Language as a Symbol of Group Membership

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Whenever we speak in a particular language variety rather than another, we display an affinity with one social group distancing ourselves from other social groups. The identity–marking function of speech is as important as the communicative one. The type of language variety, people use, makes a considerable contribution to shape their social identities. This means that the people with high social or political status should often carefully control their language styles in order to exert profound influence on people's attitudes to meet desired expectations. In fact, social class-based language differences may have more important social implications than regional variations. In many class-conscious societies, particular varieties associated with lower social classes, may be greatly stigmatized by the members of the society. Hence, the speakers of less prestigious varieties may often lose many educational and occupational opportunities unfairly. However, a language variety in linguistic term is more expressive, logical, regular, and correct than social varieties. Therefore, making any valid judgment on the superiority or inferiority of a particular language variety is concerned with social and political affairs and does not have any linguistic merits. The article also discusses the relation between language variety and cognitive ability of language users based on Bernstein’s theory and the critics. © 2015, Canadian Center of Science and Education. All right reserved.

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... The description of differences between young and older generations focuses on (in)formality (Labov 1972;Stenström and Jørgensen 2009). In the research of group membership through speech (Ghafournia 2015), sociolinguists describe two types of prestige, overt and covert prestige. Overt prestige is related to standard and more formal linguistic features, which are normally associated with those who hold more power and status. ...
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Parliamentary and legislative debate transcripts provide an exciting insight into elected politicians' opinions, positions, and policy preferences. They are interesting for political and social sciences as well as linguistics and natural language processing (NLP). Exiting research covers discussions within individual parliaments. In contrast, we apply advanced NLP methods to a joint and comparative analysis of six national parliaments (Bulgarian, Czech, French, Slovene, Spanish, and United Kingdom) between 2017 and 2020, whose transcripts are a part of the ParlaMint dataset collection. Using a uniform methodology, we analyze topics discussed, emotions, and sentiment. We assess if the age, gender, and political orientation of speakers can be detected from speeches. The results show some commonalities and many surprising differences among the analyzed countries.
... If these teenagers use Indonesian in a traditional environment, society will stigmatize that they are not part of the community (outsiders) or are considered as teenagers who do not respect local languages. This shows that the use of language shows a person's social identity and from which group they come from [13]. Therefore, the teenagers in the city of lhokseumawe adjust the language they use when Advances in Social Science, Education and Humanities Research, volume 648 communicating according to the environment they are in as explained by one of the research informants. ...
Conference Paper
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This study aims at identifying the use of local language by the youth in Aceh, and the social identity represented by the youth through their decision in using or not using local language in public space in the city of Lhokseumawe and Takengon. Amongst local languages that are in use in the Province of Aceh are Acehnese language and Gayonese language. This study focuses on these two language speakers as they are two most spoken local languages in Aceh. The researchers investigate how the youth use these languages in coffee shops. Coffee shops are chosen in this study as the location of this research since they are considered public spaces that are modern and most visited by the youth. The methodology utilized in this research is descriptive qualitative. The data were collected through observations and in-depth interviews. The results of the study show that the use of local language in public space such as coffee shop is still less preferable amongst youth in Aceh. The study also found that there are several social identities represented by the youth through their decision of whether or not to use the local language in social interaction in coffee shops. First, there is the need to show the identity of city people, or “cool” people by not choosing to speak the local language. Second, youth show particular identity by using local language to immerse into the group they are hanging out with. Third, in male speakers, the use of local language is more preferable compared to their female counterparts to show the flexibility in mingling with their peers.
... The argument that conspiracy mentality influences whether text complexity leads to feelings of social exclusion can also be supported from the perspective of group membership. Readers can use different modes of language, for instance complex language instead of simple language, as a cue of group membership (Ghafournia, 2015). Scientific jargon might generally exclude readers without an academic background (Sharon & Baram-Tsabari, 2013), but its impact on feelings of social exclusion might be particularly strong for individuals who are wired to divide their surroundings into in-group and out-group members and are thus especially sensitive to cues of group membership (see Cichocka et al., 2016;van Prooijen & van Lange, 2014 for in-group positivity among conspiracy theorists). ...
We investigated linguistic factors that affect peoples’ trust in science and their commitment to follow evidence-based recommendations, crucial for limiting the spread of COVID-19. In an experiment ( N = 617), we examined whether complex (vs. simple) scientific statements on mask-wearing can decrease trust in information and its sources, and hinder adherence to behavioral measures. In line with former research on social exclusion through complex language, we also examined whether complexity effects are mediated via feelings of social exclusion. Results indicate that negative effects of text complexity were present, but only for participants with a strong conspiracy mentality. This finding informs how to increase trust in science among individuals with a high conspiracy mentality, a population commonly known for its skepticism towards scientific evidence.
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This paper looks at the growth of multiple-authored papers in eight leading economics journals. In 1950, multiple authorship was a relative rarity. By the 1990s, it had become commonplace. An empirical analysis suggests that this growth has not been even over time but appears to have been greatest in the mid-1960s and again since the mid-1970s. Possible reasons for this growth include developments in computer technology. Its implications for the economics profession are briefly discussed. Copyright 1996 by American Economic Association.
An Introduction to Language and Linguistics - edited by Ralph W. Fasold September 2014
This work is a study in urban dialectology, sociological linguistics, and generative phonology. It takes the form of an urban dialect survey of the city of norwich, England, and is particularly concerned with the correlation between phonetic and phonological aspects of English, as it is spoken in Norwich, and various sociological parameters.
Preface. Acknowledgments. 1. Language, Class and Community. 2. Obtaining Data in the Speech Community: Major Principles. 3. Studying Language in teh Community: The Fieldworker and the Social Network. 4. The Social Context of Speech Events. 5. The Quantitative Analysis of Linguistic Data. 6. The Language of the Individual Speaker: Patterns of Variation and Network Structure. 7. Conclusions and Theoretical Implications. Appendix. References. Index.
No single theory so far proposed gives a wholly satisfactory account of the origin and maintenance of bird-song dialects. This failure is the consequence of a weak comparative literature that precludes careful comparisons among species or studies, and of the complexity of the issues involved. Complexity arises because dialects seem to bear upon a wide range of features in the life history of bird species. We give an account of the principal issues in bird-song dialects: evolution of vocal learning, experimental findings on song ontogeny, dialect descriptions, female and male reactions to differences in dialect, and population genetics and dispersal. We present a synthetic theory of the origin and maintenance of song dialects, one that accommodates most of the different systems reported in the literature. The few data available suggest that large, regional dialect populations are genetically differentiated; this pattern is correlated with reduced dispersal between dialects, assortative mating by females, and male-male exclusion. At the same time, “subdialects” may be formed within regional dialects. Subdialect clusters are usually small and may represent vocal mimicry among a few adjacent territorial males. The relative importance of genetic and social adaptation may contribute to the emergence of subdialects; their distinctiveness may be correlated with the degree of polygyny, for example. Thus, subdialect formation is linked to one theory of the evolution of repertoire size, but data are too fragmentary to examine this idea critically.
A number of studies have shown regular correlation between linguistic variation and social-class differences. Definition and identification of social class in a particular situation, however, still presents problems. The problems are discussed with reference to a study in Glasgow where occupation was used as the sole criterion for social-class membership.
BernsteinB., Class, codes and control, Volume 1 – Theoretical studies towards a sociology of language; and BernsteinB. (ed.) Class, codes and control, Volume 2 – Applied studies towards a sociology of language. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1971; 1973 Pp. xiv+238 (Vol. 1); Pp. xvi+377 (Vol. 2). - Volume 4 Issue 1 - Millicent E. Poole
One of the first accounts of social variation in language, this groundbreaking study founded the discipline of sociolinguistics, providing the model on which thousands of studies have been based. In this second edition, Labov looks back on forty years of sociolinguistic research, bringing the reader up to date on its methods, findings and achievements. In over thirty pages of new material, he explores the unforeseen implications of his earlier work, addresses the political issues involved, and evaluates the success of newer approaches to sociolinguistic investigation. In doing so, he reveals the outstanding accomplishments of sociolinguistics since his original study, which laid the foundations for studying language variation, introduced the crucial concept of the linguistic variable, and showed how variation across age groups is an indicator of language change. Bringing Labov's pioneering study into the 21st century, this classic volume will remain the benchmark in the field for years to come.
Incluye bibliografía e índice
Incluye bibliografía e índice
Bibliogr. s. 448-452
Thesis--Cornell University. Vita. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 156-162). "74-6373." Microfilm of typescript. Ithaca, N.Y. : Photo Science, Cornell University ; Ann Arbor, Mich. : distributed by Xerox University Microfilms,
Studies of animal culture have not normally included a consideration of cetaceans. However, with several long-term field studies now maturing, this situation should change. Animal culture is generally studied by either investigating transmission mechanisms experimentally, or observing patterns of behavioural variation in wild populations that cannot be explained by either genetic or environmental factors. Taking this second, ethnographic, approach, there is good evidence for cultural transmission in several cetacean species. However, only the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops) has been shown experimentally to possess sophisticated social learning abilities, including vocal and motor imitation; other species have not been studied. There is observational evidence for imitation and teaching in killer whales. For cetaceans and other large, wide-ranging animals, excessive reliance on experimental data for evidence of culture is not productive; we favour the ethnographic approach. The complex and stable vocal and behavioural cultures of sympatric groups of killer whales (Orcinus orca) appear to have no parallel outside humans, and represent an independent evolution of cultural faculties. The wide movements of cetaceans, the greater variability of the marine environment over large temporal scales relative to that on land, and the stable matrilineal social groups of some species are potentially important factors in the evolution of cetacean culture. There have been suggestions of gene-culture coevolution in cetaceans, and culture may be implicated in some unusual behavioural and life-history traits of whales and dolphins. We hope to stimulate discussion and research on culture in these animals.
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