Every day, in
our daily activities language cannot be separated from us whether it is written
or utter. In the world, today, we know that there are hundreds of countries
where each country may have each own language. Those languages cannot be
separated from cultures they acquire. Sociolinguistic is a study of both
sociology and linguistic and the relationship between them (Alwasilah, 1985:
1). Trudgill (1974) states that sociolinguistics is part of linguistics which
is concerned with language as a social and cultural phenomenon. It investigates
the field of language and society and has close connections with the social
sciences, especially social psychology, anthropology, human geography, and
According to Cambridge Advanced
Learner’s Dictionary, language is a system of communication consisting of
sounds, words and grammar or system of communication used by the people of a particular
country or profession. Meanwhile, Sapir (1921) states, “language is a purely
human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions, and desires,
by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols.”
explanations we can find some keywords: communicating, system, particular
country or profession, and symbols.
When we talk
about language, another term may occur in our discussion that is ‘dialect’. It
is something that we can find in each language. People from different areas
which use the same language could possibly use the language in not the same
way. In here, we must distinguish between using a language differently and
speaking different language. If there are two people come from different places
and they are still able to understand each other, then, they are speaking the
same language but their way of use it may be different. At the other hand, if
they do not understand each other, it means that they speak different
languages. The way of use a language here is what we call as dialect. The
different way that I mean primarily is the vocabulary and grammar as well as
pronunciation. For example, in England there people who speak Norfolk dialect
and Suffolk dialect.
Another term we meet is ‘accent’. It
refers to solely to differences of pronunciation.
There are some factors which may
affect the differences of dialect and accent:
English is a dialect in English from so many dialects in English culture. It is
a variety of English which is usually used in print, normally taught at school,
and used in news broadcast. Language as a social phenomenon is closely tied up
with the social structure and value systems of society, different dialects and
accents are evaluated in different ways. Standard English, however, has much
more status and prestige than any other English dialect. It, moreover, is
frequently considered to be the English
language. That is why it is widely taught to non-native speakers learning the
language, accepted and codified grammar.
The Standard English
does not apply to pronunciation. It is possible to speak it with any regional
or social accent. However, there is also one accent which only occurs together
with Standard English: British English accent. It is known by linguistics as RP
Non prevocalic /r/ which occur in the
word ‘car’ or ‘far’ makes the /r/ consonant of these words disappear. RP, which
is often used on radio, television and theatre, uses non-prevocalic /r/ to
indicate people a character from rural area.
On the other hand, in many parts of
the United States (New York City, for example), non-prevocalic /r/ have more
prestige and considered than those without.
May Be Conditioned by Language
First, the physical environment in which a society
lives is being reflected in its language. The effect is in the structure of its
lexicon. English, for example, has only one word for reindeer but the Sami have
several. It is important for the Sami to be able distinguish efficiently
between different types of reindeer.
The second is
the social environment. It can have
effect on the structure of the vocabulary. In English we have father and uncle
but in Njamal, it can be translated by one Njamal term.
addition to environment and social structure, the values of a society can also
have an effect on its language. The most interesting phenomenon is about taboo—things which are not said or not
used. Each language has different taboo words. In English-speaking world, the most
severe taboos are now associated with words connected with sex. In some parts
of our country, Indonesia, the taboo words are taken from the name of animals
to curse another person.