An Introduction to Language and Society by Martin Montgomery

By Martin Montgomery

An advent to Language and Society explores how our methods of seeing and interesting with the area might be formed through the kinds, platforms and styles of language. This moment variation contains new fabric on gender, check in, the speech group, language and subcultures, and language and illustration.

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5 look (1) 6 nice drink 7 MOTHER: a nice drink 8 can mummy put a bit of water on her 9 blouse? 10 to wet it? 11 CHILD: um 12 MOTHER: ta 13 Thus, towards the end of the two-word stage children have not only taken significant steps into the ideational sphere: they have also extensively advanced their linguistic potential in the interpersonal dimension. Whereas, previously, interchanges between child and ‘other’ tended quickly to lose a sense of connectedness (and where there was coherence, it was often supplied by the adult), now the dialogues are far more sustained—with the child quite often making the running.

Just as important, however, is the basic nature of the protolinguistic system itself. While the child remains within it—with its basic principle of one sound, one meaning—s/he is committed to coining a new expression for every new meaning s/he wants to convey. Because of the inherent unwieldiness of this process, it is as if a law of diminishing returns sets in and it thereby becomes more economical to take over adult forms, rather than to go on creating them uniquely for him/herself. For what the adult system ultimately provides is a basic and relatively fixed set of patterns, which can be mobilized for the production of an unlimited range of utterances, each with a possibly unique meaning.

Wassat? ) 6 CHILD: ’sat? ’sat? ’sat? ’sat? ) ’sat mummy? 7 PARENT: what love? 8 < previous page page_11 next page > < previous page page_12 next page > Page 12 show me 9 CHILD: ’sat mummy? 10 PARENT: what are you pointing to? 11 CHILD: look 12 PARENT: oh 13 that’s a switch 14 CHILD: sitch 15 ’sat? 16 PARENT: and that’s another one isn’t it? 17 CHILD: ’sat? ’sat? ’sat? 18 PARENT: and that’s a little button that you press 19 a little red button isn’t it? ) it won’t work if you do 24 This kind of activity can, in fact, occur much earlier than the twenty-three months of this example and partially as a result of it we see a very rapid growth in the range of expressions open to the child in each functional area.

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