Lyons 1970 speech community essay

Lyons 1970 speech community essay

Free lyons papers, essays, and research papers. The Role of Mrs Lyons in 'Blood Brothers' by Willy Russell - The Role of Mrs Lyons in 'Blood Brothers' by Willy Russell Blood Brothers is a play written by Willy Russell telling the story of two twin brothers that were separated at birth, as their mother could not afford to keep the both of them. An example of the (H) and (L) variety is evident in the Arabic speech community, the Arabs are expected to use the (H) variety for education, politics and religion, as the (L) variety is not accepted in formal domains unless used to explain the ideas or concepts further. Fishman defines the speech community as ‘A speech community is one, all of whose members share at least a single speech variety and the norms for it’s appropriate use’ (). In Fishman’s description, he touches on the ideas of social norms similar to Gumperz. A speech community is a group that decides how language will be used. This community may be comprised of professionals familiar with language (linguistics, etymologies, etc.) that have a developed. speech community definition: The definition of a speech community is a group of people who speak the same language and share the same words and grammar rules. (noun) An example of a speech community is the group of English language speakers throughout the World.

We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. Essay Topic: Language.

Speech Communities Essay Sample

Language is both an individual possession and a social possession. We would expect, therefore, that certain individuals would behave linguistically like other individuals: they might be said to speak the same language or the same dialect or the same variety, i.

Don't use plagiarized sources. Hudson , p. That dif? It remains so even if we decide that a speech community is no more than some kind of social group whose speech characteristics are of interest and can be described in a coherent manner.

What are groups? For our purposes, a group must have at least two members but there is really no upper limit to group membership.

Lyons 1970 speech community essay

People can group together for one or more reasons: social, religious, political, cultural, familial, vocational, avocational, etc. The group may be temporary or quasi-permanent and the purposes of its members may change, i. A group is also more than its members for they may come and go. They may also belong to other groups and may or may not meet face-to-face.

The organization of the group may be tight or loose and the importance of group embership is likely to vary among individuals within the group, being extemely important to some and of little consequence to others. We must also be aware that the groups we refer to in various research studies are groups we have created for the purposes of our research using this or that set of factors.

speech community

They are useful and necessary constructs but we would be unwise to forget that each such group comprises a set of unique individuals each with a complex identity or, better still, identities. Consequently, we must be careful in drawing conclusions about individuals on the basis of observations we make about groups. To say of a member of such a group that he or she will always exhibit a certain characteristic behavior is to offer a stereotype.

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  • Individuals can surprise us in many ways. The kind of group that sociolinguists have generally attempted to study is called the speech community. See Patrick, , for a general survey.

    This is actually what Chomsky , pp. However, such a speech community cannot be our concern: it is a theoretical construct employed for a narrow purpose. Consequently, we must try to? Lyons , p. If, as we saw in chapter 2, it proves virtually impossible to de? It is really quite easy to demonstrate that a speech community is not coterminous with a language: while the English language is spoken in many places throughout the world, we must certainly recognize that it is also spoken in a wide variety of ways, in speech communities that are almost entirely isolated from one another, e.

    Furthermore, if speech communities are de? We must also acknowledge that using linguistic characteristics alone to determine what is or is not a speech community has proved so far to be quite impossible because people do not necessarily feel any such direct relationship between linguistic characteristics A, B, C, and so on, and speech community X.

    What we can be sure of is that speakers do use linguistic characteristics to achieve group identity with, and group differentiation from, other speakers, but they use other characteristics as well: social, cultural, political and ethnic, to name a few.

    Referring to what they call speech markers, Giles, Scherer, and Taylor , p. For humans, speech markers have clear parallels.

    Speech Communities Essay

    We might require that only a single language be spoken and employ a very restrictive de? This de? Milroy a, p. They also agree on the social value of a large number of other linguistic elements.

    Southern British English speakers cannot be said to belong to the same speech community as New Yorkers, since they do not attach the same social meanings to, for example, r : on the contrary, the highest prestige accent in Southern England RP is non-rhotic.

    Yet, the Southern British speech community may be said to be united by a common evaluation of the variable h ; h-dropping is stigmatized in Southern England. For example, speakers of Hindi will separate themselves entirely from speakers of Urdu; most Ukrainians will separate themselves from most Russians but possibly not vice versa ; and most Chinese will see themselves as members of the same community as all other Chinese, even though speakers of Cantonese or Hokkien might not be able to express that sense of community to a speaker of Mandarin or to each other except through their shared writing system.

    The single-language, or single-variety, criterion is also a very dubious one. Gumperz , p. As I observed in the previous chapter, many societies have existed and still exist in which bilingualism and multilingualism are normal.

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  • It is such considerations as these which lead Gumperz p. He proceeds to de? Linguistic communities may consist of small groups bound together by face-to-face contact or may cover large regions, depending on the level of abstraction we wish to achieve.

    In this de?

    Lyons 1970 speech community essay

    Internally, a community must have a certain social cohesiveness; externally, its members must? The factors that bring about cohesion and differentiation will vary considerably from occasion to occasion. Individuals will therefore shift their sense of community as different factors come into play. Such a de?

    Most groups of any permanence, be they small bands bounded by face-to-face contact, modern nations divisible into smaller subregions, or even occupational associations or neighborhood gangs, may be treated as speech communities, provided they show linguistic peculiarities that warrant special study.

    Not only must members of the speech community share a set of grammatical rules, but there must also be regular relationships between language use and social structure; i. Gumperz adds p. The sociolinguistic study of speech communities deals with the linguistic similarities and differences among these speech varieties.

    Such norms, however, may overlap what we must regard as clear language boundaries. For example, in Eastern Europe many speakers of Czech, Austrian German, and Hungarian share rules about the proper forms of greetings, suitable topics for conversation, and how to pursue these, but no common language.

    As we can see, then, trying to de? He points out that it is impossible to equate language and speech community when we lack a clear understanding of the nature of language. He insists that speech communities cannot be de? The way in which people view the language they speak is also important, that is, how they evaluate accents; how they establish the fact that they speak one language rather than another; and how they maintain language boundaries.

    Moreover, rules for using a language may be just as important as feelings about the language itself. He cites the example of the Ngoni of Africa. Most Ngoni no longer speak their ancestral language but use the language of the people they conquered in Malawi.

    However, they use that language in ways they have carried over from Ngoni, ways they maintain because they consider them to be essential to their continued identity as a separate people.

    Speech Communities Essay Sample

    Hymes adds that analogous situations may be observed among some native groups in North America: they use English in special ways to maintain their separate identities within the dominant Englishspeaking community.

    As we saw too in the previous chapter code-switching can be used to achieve a shared identity and delimit a group of speakers from all others. He also distinguishes pp. Here we encounter the limitation of any conception of speech community in terms of knowledge alone, even knowledge of patterns of speaking as well as of grammar, and of course, of any de?

    Just the matter of accent may erect a barrier between participation and membership in one case, although be ignored in another.

    Speech community

    Obviously membership in a community depends upon criteria which in the given case may not even saliently involve language and speaking, as when birthright is considered indelible.

    However, he reaf? Social scientists who adopt the weak concept of structure. On the other hand, social theorists who adopt the stronger concept of structure are more likely to think of groups as relative concepts, each group being a unit that is relevant only in relation to units of like size that for immediate purposes are contrasted with it.

    Thus for a man who lives in Cambridge, his territorial identi? You are a member of one speech community by virtue of the fact that on a particular occasion you identify with X rather than Y when apparently X and Y contrast in a single dimension.

    This approach would suggest that there is an English speech community because there are French and German ones , a Texas speech community because there are London and Bostonian ones , a Harvard speech community because there are Oxford and Berkeley ones , a Chicano speech community because there are Spanish and English ones , and so on.

    An individual therefore belongs to various speech communities at the same time, but on any particular occasion will identify with only one of them, the particular identi? For any speci? It assumes that when people come together through discursive practices, they behave as though they operate within a shared set of norms, local knowledge, beliefs, and values. It means that they are aware of these things and capable of knowing when they are being adhered to and when the values of the community are being ignored.

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