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Recap of Week 3

Let’s recap on the content and terms you have learned in Week 3 of this course!

This week was all about the relationship between language and identity. Before this background, we learned about social identity theory, salience, audience design, and accommodation, and discussed how these are interesting for sociolinguistic researchers.

Furthermore, we were introduced to different research projects where we learned about the representation of accent attitudes and identity in the media, such as Disney films, and about the AISEB project.

Below is a glossary of terms that were introduced this week.

Accommodation: adaptation of your way of speaking to appear cooperative or when you talk to someone you like, so you sound more like the person you are talking to (Step 3.5).

African American Vernacular English (AAVE): a variety of English associated with African American speakers in the United States (Step 3.11).

Audience design: the way in which a person or people that you’re talking to influence how you speak as you try to help them understand you better (Step 3.5).

Salience: when a linguistic feature is more ‘obvious’ or noticeable in someone’s speech (Step 3.5).

Social identity theory: the idea that people both have - and identify with - multiple identities that can be signalled (among other things) through speech; it explains how people can mark out both personal identities (i.e. how people define themselves) and group-level identities (i.e. how people define their membership of a group) (Step 3.3).

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This article is from the free online course:

An Introduction to Sociolinguistics: Accents, Attitudes and Identity

University of York

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