[Toegepaste Taalwetenschap in Artikelen 8] 1980
► pp. 143–162
De Studie Van Stadsdialekt
Van Dialektologie, Empirische Linguistiek en Sociolinguistiek
From the beginning, sociolinguistics has mainly been focusing on the study of urban dialects. The sociolinguistic approach seems to complement dialectology, as dialectology is mainly oriented towards rural dialects. However, this vision of dialectology (oriented towards the rural part of society) being complemented by sociolinguistics (oriented towards the urban part of society) has to be rejected. It is rather a matter of contrast. Sociolinguistics emphasizes the empirical synchronic study of language variation. Dialectology, on the other hand, emphasizes the diachronic dimension of language variation, because this discipline is looking for the norms of a language community rather than for the actual forms of language in that language community. Until now, sociolinguistics can be considered as a linguistic discipline especially. The development of an empirical basis of linguistics was one of the main objects. However, too strong an emhpasis on this aspect pushed the sociological part of the amalgamation of "sociolinguistics" too much into the background. In this paper I pay some extra attention to the sociological part of sociolinguistics by analyzing some data of a sociolinguistic investigation held in the town of Nijmegen. These data concern the opinions and views of the autochthonous population of Nijmegen about the dialect of their town. Special attention is paid to the question of where the dialect of Nijmegen is spoken, and by whom. Firstly, these data tentatively suggest the existence of a notion of language ideology: some current beliefs are found about the dialect of Nijmegen, beliefs that form the basis of language behaviour and the basis of develop einen ts in the relationship between dialect and standard language. Secondly, the data indicate the importance of two urban disciplines: urban sociology and urban geography. Two important aspects of these disciplines are discussed. The first aspect is the history and the development of urbanisation. The second aspect is the internal social and geographical structure of urban regions. The conclusion is that sociolinguistics has always been concious of the heterogeneous and socially complex character of urban regions, but that it has paid too little attention to the internal structure of this kind of region.
Article language: Dutch