language and dialect is an ambiguous term (Hougen: 1966). Common people see a dialect as non prestigious variety of language. Scholars see language and dialect as confusing term.

Hougen (1966) stated a dialect is language that is excluded for polite society.

  1. Criteria of language:
  2. Standardization
  3. Vitality: living community of speakers
  4. Historicity: sense of identity; social, political, religious, ethnicities.
  5. Autonomy: different from other language.
  6. Reduction: a particular variety maybe regarded as a sub-variety rather than as an independent entity. Ex: Pidgin.
  7. Mixture: purity
  8. De Facto norms: Good speaker Vs Poor speaker.

Dialect is subordinate variety of language.



Vernacular : 1st language I multilingual community, especially informal function.

Components of vernacular:

  1. Uncodified / unstandardized variety
  2. The way is acquired, example at home
  3. Circumscribed functions

Vernacular is the most colloquial variety in a person’s linguistics repertoire. It used for everyday interact.



Lingua francas is language of wider community. Lingua Franca is a language used for communication between 2 people whom the 1st language is different.



A pidgin is a language having no native speaker. A pidgin develops as a means of communication between people who do not have a common language.

Pidgin is two groups with different language communicating in a situation where there is also a third dominant language.

'The syntax of Pidgins can be quite unlike the languages from which terms were borrowed and modified, as can be seen in this example from an earlier stage of Tok PisiTn:

Baimbai                          hed                  bilongyu          i-arrait                       gain

(by and by)                   (head)             (belong you)   (he-alright)                (again)

‘Your head will soon get well again’'



It is a pidgin that has become the first language of a new generation of speakers. Creoles arise when Pidgin become mother tongues.(Aitchison:1994)

The process of pidginization (simplification of language) through:

  1. Reduction in morphology
  2. Reduction in syntax
  3. Reduction in pronounciation
  4. Extensive borrowing of words from local mother-tongue.

 The process of creolization:

  1. Expansion of morphology and syntax
  2. Regularization of the phonology
  3. Increase function
  4. Increase vocabulary


  • Hawaian pidgin English Superstrate
  • Hawaian creole English substrate




Diglossia is a characteristic of speech communities rather than individual. Individuals may be bilingual. Societies or communities are diglossic. In other words, the term diglossia describes societal or institutionalized bilingualism, where two varieties are require to cover all the community’s domains

In the narrow and original sense of the term. Diglossia has three crucial features or criteria:

1.Two distinct varieties of the same language are used in the community, with one regarded as a high ( or H ) variety and the other a low ( or L ).

2.Each variety is used for quite distinct function; H and L complement each other

3.No one uses the H variety in everyday conversation.


Another post: (no time to edit..)


Diglossia refers to speech community in which two or more varieties of the same language are used by some speakers under different conditions (Fergusson, 1996: 25). Speakers of a particular language can not be characterized as diglossic; only their behavior, or the behavior of the speech community can be considered diglossic. Thus, beliefs and attitudes about the language condition the maintenance of diglossia as a fact of linguistic culture. Habit, attitude, and values in a society are completing one another in order to avoid experience conflicts because of language. Diglossic situation exists if it has two distinct codes which show clear functional separation (Wardhaugh, 1998: 87). In each situation there is a ‘high’ variety (H) of language and a ‘low’ variety (L) which each variety has its own specialized functions, and each is viewed differently by those who are aware of both. For example in Switzerland situation, there are standard German (H) and Swiss German (L). Ferguson (in Wardhaugh, 1998: 87).


Fergusson differentiates a language into high language (H) for formal and serious matter and low language (L) for conversation and other informal uses. H relates to religion, education, high culture and L used at homeand at factory (1996: 27). Whereas Eggenwil (in Holmes, 1992: 32) defines that diglossia has three significant features or criteria:

1. Two distinct varieties of the same language are used in the community, with one regarded as a high (or H) variety and the other a low (or L) variety.

2. Each variety is used for quite distinct functions; H and l complement each other.

3. No one use the H variety in everyday conversation.


Those two varieties are close linguistically related in some cases than others. For example, the degree of difference in the pronunciation of H and L varies from place to place. The sounds of Swiss German are quite different from those of Standard German. The grammar of H is morphologically more complicated. Standard German uses more case markers on nouns and tense inflections on verbs than Swiss German, and standard French, the H variety in Haiti, uses more markers of number and gender on nouns than the L variety in Haitian Creole.


Holmes states that diglossia has been described as a stable situation. It is possible for two varieties to continue to exist side by side for centuries. For example, England was diglossic (in the broad sense) after 1066 when the Normans were in control. French was the language of the court, administration, the legal system, and high society in general. English was the language of the peasants in the fields and the streets. For example in the following words,


English      French      English

ox              boeuf         beef

sheep       mouton      mutton

calf            veau           veal

pig            porc           pork


The English calf becomes French veau as it moves from the farm to the dinner table. However, by the end of the 14th century English has displaced French, while absorbing huge numbers of French such as beef, mutton, veal, and pork, so there were no longer domains in which French was the appropriate language to use. In conclusion, diglossia is used to describe complementary code use in all communities. In all speech communities people use different varieties or codes in formal contexts, as opposed to relaxed casual situations. In other words, the variety at the formal end of the scale could be regarded as an H variety, while the most casual variety could be regarded as an L variety.



Fergusson, C. A. 1996. Sociolinguistic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Holmes, Janet. 1992. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. New York: Addison Wesley Longman, Inc.

Wardhaugh, Ronald. 1998. An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. USA: Blackwell Publishers Inc.


Bilingualism is an individual’s ability to use more than one language variety. Individual bilingualism use of more that one languages or competence in more that one languages (Clyne:1997). Multilingualism is an individual’s ability to use many languages.

Mother Togue

  1. Language passed on by an individual’s mother
  2. Language known best
  3. Language of the heart

Researcher call mother tongue as first language (L1). Meanwhile second language (L2) is language learned after one’s first either out of necessity or by personal choice, to fulfill some special purpose; individual may or may not speak it as well as first language.


The societies have two high languages and one low language. Example: Malaysia have two High languages such as Melayu and English, and one low language, it is Low Malay.


Code Switching

Code-switching is a term in linguistics to refer to the use of more than one language or variety in conversation. People switch the code on purpose. There must be some reasons of changing into another language. When they unpurposedly use more than one language in one speech, it is called code mixing.



Ethnography of communication is related to language. It was introduced by Dell Hymes (ethnography of speaking). It studied base on speech community.

Speech community is a group of people that tied with at least one language / variety language and they also have norms.

Speech community consists of:

  1. Ways of speaking; it is tied by norm. It is the most general or primitive term.
  2. Speech situation; it is not related with speech but it’s a kind of umbrella. Many situations associated with or marked by the absence of speech. Example: Javanese wedding party: ceremonies, meal, etc.
  3. Speech event; it is activities or aspect of activities that are directly governed by rules or norms for the use of speech. Example: In Javanese wedding party. There is speech event hat related to language, such as atur pambagyo and ular-ular.
  4. Speech act; it is not related to sentence and grammatical level but it implicates both linguistics and social norms. Example: ular-ular in Javanese wedding party is giving advice to the couple, joke and even singing traditional songs.

They are having close relationship.


Component of Speech: SPEAKING

  1. Setting and Scene: place or location and psychological setting
  2. Participant: speaker-listener and addressee-addressor
  3. Ends: Outcomes and goal (particular occasion)
  4. Act: form and content (what is said)
  5. Key: tone and manner (serious, sarcastic, etc)
  6. Instrumentalities: choice of channel (oral, written)
  7. Norms: interaction and interpretation
  8. Genres: Types of Utterances ( poems, proverbs, prayers, etc)

Comments (20)

Hana Suryani said

at 9:23 am on Dec 23, 2008

Gud Morning Mr.DePe...
I am still confuse in using this wiki.
I have added the definition of the siciolinguistics, I've obeyed your instruction but the definition appears in the Edit Tags. Is it alright? or am I wrong in the posting?

Agus D. Priyanto said

at 9:47 am on Dec 23, 2008

You clicked "Add Tag". Therefore, the definition does not appear on the page but on the "tags" field. Now, please click "Edit" under the title of this wiki. Yes on the top of this page, above "SOCIOLINGUISTICS". Then put the pointer under "Definition", and type your contribution. Hope it will helps.

Agus D. Priyanto said

at 2:19 pm on Dec 23, 2008

Anyone has more ideas, please?

Agus D. Priyanto said

at 11:51 am on Dec 24, 2008

Hi all, especially Umi:
Please read the current information on the wiki you want to edit. You don't need to write about the same thing if it's already there. For example, Kezia has written that there are 2 kinds of sociolinguistics. Then, you don't need to write it again. Instead, you can add some examples of these, so that everybody will fully understand what macro and micro sociolinguistics.

Henokh said

at 11:47 am on Dec 27, 2008


i'm comming..

I'm verry happy with this program

Nhiken Sugiyanta said

at 12:59 pm on Dec 27, 2008

how about speech event and speech situation, Sir?

Dhian Widhi P said

at 5:22 pm on Jan 7, 2009

pak depe,
switching and mixing look the same, how can they are different?
i think they use more then one language.

Dhian Widhi P said

at 5:32 pm on Jan 7, 2009

I'm sorry,
making mistakes in my previous comment. I mean that
mixing and switching look the same, they use more than one language. so, what are make them different in the using of language?
I think the examples look the same each other in switching and mixing the languages.
when the speaker said in bahasa Indonesia than it switched into English in some words, it can be included into mixing too.

Novinda said

at 11:37 am on Jan 10, 2009

hiii the SUPERHERO on linguistic "Mr Depe"...
I want to add something about sociolinguistic...

There are many numerous factors influencing the way people speak which are investigated by sociolinguistics:
• Social class: the position of the speaker in the society, measured by the level of education, parental background, profession and their effect on syntax and lexis used by the speaker;
• Social context: the register of the language used depending on changing situations, formal language in formal meetings and informal during meetings with friends for example;
• Geographical origins: slight differences in pronunciation between speakers that point at the geographical region which the speaker come from;
• Ethnicity: differences between the use of a given language by its native speakers and other ethnic groups;
• Nationality: clearly visible in the case of the English language: British English differs from American English, or Canadian English;
• Gender: differences in patterns of language use between men and women, such as quantity of speech, intonation patterns.
• Age: the influence of age of the speaker on the use of vocabulary and grammar complexity

if you wanna add something about that or give a comment about that, i will be happy sir.....

thank you.......

Septianingrum said

at 12:35 pm on Jan 11, 2009

@ Nhiken:

A speech event is an activity in which participant interact via language in some conventional way to arrive at some outcome.
It is activities or aspect of activities that are directly governed by rules or norms for the use of speech. Example in: Javanese wedding party, there is speech event had related to language, such as atur pambagyo and ular – ular.

Speech situation involving participants, who necessarily have a social relationship of some kind, and who, on a specific occasion, may have a particular goal.
It is not related with speech but it’s a kind of umbrella. Many situations associated with or marked by the absence of speech. Example: Javanese wedding party: ceremonies, meal, etc.

Septianingrum said

at 12:41 pm on Jan 11, 2009

@ Widhi:

According to Thelander (1976;103)
Code switching happens when in communication there is change from one clause of one language to another language clause.
Code mixing uses clause and mix phrase, moreover each clause and phrase do not support their function.

According to Fasold (1984)
Code switching happens when one clause really has grammatical structure of one language and the next clause is formed from another grammatical structure language.
Code mixing happens when people uses one word or phrase from one language.

Debora Wulan Yuni said

at 8:18 pm on Jan 11, 2009

sorry sir, I saw so many material about sociolinguistics there, but now it has lost....
why it could this happened, Sir?

Debora Wulan Yuni said

at 8:20 pm on Jan 11, 2009

sorry, I mean : how could this happen?

BM Dwi Herwinta said

at 7:07 pm on Jan 12, 2009

Im a little bit confused using this wiki..
I want to add an information for morphology, but i cant find the blank page that used to add something..
What should I do sir?
Thanks before..

Debora Wulan Yuni said

at 8:35 pm on Jan 12, 2009

A. Language variation based on the use.

Language used by the society for communication.

* In terms of communication:
>> Field (medan).
• Topic E.g. : Hukum, perbengkelan, kedokteran
• Events E.g. : (kasasi, grasi), (rem, aki), (perban, pinset), etc
>> Tenor (suasana).
• In relation between speakers: politeness, formality, status.
E.g. : Tidak - nggak
Bicara - ngomong
Bapak/ ibu - om/ tante
>> Mode (cara) : role of language
• Chanel/ jalur E.g. : face to face

*In terms of style:
>> Intimate
- Between intimated speaker.
E.g. : Gue, lo, bete, ember, etc
>> Casual
- In informal situation, but not necessarily intimate.
E.g.: chat on train/ bus.
>> Consultative
- Between speaker in different level.
E.g. : Teacher – student
Seller - buyer
>> Formal
- In formal situation.
E.g. : seminar, meeting, etc.
>> Frozen
- very stiff situation.
E.g. : ceremony, military commands, court, etc.

B. Rules and social language function.

* Language use: SPEAKING (Hymes, 1974):

>> Latar (setting and scene)
• Time and place E.g. : Solo, at 6.pm
>> Peserta (participants)
• The speakers E.g. : Amir, Agus, etc.
>> Hasil (end)
• Objectives/ purpose of speak
>> Amanat (act sequence)
• Form and content of speak
E.g. : Dia berdoa,”…”
Dia memohon kepada tuhan, …
>> Cara (key)
• Manner of speech. E.g. : relax/ serious.
>> Sarana (instrumentalities)
• Mode of speech E.g. : written/ spoken.
>> Norma (norms)
• Rule on speaking
E.g. : mahasiswa bertanya setelah diberi kesempatan.
>> Jenis (genres)
• Category of speech
E.g. : sajak, teka-teki, kuliah dan doa.

Dhian Widhi P said

at 10:39 am on Jan 13, 2009

in sociolinguistic, there are also Dialect and idiolect which the language is influenced by physical term of the speaker.
-->dialect comes from environment where the speaker live. Indonesian has Bahasa Indonesia as language, but in different culture or tribe or province or may be district, each has their own style in speaking bahasa Indonesia.
--> Idiolect comes from each person speech, how they do speaking. it influenced by the voice quality, physical speech organs and other each person style of communicating.
example: in bahasa indonesia you can cell someone "cedal"( I don't know the English), it has different style in speaking.
or maybe when you meet "banci", they also have different way of speaking.

Sari Mustika said

at 11:41 pm on Jan 13, 2009

Hi Mr. depe..

i was add some material about sosiolinguistics...
i hope that will be right...


Agus D. Priyanto said

at 7:40 am on Jan 14, 2009

@all: All the posts in the field comments are rights (about sociolinguistics...). Sorry, I have no time to tidy the page up.

Agus D. Priyanto said

at 7:42 am on Jan 14, 2009

@Dhian Widhi n Septianingrum:
Check my latest post, about the code switching and code mixing.

Pratama Satugus Ardi said

at 10:40 am on Jan 14, 2009

It involves at least 3 languages to create a pidgin. They are 1 language roles as superstrate and 2 more languages role as substrate.
- The superstrate is also well-known as a Boss language (The dominant language)
-While the substrate is well-known as Slave language
If we are going to try to draw the relationship between superstrate and substrate, the picture would like triangle relationship where the peak of it is placed by the superstrate, while the substrate on each leg.

Why 3 languages?
Pidgin commonly happens in the era of colonial. It happens in a plantation and also trade.
-Slave A has his/her own language (a little, perhaps cannot speak B language, little in colonial language)
-Slave B has his/her own language (a little, perhaps cannot speak A language, little in colonial language)
-Plus the the colonial language (The only mediator)
When Slave A wants to communicate with slave B, unconsciously they create a pidgin. They mixed the vocabularies of the three languages (where the Boss language becomes their reference ) just to connect with the other. Finally, the new language is extended in pronunciation, vocabularies, etc. That is called Pidgin

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