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NIM : 8186112005
CLASS : LTBI-B1/ 2018-2019

1. Definition Of Functional Varieties Of Language

In sociolinguistics, language variety—also called lect—is a general term for any distinctive
form of a language or linguistic expression. Linguists commonly use language variety (or
simply variety) as a cover term for any of the overlapping subcategories of a language,
including dialect, register, jargon, and idiolect.

To understand the meaning of language varieties, it's important to consider how lects differ
from standard English. Even what constitutes standard English is a topic of hot debate among

Standard English is a controversial term for a form of the English language that is written and
spoken by educated users. For some linguists, standard English is a synonym
for good or correct English usage. Others use the term to refer to a specific
geographical dialect of English or a dialect favored by the most powerful and prestigious social

Varieties of language develop for a number of reasons: differences can come about for
geographical reasons; people who live in different geographic areas often develop distinct
dialects—variations of standard English. Those who belong to a specific group, often academic
or professional, tend to adopt jargon that is known to and understood by only members of that
select group. Even individuals develop idiolects, their own specific ways of speaking.

2. Differences Of Language And Dialect

Language is a tool consisting of body of words as a means for people who are of the same
geographical area and cultural tradition to communicate with one another, spoken, written,
action, etc.
whereas Dialect is defined as a regional variety of language distinguished by features of
vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation from other regional varieties and constituting together
with them a single language.

How would you know if its a different language or a dialect? Mutual intelligibility.

Mutual Intelligibility is a relationship between languages and dialects in which speakers

of different but related varieties can readily understand each other.

"Speaking the 'same language' does not depend on two speakers speaking identical
languages, but only very similar languages."- (Adrian Akmajian, Richard Demers, Ann Farmer,
and Robert Harnish, Linguistics: An Introduction to Language and Communication. MIT Press,

3. Realization Of Functional Varieties Of Language

Since regional and social varieties of language clearly merge in practice (language
continuum), it becomes imperative to account for the changes that occur in a language as a
result of use over and above these ‘traditional’ varieties. In other words, dialectal and social
varieties are not the only varieties that exist in a given language. They are not the only
changes that occur in the form of a given language. Variation in language is equally a
question of ‘function’ or ‘use’ other than geography or status. It is basically brought about by
linguistic ‘necessities’ and ‘choices’ rather than just regional identification or social
convenience. This is a clear departure from Hudson’s position that varieties may not exist in
language as a result of difficulty in demarcation. We can admit with him that “people may be
more or less similar to one another in the items they have in their language” but they may not
use these items in the same way and in every linguistic setting, in spite of their regional or
social affinities. The aggregate of the linguistic goal and appropriateness account for register
and style identified as the ‘functional varieties’ in the use of a given language. These
linguistic variables, to some degree, provide ground for changes in the use of available
linguistic resources.