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Sociolinguistics; Brief-answer Questions


1. Define Sociolinguistics. [NU 2017]

Ans: Sociolinguistics is the study of language in relation to social factors, including differences of regional, class, and occupational dialect, gender differences, and bilingualism.

2. Who is the founder of sociolinguistics? 

Ans: William Labov is the founder of sociolinguistics. 

3. What is language variety?

Ans: Language variety refers to any variant of a language which can be sufficiently delimited from another one. It is an umbrella term for any of the overlapping subcategories of a language, including dialect, idiolect, register, and social dialect.

4. What is dialect? [NU 2013]

Ans: Dialect is the form of a language that is spoken in one area with such grammar, words and pronunciation that may be different from other forms of the same language.

5. Define Social Dialect / Sociolect? NU 2015]

Ans: Social Dialect is the variety of language used by a particular social group or class.

6. What is idiolect? [NU 2015]

Ans: An idiolect is a person's specific, unique way of speaking.

7. What is Creole?

Ans: Creole is a stable natural language developed from a mixture of different languages at a fairly sudden point in time. 

8. What is a Pidgin?

Ans: Pidgin is a grammatically simplified form of a language, used for communication between people not sharing a common language.

9. Compare Creole with pidgin?

Ans: Creole is a stable natural language developed from a mixture of different languages at a fairly sudden point in time. Pidgin is a simplified means of linguistic communication. It is a new kind of language which develops in situations where speakers of different languages need to communicate but don’t share a common language. 

10. What is code?

Ans: The term 'code' refers to any kind of system that two or more people employ for communication

11. What is code-switching?

Ans: Code-switching is the practice of alternating between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation.

12. What is code borrowing?

Ans: Code borrowing means the use of one primary language or code but borrowing words and phrases from another language.

13. Define register. [NU 2013, 2017]

Ans: A register is a variety of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting.

14. What do you understand by ‘Bilingual’?

Ans: Bilingual refers to the individual who knows two languages.

15. What do we mean by bilingualism?

Ans: Bilingualism refers to the situation where individuals know two languages.

16. What is diction?

Ans: Diction is the choice of words and style of expression that an author or speaker makes and uses in his discourse.

17. What is isogloss? [NU 2014]

Ans: Isogloss is the line on the dialect atlas that shows the geographical boundaries of the distribution of a particular linguistic feature.

18. What is diglossia?

Ans: Diglossia is a situation in which two languages or two varieties of the same language are used under different conditions within a community often by the same speakers.

19. What is Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?

Ans: Sapir-Whorf hypothesis is a hypothesis, first advanced by Edward Sapir in 1929 and subsequently developed by Benjamin Whorf, that the structure of a language determines a native speaker's perception and categorization of experience.

20. What is accent?

Ans: Accent is a distinct emphasis given to a syllable or word in speech by stress or pitch.