Language is a quintessentially social activity. Language allows individuals to cooperate with one another to achieve common goals. Given that language use occurs almost exclusively in socially meaningful interactions, it is not surprising that the form that utterances take varies considerably in different social contexts. The field of sociolinguistics examines social dimensions of language.

Sociolinguistics is a very broad field. Arguably, the core of sociolinguistics is the study of language varieties, that is, different subtypes of language that arise among different groups of speakers of a language. This includes, among other things, the study of regional dialects. Sociolinguistics also studies language variation that arises when individuals express socially meaningful messages along with regular linguistic messages. It also encompasses studies of how language variation functions in societies, ...

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