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An analysis concerning stereotyping people in connection with their dialect

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  1. Introduction
  2. 'Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis'
  3. Role of phonetic factors in highlighting ones social background
  4. Linguistic inequality - a consequence of social inequality
  5. Experiments highlighting dialect prejudice in every sector of society
  6. Social perception influencing the respective status of dialects
  7. Conclusion
  8. Bibliography

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). - - 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). - - Brown, R. Social Psychology of Variations in French Canadian Speech Style' (USA: Simon [...]

[...] An active example of this was prevalent in aboriginal America the Athabaskan varieties are clearly unified despite the wide distribution of its people, from the hunting communities of Western Canada to the ritualized Southwest. The illogical stigmatization of dialects highlighted in the stigma towards the employment of double negatives in certain dialects (an action that is derided as a sign of low social standing or poor intelligence). Whilst being both widely considered a standard linguistic construction in other languages (e.g.: French and Arabic) and prevalent in such classical literary works as Shakespeare and Chaucer, modern English encourages the marginalization of its usage. [...]

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