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Dialect

  • In: Encyclopedia of Identity
  • Edited by: Ronald L. Jackson II & Michael A. Hogg
  • Subject:Self & Identity, Identity, Self & Identity

Meaningful arguments exist regarding language use. One argument posits that linguists analyze language use with objectivity: They describe and record what they hear and observe. Another argument puts forth that linguists prescribe or judge language use in an attempt to curb language variation in favor of some ideal standard. Whether articulated or not, these perspectives figure into any discussion of dialect.

Dialect is a variety of a language. Dialects are central to identity, for they signal, among other things, group affiliation, region, and social class. ...

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