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  • The study of language development, use, and change and the social and cultural factors that affect language. The basic concept of sociolinguistics is that language is used for more than just direct communication and the form of language used is affected by the relationship between the people in the language exchange as well as factors such as age, gender, class, and ethnic heritage. Sociolinguistics draws on ideas from psychology, linguistics, anthropology, sociology, and communications as it studies the human use of language and the ways languages vary under different social conditions.

    The development of ideas about the interactions between language and culture in the United States is attributed to the linguist William Labov, whose work on American dialects and class differences in language use and structure ...

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