• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Diglossia

Diglossia is a sociolinguistic situation of which two language varieties coexist in a speech community in a complementary functional distribution. Typically, one variety is considered to be of a high value (referred to as the high variety) by the speech community and is used for formal communication, reading, and writing. The other variety is considered to have a low value by members of the speech community, and it is used for daily communication and interactions (therefore known as the low variety). Such a diglossic situation requires involvement of implicit memory mechanisms for acquisition of the native dialect, which is acquired naturally, as opposed to more explicit memory mechanisms and metalinguistic knowledge required to learn the standard language variety.

The introduction of the term diglossia is usually ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles