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ISBN-13: 9781411400696

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Our language is also determined by who we arc; that is the basis of dialect, and in principle a dialect is with us all our lives - ii is not subject to choice. In practice, however, this is Jess and less true,and the phenomenon of ‘dialect switching' is widespread. Many speakers learn two or more dialects, either in suc­ cession, dropping the first when they learn the second,or in coordination, switching them according to the context of situation. Hence the dialect comes 10 be art aspect of the register, if for example the standard dialect is used in formal contexts and the neighbourhood one in informal contexts, then one part of the contextual determination of Linguistic features is the determination of choice of dialect.

The teacher operates in contexts of Language and social man (Part 1) 31 situation where it simply has to be taken for granted that for every child, by the time he arrives in school* language is a means of learning; and this is an assumption that is basic to the educational process. Less obvious’ but perhaps no less fundamentaU is the assumption that language is a means of personal expression and participation: that the child is at home, lin­ guistically, in interpersonal contexts, where his early use of language to interact with tho^e emotionally important to him, and to express and develop Jiis own uniqueness as an individual (the interactional and personal functions), has in the same way been ta ken up and extended into new realms of meaning.

Chs. 7-10), In BemsleirTs view, in order to understand the social system,how ic persists and changes in the course of the transmission of culture from one generation to another, you have to understand the key role that language plays in this. He approaches this first of all through the role that language piays in the socialization process; he then moves on towards a much more general social theory of cultural transmission and the maintenance of the social * From a discussion with Herman Parret (Herm an Parrel, Discussing language (The Hague.

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Anthropology SparkCharts


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