Language and Social Class

1. Discuss the relation between a “social class” and a “social community”. In what ways is a social class equivalent to a social community? In what ways are they different? What social class do you belong to? What markers indicate your membership in this social class? What social communities do you belong to? Do all of your social communities belong to your social class?

2. Discuss the relation between social class and economic class.

3. What factors create social differentiation?

4. Why did dialectologists once think that older, rural male speakers should be the target of dialect surveys? Why do they no longer believe this to be the case?

5. What problems do dialectologists face in describing the language of large, urban populations?

6. What is the equivalent in the United States of RP in Britain?

7. How do intra-individual and inter-individual factors affect dialect surveys?

8. What is surprising about the results reported in Table 5?

9. Why are dialect studies important?