Sociolinguistics Chapter 8 Ethnicity and Social Networks
Learning Objectives • Ethnicity • African American Vernacular English • British Black English • Maori New Zealanders • Social networks • Communities of practice and the construction of social identity
Ethnicity Many ethnic groups use a distinctive language associated with their ethnic identity. Even when a complete conversation in an ethnic language is not possible, people may use short phrases, verbal fillers or linguistic tags, which signal ethnicity.
Ethnicity Example 2 New Zealanders use Maori linguistic signals like kia ora, e ki, ne to express their ethnic identity.
Ethnicity Further examples Chinese Singaporeans in Singapore usethe tag la to express solidarity. Italians in Boston and Sydney useparticularly high percentage of vernacularpronunciations of certain vowels.
Ethnicity Further examples Scottish people in New Zealand retain the [r]. Jewish people in Boston and New York use marked linguistic tags such as oy vay, and Yiddish vocabulary items such as bagel.
Ethnicity • African American Vernacular English • British Black English • Maori New Zealanders
African American Vernacular English • Omission of the verb be Example 4 • Invariant be to signal recurring actions Example 5 • Multiple negation Figure 8.1 • Consonant cluster simplification last Standard American English [la:st] AAVE [la:s] Exercise 2
British Black English • People of West Indian or African Carribbean origin who were born in Britain are described as British Black community. • They speak Patois, a variety of Jamaican creole. Example 6
Patois • Vocabulary • lick meaning hit • kenge meaning weak • Pronunciation • then [den] • thin [tin] • Grammar • No use of plural, tense markers
Maori New Zealanders Vocabulary tangi meaning funeral kuia meaning old woman Pronunciation then [den] Grammar Vernacular use of present and past tense forms Example 8 Exercise 4
Activity 8.1 Do you see ethnic groups using a distinctive language to signal their ethnic identity in your society? Give examples to illustrate your answer.
Ethnicity • 140,000 Filipinos in Hong Kong • Large import of labour from the Philippines since 1974 • Tagalog
Social Networks People’s speech reflect the types of networks they belong to. Example 9
Social Networks Sandy Jo Cousin Mike Tom Gerry Uncle Bob
Density and Plexity Density Whether members of a person’s network are in touch with each other Plexity Whether there are many types of transaction members are involved in
Activity 8.2 Draw a network for yourself. Identify the three people you talk to most. Link them to yourself by lines on the diagram. Do you think your social network would provide any clues to the way you speak? Would it identify the people whose speech your speech most resembles?
Communities of practice and the construction of social identity Communities of practice develop around the activities which group members engage in together, and their shared objectives and attitudes. Example 11