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Definition of Socio-Linguistics

sociolinguistics, the study of the sociological aspects of language. The discipline concerns itself with the part language plays in maintaining the social roles in a community. Sociolinguists attempt to isolate those linguistic features that are used in particular situations and that mark the various social relationships among the participants and the significant elements of the situation. Influences on the choice of sounds, grammatical elements, and vocabulary items may include such factors as age, sex, education, occupation, race, and peer-group identification, among others.


  • To make students familiar with different approaches to sociolinguistics.
  • To explore some myths about how language is used in the society.
  • To explore the relationship between the language we speak and the culture in which we operate.
  • To explore such issues as language and world-view, the manifestation of power through language, the expression of politeness and the application of sociolinguistics.

Recommended Books

Course Content

UNIT # 1

  • Introduction to Sociolinguistics
  • Sociology of language
  • Sociolinguistic

UNIT # 2

  • Variety of languages
  • Speech communities
  • Language as dialect
  • Standard language

UNIT # 3

  • Register
  • Diglossia
  • Social dialects 

UNIT # 4

  • Code switching 
  • Code mixing
  • Creoles
  • Borrowing

UNIT # 5

  • Language culture
  • Culture
  • Language
  • Thought
  • Language, culture, thought

UNIT # 6

  • Semantic relativity
  • Prototypes
  • Basic level concepts

UNIT # 7

  • Language and thought

UNIT # 8

  • Sapir and Whorf
  • Linguistic relativity 

UNIT # 9

  • Face
  • Positive and negative face
  • Power