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Using Gay Lingo

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Society- the aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community:
The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.
The community of people living in a particular region and having shared customs, laws, and organizations
Language-A human system of communication that uses arbitrary signals, such as voice sounds, gestures, or written symbols the method of human communication, either spoken or written, consisting of the use of words in a structured and conventional way the system of communication used by a particular community or country

Sociolinguistics- The study of language in relation to social factors, including differences of regional, class, and occupational dialect.
The study of the relation between language and society

1) Sociolinguistics- also called Micro- Sociolinguistics- is, as Hudson (1996, p.4) states, « the study of language in relation to society ». Therefore, the focus here is emphasized on the structure of language and the way society with its different aspects from social classes and culture, to gender and ethnicity, influences the kind of linguistic structures we use and the way we talk. This leads us to conclude that Sociolinguistics studies, for example, how social situations require a change in the way we talk as there is a difference between ‘formal’ and ‘informal’ speeches, ‘discussions’ and ‘arguments’, and ‘requests’ and ‘demands’.
The Sociology of language- also called Macro- Sociolinguistics- is, as Hudson (1996, p.4) affirms, « the study of society in relation to language ». Accordingly, we study the language of a particular community with the aim of discovering and understanding the use of the social structures and the way the people of this community use them to communicate properly. This leads us to the idea that the Sociology of language studies, for example, the way linguistic structures are formed when different members of a tribe, including the Chieftain, address each other to identify the different social classes of that tribe.

1) Phonetics, Phonology This is the level of sounds. One must distinguish here between the set of possible human sounds, which constitutes the area of phonetics proper, and the set of system sounds used in a given human language, which constitutes the area of phonology. Phonology is concerned with classifying the sounds of language and with saying how the subset used in a particular language is utilised, for instance what distinctions in meaning can be made on the basis of what sounds.
2) Morphology This is the level of words and endings, to put it in simplified terms. It is what one normally understands by grammar (along with syntax). The term morphology refers to the analysis of minimal forms in language which are, however, themselves comprised of sounds and which are used to construct words which have either a grammatical or a lexical function.
Lexicology is concerned with the study of the lexicon from a formal point of view and is thus closely linked to (derivational) morphology.
3) Syntax This is the level of sentences. It is concerned with the meanings of words in combination with each other to form phrases or sentences. In particular, it involves differences in meaning arrived at by changes in word order, the addition or subtraction of words from sentences or changes in the form of sentences. It furthermore deals with the relatedness of different sentence types and with the analysis of ambiguous sentences.
Language typology attempts to classify languages according to high-order principles of morphology and syntax and to make sets of generalisations across different languages irrespective of their genetic affiliations, i.e. of what language family they belong to.
4) Semantics This is the area of meaning. It might be thought that semantics is covered by the areas of morphology and syntax, but it is quickly seen that this level needs to be studied on its own to have a proper perspective on meaning in language. Here one touches, however, on practically every other level of language as well as there exists lexical, grammatical, sentence and utterance meaning.
5) Pragmatics The concern here is with the use of language in specific situations. The meaning of sentences need not be the same in an abstract form and in practical use. In the latter case one speaks of utterance meaning. The area of pragmatics relies strongly for its analyses on the notion of speech act which is concerned with the actual performance of language. This involves the notion of proposition – roughly the content of a sentence – and the intent and effect of an utterance.
Characteristics and Features of Language
Language is, today, an inseparable part of human society. Human civilization has been possible only through language. It is through language only that humanity has come out of the stone age and has developed science, art and technology in a big way. Language is a means of communication, it is arbitrary, it is a system of systems. We know that Speech is primary while writing is secondary.

Language is human so it differs from animal communication in several ways. Language can have scores of characteristics but the following are the most important ones: language is arbitrary, productive, creative, systematic, vocalic, social, non-instinctive and conventional. These characteristics of language set human language apart from animal communication. Some of these features may be part of animal communication; yet they do not form part of it in total.
Language is Arbitrary: Language is arbitrary in the sense that there is no inherent relation between the words of a language and their meanings or the ideas conveyed by them. There is no reason why a female adult human being be called a woman in English, aurat in Urdu, Zen in Persian and Femine in French. The choice of a word selected to mean a particular thing or idea is purely arbitrary but once a word is selected for a particular referent, it comes to stay as such. It may be noted that had language not been arbitrary, there would have been only one language in the world.
Language is Social: Language is a set of conventional communicative signals used by humans for communication in a community. Language in this sense is a possession of a social group, comprising an indispensable set of rules which permits its members to relate to each other, to interact with each other, to co-operate with each other; it is a social institution. Language exists in society; it is a means of nourishing and developing culture and establishing human relations.
Language is Symbolic: Language consists of various sound symbols and their graphological counterparts that are employed to denote some objects, occurrences or meaning. These symbols are arbitrarily chosen and conventionally accepted and employed. Words in a language are not mere signs or figures, but symbols of meaning. The intelligibility of a language depends on a correct interpretation of these symbols.
Language is Systematic: Although language is symbolic, yet its symbols are arranged in a particular system. All languages have their system of arrangements. Every language is a system of systems. All languages have phonological and grammatical systems, and within a system there are several sub-systems. For example, within the grammatical system we have morphological and syntactic systems, and within these two sub-systems we have systems such as those of plural, of mood, of aspect, of tense, etc.
Language is Vocal: Language is primarily made up of vocal sounds only produced by a physiological articulatory mechanism in the human body. In the beginning, it appeared as vocal sounds only. Writing came much later, as an intelligent attempt to represent vocal sounds. Writing is only the graphic representation of the sounds of the language. So the linguists say that speech is primary.
Language is Non-instinctive, Conventional: No language was created in a day out of a mutually agreed upon formula by a group of humans. Language is the outcome of evolution and convention. Each generation transmits this convention on to the next. Like all human institutions languages also change and die, grow and expand. Every language then is a convention in a community. It is non-instinctive because it is acquired by human beings. No body gets a language in heritage; he acquires it because he an innate ability.
Language is Productive and Creative: Language has creativity and productivity. The structural elements of human language can be combined to produce new utterances, which neither the speaker nor his hearers may ever have made or heard before any, listener, yet which both sides understand without difficulty. Language changes according to the needs of society.
Finally, language has other characteristics such as Duality referring to the two systems of sound and meaning, Displacement which means the ability to talk across time and space, Humanness which means that animals cannot acquire it, Universality which refers to the equilibrium across humanity on linguistic grounds, Competence and Performance which means that language is innate and produced is society and furthermore, language is culturally transmitted. It is learnt by an individual from his elders, and is transmitted from one generation to another. Thus using J. Firth’s term, language is a ‘polysystametic’. It is also open to be studied from multifaceted angles.

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