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Socio- & Psycholinguistics


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accent
1) A distinctive way of pronouncing a language, especially one associated with a particular country, area, or social class. 2) A change of pitch indicating that a certain element in an utterance is more prominent than others.
bilingualism
The ability to speak two languages with native-like competence.
code switching
Alternate between two or more languages or varieties of language in conversation.
creole
A term used to describe a pidgin language after it has become the first language of a certain population.
critical period
A period in early childhood in which language acquisition is most effective (roughly the first 6 years).
dialect
A particular form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group.
first language
The language which is acquired initially by a child and which is his/her native language.
honorific
A title or word implying or expressing respect.
hypercorrection
The use of an erroneous word form or pronunciation based on a false analogy with a correct or prestigious form, such as the use of I instead of me as a grammatical object
idiolect
The language of an individual as opposed to that of a group.
interference
The transfer of certain phenomena from one language to another where they are not considered grammatical.
intuition
A term referring to unconscious knowledge about a first language which a speaker has.
language acquisition
The process by which children acquire knowledge about their native language in their early childhood. Acquisition is distinguished from learning which refers to gaining knowledge of a second language in later life.
langue
A term used by De Saussure to refer to the collective knowledge of a community of the language spoken by its members.
overextension
A phenomenon in first language acquisition where the child uses a narrow term in a very general sense.
motherese
A simplified form of language used (especially by caregivers) in speaking to babies and young children, characterised by repetition, simple sentence structure, limited vocabulary, onomatopoeia, and expressive intonation; synonyms: child-directed speech; ‘baby talk’.
parole
A term deriving from De Saussure and which refers to language as it is spoken, contrast to 'langue'.
pidgin
A language which arises from the need to communicate between two communities. Historically, and indeed in almost all cases, one of the communities is socially superior to the other. The language of the former provides the base on which the latter then creates the pidgin.
psycholinguistics
The study of the relationships between linguistic behaviour and psychological processes, including the process of language acquisition.
register
A variety of a language or a level of usage, as determined by degree of formality and choice of vocabulary, pronunciation, and syntax, according to the communicative purpose, social context, and standing of the user.
sociolect
A variety of a language which is typical of a certain class.
sociolinguistics
The study of language in relation to social factors, including differences of regional, class, and occupational dialect, gender differences, and bilingualism.
speech community
A group of people sharing a common language or dialect.
standard
A form of language that is widely accepted as the usual form.
vernacular
The language or dialect spoken by the ordinary people in a particular country or region.