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Study of the sociological aspects of language. Sociolinguists attempt to isolate the linguistic features used in particular situations that mark the various social relationships among the participants and the significant elements of the situation. Factors influencing the choice of sounds, grammatical elements, and vocabulary may include age, gender, education, ethnic identity, occupation, and peer-group identification. See alsointeractionism, linguistics, pragmatics, semiotics.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on sociolinguistics, visit Britannica.com.