Friday, September 23, 2011


Dialect, Sociolect, and Idiolect

A.    Dialect
1.      The definition of dialect
The term dialect comes from greek language “diakletos” which is used in two different ways. One usage refers to a variety of a language that is characteristic of a particular group of the language speakers. The other usage refers to a language socially subordinate to a regional or national standard language. For example in our national standard language ( Bahasa Indonesia) there are several dialects minang dialect,Javanese dialect,and sundanese dialect for instances and in our regional standard language ( Bahasa Minangkabau) there are several dialects such as Payakumbuh dialect,Bukittingi dialect, and Pariaman dialect. A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary for example the standard vocabulary “apo” (to say what) in Minang language can be “aya” in Malalak dialect and “a” in Bukittinggi dialect, grammar for example the standard Englisa grammar “ tell me what do you know” becomes “ tell me what thou knowest” in Yorkshire dialect, pronounciation or phonology for instances in American English a word “duty” is pronounced /d'i:ti/ but /dju:ti/ in British English, in Betawi dialect a word ending in “a” will be pronounced “e” kemana /kemane/ siapa /siape etc.
Many people think that dialects are corrupted form of a language spoken by ignorant people who make mistakes grammatically This is not at all true. A standard language is not linguistically better than other dialects. It is simply the dialect that has been adopted for official purpose such as government nad education. Some examples of English dialect forms:
                        “I ba’int ready”  in standard English grammar “I’m not ready”
                        “He don’t like it” in standard English grammar “he doesn’t like it”
                        I wants a rest ( I want a rest)
                        Can ye no help me (can’t you help me)
                        They’re not believing it (they domn believe it)
                        She’s after telling me (she’s told me)
                        I ain’t done nothing (I haven’t done anything).
            Dialect forms are not incorrect in themselves. They are, however out of place in styles where only the standard language is normally used. It would be inappropriate to use “I wants” “he don’t” in a shool essay, a job application and other forml situations. Thus, in simple term dialect can be defined as a language which is different from standard language.
2.      Language and Dialect
According to Haugen language and dialect are ambiguous term Ordinary people use them quite freely to speak various linguistic situation, but scholar often experience considerable difficulty in deciding that one term should be used rather than the other in certain situation. Language can be used to refer either to a single linguistic norm or to a group of related norms, and dialect to refer to one of the norm themselves are not static. A language term would be some unitary system of linguistic communication which subsumes a number of mutually intelligible varieties. It would be therefore be bigger than a single dialect.
A language can be called dialect when:
a.       No standard or codified form.
b.      The spekers of the given language do not have state of their own.
c.       Never used in formal writing
d.      Lack prestige with respect to some other, often standardized, variety
3.      Kinds of dialect
a.       standard dialect
A standard dialect is a dialect that is supported by institution. There may be multiple standard dialect associated with a single language for example Standard American English, Standard Canadian English etc.
b.      non standard dialect
A non standard dialect is a dialect that is not beneficiary of institutional support for example Southern American English or Newfoundland English.
c.       Regional dialect
A Regional dialect is a dialect which is spoken in certain area or place for example Minagkabau dialect, Javanese dialect.
d.      Social dialect or sociolect
A social dialect is a dialect which is spoken by certain group for example teenager’s dialect, Bahasa gaul, Bahasa alay
e.       Temporal dialect
A temporal dialect is dialect which is spoken in certain period of time for example middle English dialect.
B.     Sociolect or Social Dialect
Sociolect is a dialect that is concerning with the social status and class. The term social class that is related to the social dialect refers to the difference between people which are associated with differences in social prestige, wealth and education. People from different social do not speak in the same way. For example, teachers do not talk like farmers, laywer do not talk in the same way as the criminals they defend in court.
The following are the several kinds of sociolect:
a.       Acrolect
This is the social dialect that is considered to be higher or more prestigious than others. For example, the Javanese with Kromo dialect is considered to be in the higher level than Ngoko dialect
b.      Bacilect
It refers to to the social dialect that is considered to be lower or less prestigious than others. For example, the Javanese with Ngoko dialect is considered to be lower or less prestigious than Kromo dialect.
c.       Vulgars
This is a social dialect that contains features that are used by less educated  or even uneducated people.
d.      Slang
This is a non-standard words that are known and used by a certain  group of people such as bahasa alay which is used by alay community or people who is considered to be alay, a language which used by a group of college students etc.
e.       Colloquial
It means the social dialect used in daly conversation or used in speaking and not used in writing. The term colloquial derived from the word colloquium meaning conversation. The examples of colloquial in spoken English are “don’t” for “do not”, “I’d” for “ “I would or I had” “gimme “ for “give me” etc.
C.     Idiolect
Idiolect is a variety of a language unique to an individual. Everyone has his own language variation or his own idiolect. Idiolect is concerning with the “colours” of voice, choice of words, language style, sentence order etc. The “colours” of voice is the most dominant aspect in idiolect, because we can recognize someone just by listening to voice without seeing the person.
According to linguists individual idiolect must nonetheless account for the fact that members of lage speech communities, and even speakers of different dialect of the same language can understand one another.





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