Sociolinguistics: Nature and Scope


Sociolinguistics: Nature and Scope

Sociolinguistics Nature and Scope

Sociolinguistics: Nature and Scope

Sociolinguistics is a branch of linguistics that studies the relationship between language and society with the goal of understanding the structure of language and of how language functions in communication. The study of sociolinguistics is partly empirical and partly theoretical. It is based on adequate data like census, documents, surveys and interviews. Conclusions are based on evidence and scientific analysis. 

Sociolinguistics studies everything about the relationship between language and society. The nature and the scope of sociolinguistics may be summarized as below:

First, Sociolinguistics is a link between linguistics and social scientists. It is a meeting ground for them. They, often investigating both language and society, help us reflect on the nature of language and society and realize how in reality, the relationship between the two is inextricably interwoven.

Second, Sociolinguistics examines the variable nature of language. It believes that language is not a static entity but is dynamic. Language variation may be investigated at any of the levels- phonological, morphological, semantic etc. Variation may be due to a number of factors – like sex, age, geographical separation, education, social class, caste etc. Language can also vary according to the social context and situation. Sociolinguistics tries to examine and explain linguistic variation in terms of personal, geographical or social reason. 

Third, Sociolinguistics studies the cause and nature of unity in diversity both linguistically and socially. In India, there are as many as 1,652 spoken languages and there is enough good reason to believe that there is a good deal of diversity yet despite this diversity and linguistic variation, there seems to be some kind of underlying unity that takes place quite easily. Sociolinguistics studies the mysteries behind this unity.

Fourth, Sociolinguistics regards language as a maker of group solidarity and group identity. An individual creates his identity in terms of the social group he belongs to. He shares certain social and linguistic norms with the other members of his group. Therefore, there is a sort of conformity to a social group. Yet the uniqueness of each individual’s experience of language and the society he belongs to enables him to filter his experience of a new situation in different ways and construct mental maps according to their own interpretation.

Fifth, Sociolinguistics uses language as a tool of power in social life, be it in education, media, religion, administration, and so on. Language of the rich and the powerful often makes a standard variety at the cost of all varieties, which are in no way linguistically inferior. Sociolinguistics is getting concerned with such issues to bring about social change. 0 0 0

N. B. This article entitled ‘Sociolinguistics: Nature and Scope’ originally belongs to the book ‘Essays on Linguistics‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books on Linguistics by M. Menonimus:

  1. A Brief History of the English Language
  2. Essays on Linguistics
  3. My Imageries
  4. Felicitous Expression: Some Examples
  5. Learners’ English Dictionary

Books of Composition by M. Menonimus:

  1. Advertisement Writing
  2. Amplification Writing
  3. Note Making
  4. Paragraph Writing
  5. Notice Writing
  6. Passage Comprehension
  7. The Art of Poster Writing
  8. The Art of Letter Writing
  9. Report Writing
  10. Story Writing
  11. Substance Writing
  12. School Essays Part-I
  13. School Essays Part-II
  14. School English Grammar Part-I
  15. School English Grammar Part-II..

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I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.


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