January 26 2018 Chapter 4.docx - LINB20 Chapter 4 Notes Social Status Topics to Cover Variables and Constraints Determining Social Status Mobility

January 26 2018 Chapter 4.docx - LINB20 Chapter 4 Notes...

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January 26 2018 LINB20 Chapter 4 Notes Social Status VARIABLES AND CONSTRAINTS Linguistic variation can either be categorical (absolute) or probabilistic (occurring as a tendency) Linguistic and social factors can control the usage of certain variants Status: social positions that society assigns to its members, in terms of differences between social groups Many linguistic variables can be expressed in many different ways (their variants) Higher status groups are more likely to acquire prestige, while groups of lower status are more likely to acquire stigma (negative connotations) DETERMINING SOCIAL STATUS Social status can be determined by looking at someone’s neighbourhood, income, and occupation, to name some examples Borrowed Prestige: the idea that a speaker’s setting and role that they play can lead them to use language features associated with a particular social class In William Labov’s 1966 study, he found that employees of fancier stores used fewer stigmatized forms of language features than employees of less fancy stores
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