Speech Community

A Speech community is a group of people who share a set of norms and expectations regarding the use of language.

Exactly how to define speech community is debated in the literature. Definitions of speech community tend to involve varying degrees of emphasis on the following:

  • Shared community membership
  • Shared linguistic communication

Early definitions have tended to see speech communities as bounded and localized groups of people who live together and come to share the same linguistic norms because they belong to the same local community. It has also been assumed that within a community a homogeneous set of norms should exist. These assumptions have been challenged by later scholarship that have demonstrated that individuals generally participate in various speech communities simultaneously and at different times in their lives each of which has a different norms that they tend to share only partially, communities may be de-localized and unbounded rather than local, and they often comprise different sub-communities with differing speech norms. With the recognition of the fact that speakers actively use language to construct and manipulate social identities by signalling membership in particular speech communities, the idea of the bounded speech community with homogeneous speech norms has become largely abandoned for a model based on the speech community as a fluid community of practice.

A speech community comes to share a specific set of norms for language use through living and interacting together, and speech communities may therefore emerge among all groups that interact frequently and share certain norms and ideologies. Such groups can be villages, countries, political or professional communities, communities with shared interests, hobbies, or lifestyles, or even just groups of friends. Speech communities may share both particular sets of vocabulary and grammatical conventions, as well as speech styles and genres, and also norms for how and when to speak in particular ways.

Read more about Speech Community:  History of Definitions, Critique, Practice Theory, Language Variation

Other articles related to "speech community, speech, community":

Speech Community - Language Variation
... The notion of speech community is most generally used as a tool to define a unit of analysis within which to analyse language variation and change ... Stylistic features differ among speech communities based on factors such as the group's socioeconomic status, common interests and the level of formality ... of a register is known as a discourse community, while the phrase "speech community" is reserved for varieties of a language or dialect that speakers ...
Nazi Party - History - Origins and Early Existence: 1918–1923
... "the identification of the individual with his community, in devotion and service to an organic whole, the nation" ... that through profit-sharing instead of socialisation Germany should become a unified "national community" (Volksgemeinschaft) rather than a society divided along class and ... antisemitic as it declared that the "national community" must be judenfrei ("free of Jews") ...
Fundamental Concepts in Sociolinguistics - Speech Community
... Speech community is a concept in sociolinguistics that describes a more or less discrete group of people who use language in a unique and mutually accepted way among themselves ... Speech communities can be members of a profession with a specialized jargon, distinct social groups like high school students or hip hop fans, or even ... Members of speech communities will often develop slang or jargon to serve the group's special purposes and priorities ...

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