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free counters WHAT IS SOCIOLINGUISTICS ALL ABOUT? PDF Print E-mail Written by Mudjia Rahardjo    Tuesday, 24 March 2015 06:01

From its term, sociolinguistics is derived from two different disciplines:

sociology  and  linguistics.

SOCIOLOGY : a study about social structure, social organizations, relationship between and within groups of people, and social behaviour.


In a broader sense, sociology studies about groups of people in society (family, clan, tribes, and nations), how they behave and affect each other.


Sociologists assume sociology as a single discipline which is not related at all with any other disciplines and consider that society could be constituted without language.



All scientists (sociologists, psychologists, physicists, biologists, linguists, economists, historians, literary scholars) are all interested in arrangements. Basically, all disciplines try to find patterns of arrangements

Sociology focuses on three basic arrangements:

Therefore, sociology  is the study of the arrangements through which people know, share, and affect one another’s lives.


LINGUISTICS (often called general linguistics, or structural linguistics) is a study about phones (phonology), words (morphology) and sentences (syntax). Only very recently, it studies discourses (texts).

Linguistics assumes:

(1)   language as a single entity

(2)   language as a close system

(3)   language as a system of which components are homogenous.

Linguists treat language as an abstract object which can be accounted for without reference to social concerns of any kinds.


SOCIOLINGUISTICS (often called a functional linguistics,  and a cross disciplinary study) of which terms was first coined in 1950’s to try to bring  together the perspectives of linguists and sociologists to bear on issues concerning the place of language in society, and to address the social contexts of linguistic diversity.


Sociolinguistics is the field that studies the relationship between language and society, between the uses of language and the social structures in which the  users of language live. It is the field of study that assumes that human society is  made up of many related patters and behaviours, some of which are linguistic (Spolsky, 1998: 3)


Sociolinguistics assumes:

(1)   every language has its own variations

(2)   every dialect ia also varied

(3)   human speech is also varied depending on whom he speaks to

(4)   language is closely related to social system and social structure

(5)   language is a system which is not separated from the characteristics of its speakers, and the sociocultural values applied by its speakers


Prof. Dr. H. Mudjia Rahardjo, M.Si.

Professor of Sociolinguistics, Faculty of Humanity

The State Islamic University of Maulana Malik Ibrahim


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