What is Sociolinguistics?

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The field of sociolinguistics is a relatively young but rather important branch of linguistics. It studies language in its social context, and analyzes the actual language use by different speakers in order to explain language variation and language change.

Sociolinguistics investigates language attitudes on different levels of interpersonal communication: local and global.

On the one hand, language serves people to fulfill their communicative and personal needs, and on the other hand, people shape the language in their everyday linguistic interactions. Language use and language variation affects every language user in a unique way.

The study of sociolinguistics can give everyone an opportunity to build awareness in such important issues as language variation, language policy, and language and education. It can be a powerful tool in solving social, educational and political problems of our society. The knowledge of sociolinguistics can be applied in a broad range of areas, starting with personal relationships (language and gender, language and age), and going as far as the global community (language policy and linguistic diversity).

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