Language is primarily considered to perform two major functions in society. It is designed to convey information to those around us as well as establish and maintain relationships. However, linguistically (albeit from social stereotypes) certain paradigms relating to class, social and financial status are attributed to dialects – a consensus that has been perpetuated in recent times due to the diversity of today's society and the integration of many differing dialects and languages in cities and countryside alike. Indeed, a stereotype regarding a dialect usually derives from the views held on the characteristics of its speakers. Although a direct correlation between the aforementioned stereotypes and linguistic fact has little scientific basis in reality it has not served to reduce the almost established dialect prejudice rife in the media, judiciary and education systems.
[...] There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that no dialect is linguistically inferior to any other as they all possess the capacity to convey information effectively (if they did not, they would have been discarded or adapted by its community, making their very presence today confirmation enough of their abilities). Limiting the social and occupational possibilities of a certain group of people through dialect prejudice (albeit for many a machiavellian-esque social stigma), simply preserves social asymmetries and propagates tension between differing cultural factions. [...]
[...] ‘Accents of English Volume I and II' Cambridge University Press, 1982). - http://www.ic.arizona.edu/~lsp/britishenglish.html. - Sapir, E. ‘Language: The Study of Speech' (USA: Brace & World Inc, 1949). - Fishman, J.A. ‘Sociolinguistics: An Introduction' Newbury House Publishers, 1971). - Trask, R.L. and Mayblin, B. ‘Introducing Linguistics' Icon Books Ltd., 2000). - http://www.msu.edu/~preston/. - Brown, R. Social Psychology of Variations in French Canadian Speech Style' (USA: Simon [...]
[...] Secondly, it is difficult for subjects to not be affected by their personal views with respect to certain dialects, as neutrality can be hard to maintain in the artificial environment in which the is experiment was set (which could also be considered an adverse factor in itself). Though some experiments have shown that dialects are, in certain respects, revered on a purely phonetic level, analysis of large amounts of data seemed to group together paired opposites which pointed to competence, personal integrity, and social attractiveness constructs in the evaluation of speaker voices. [...]
[...] Further evidence of this is seen from an experiment conducted in America to highlight the prejudice between public reception of prominent ethnic and native dialects. A single speaker was recorded and played to listening subjects saying the word ‘hello' in three dialects: Standard American English Chicano English and African American Vernacular English (AAVE). Variation in the tenseness of the vowel and pitch prominence on the first syllable of ‘hello' was enough to elicit a significantly accurate identification of the dialects by listeners. [...]
[...] Indeed, the hypothesis that dialect is representative of one's background (which is linked intrinsically to social preconceptions) is accepted by the majority of sociolinguistic commentators, the established view being that “accents and dialects have come to act as indicators not only of one's relationship to a locality but also of one's social class position” The fundamental consensus of the ‘Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis' (formulated in the early 20th Century by prominent linguists Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf) highlighting the striking difference between both languages themselves and their subsequent dialect derivatives, and that the surroundings and ideologies of a community are prominent in its form of speech. [...]
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