Good Example Of General Course Work

Published: 2021-06-21 23:46:51
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Category: Information, Education, Study, Thinking, Family, Linguistics

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Background information

William Labov is a renowned American linguistic whose contributions in language development are highly regarded across the globe. He is attributed to the evolution of sociolinguistics. Labov was born in December in the year 1927 in Rutherford, New Jersey. He has contribute his knowledge towards improving language in several universities with the latest being Pennsylvania university as a professor in research in sociolinguistics and dialectology. He has received many awards in honor of his contribution towards language.

Main contributions in language

Labov has contributed immensely in linguistics, both as a tutor and an author. Through his unique ways, he shifted his study to a more scientific oriented way where he interviewed people and recorded their speech. Through this manner of research he realized that each person had a different way of mentioning words. This variation among people could not be interpreted in the theoretical aspect of study. Thus he ventured into sociolinguistic. His main goal was to use language as the structure determining tool of the structure of language. This involves its underlying forms and organization and the mechanisms and causes of linguistic change. In his book, the social stratification of English in New York, the published methods that are used to collect data in his study have been helpful in social dialect. Moreover, he ventured into determining the aspects of English that form the Africa America vernacular English (AVVE) where he argued that the African America should be respected due to its own grammatical uniqueness in the language aspect.

Further he pursued phonology of English and how it’s spoken in America today. To complement his work he partnered with other authors to publish the Atlas of North America English in the 2006.The published work defined the origins of and patterns of vowel. Other published work includes The Study of Nonstandard English (1996), Sociolinguistic patterns (1972) and many others.

Main Points of Publication

The aim of this study is to analyze the conversation that takes place between a patient and a therapist. This is especially helpful to students who have been newly introduced to the therapeutic studies and the existing students who have the desire to gain more knowledge in understanding the underlying concepts of the sociolinguistics. The article describes the study of language as a multifaceted human activity that requires different approaches to understand it. The article note of a systematic approach described by Bales in his book, Interaction Process Analysis. Bale’s analysis has contributed immensely in understanding the language concept. The main argument in our approach is that sequencing rules are applied in between abstract speech actions and their arrangement is a hierarchy complex.

This idea of organization of hierarchy derives its ideology from phonology and grammar analysis. The advantage of using imagined exchanges helps in identifying the history of knowledge and the facts about it .Therefore, historical aspect of conversation is important in understanding the evolution of languages among different people in the society. The analysis notes that reference to real conversation is complex and hampers the process of understanding the underlying issues in the conversation. An observer who is keen to analyze a person during the conversation may prove to be complex.

There is challenge to fully correct interpretation problem unless several strategies are applied. First one is required to be conversant with the complex of the issues and the higher probability of making errors in the deductions .To avoid these errors, contextual knowledge about the therapist and the patient is paramount. This article highlights a conversation between husband and wife about their intentions to have a child. What surprises the therapist is an utterance that the husband makes. This utterance was difficult despite having spent significant period with the couple. The husband said, “Have a match”. In his remarks, He realized it was a unique manner in which the two conversed while reaching an agreement. Therefore, listening to a live conversation for a first time is difficult even to a renowned therapy expert.

The article highlights the complexity of a conversation between two people or a group of people in a conversation through listening. It is presumably easier to interpret the tone of their voice and the e gestures expressed during the conversation. However from a conversation that was video recorded between a husband and his wife indicated loopholes about the exact meaning of certain gestures portrayed by the husband. When the wife urged her husband not to say that blood is thicker than water, husband reacted by turning his head away from the wife. This gesture resulted in different opinions from the audience. One of them claimed that the husband reacted out of anger because he felt that the wife had insulted him. However, a therapist who had spent time with the couple said that the husband turned away his head because the statement was a compliment. This conversation emphasizes on the importance of background information about a conversation to enable making feasible conclusion.

Was it easy to read and understand the publication?

The publication was not easy to understand especially to first time students who had developed interest in learning the aspects that surround language in a conversation. For those with a background of language behavior in a conversation would find it easy to interpret the published article by comparing what they know. The publication led to new developments about language since it indicated that it was difficult to interpret a gesture in a conversation without background information.
Did the publication relate to class discussions of main school concepts?

The publication was in tandem with the leanings in class. It provided extra insights on the approaches the interpretation of a conversation. The article provides in-depth analysis of language complexity and the challenges faced by people who have little or no information about the characters of the parties in a conversation.

Does the publication contribute to the field of Linguistics in any way?

The article has contributed immensely in the understanding of language and its constraints towards societal cohesiveness. Language is defined as the key to understanding of different parties. Further it has enabled in understanding the relationship between the utterances in a conversation and the gestures portrayed by parties during the conversation.

Would linguistic be different today without such publications?

The understanding of languages would be very different if such theorists did not delve into research about the concepts of language and conversation. People would be having different naive interpretations about a conversation. This may lead unfounded deductions and thus mislead the audience.

What I liked about linguistics in general

I realized that literal interpretation of a conversation was not substantial. It required background understanding of all parties for a comprehensive conclusion to be made. Further, language understanding was the key to understanding people’s behavior while approaching issues.

What I disliked

Using past information to interpret the meaning of a current conversation is a challenge. It may lead to misleading interpretation. This requires one to have past information about the parties which may be missing. Moreover, sourcing past information is time consuming and costly. This demoralizes those students who may wish to study about linguistics and its behavior. Moreover, the understanding that background information is paramount challenged me about of the past decisions I have made despite having no background context.


Labov, W. (2006). The social stratification of English in New York City. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Labov, W. (2006). A sociolinguistic perspective on sociophonetic research. Journal of Phonetics.

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