Diversity Within English Essay

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Diversity Within English

In order to understand how language variation descriptors are used, we first must understand what language variation is. We can say that the U.S. is linguistically diverse because of the multitude of languages spoken here, but we can also find diversity within these languages. All languages have both dialectical variations and registral variations. These variations, or dialects, can differ in lexicon, phonology, and/or syntax from the Standard Language that we often think of as Œcorrect' Language, although they are not necessarily less proper than, say, Standard English. It depends on where, by whom, and in what situation the dialect is used as to whether or not it is appropriate. Most people are
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1. Social indicators - the speaker, and often the listener, is not aware that these items are socially significant in revealing one's social status, so the speaker makes no attempt to avoid them when speaking in a more formal style. This would be someone who wants to take your picture, rather than your photograph. 2. Social markers - the speaker is sensitive to these items and will avoid them in a more formal style of speech, although the speaker may not be fully aware of why. Examples would be avoiding contractions, and phrases like gonna or didja. Social markers are much more prevalent in American English than social indicators. 3. Social stereotypes - even speakers who regularly use these types of dialects are fully aware of the stigma attached to them. Social stereotypes would include the copula deletion in Black English, and the loosing of sounds a la Joe Pesci that produce phrases such as doze tree guys.

Closely related to these social class factors are education and occupation. While occupations often produce their own jargons, a person's occupation will also determine what style of speech is used. A lawyer and a laborer would not be likely to use the same dialect on the job. Likewise, a person with little education is not likely to use the same style of speech as a college professor. This does not imply that the lawyer and college professor speak a Œbetter' variety of English, but because of more exposure to,…