Dialects and Standards
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Languages constantly undergo changes, resulting in the development of different varieties of
the languages. Each language exists in a number of varieties and is in one sense the sum of
those varieties. According to Hudson (1996) language variety is a set of linguistic items with
similar distribution. This definition allows us to treat all the languages of some multilingual
speaker, community, as a single variety, since all the linguistic items concerned have a similar
social distribution. A variety can therefore be something greater than a single language as well
as something less. Some well known varieties of language are standard, dialect, sociolect,
pidgin, creole etc. All these terms are interrelated and often controversial.
A dialect is a variety of a language spoken in one part of a country or a group of people
belonging to a particular social class which is different in some words, grammar and/or
pronunciation from other forms of the same language. Traditionally, linguists have applied the
term dialect to geographically distinct language varieties, but in current usage the term can
include speech varieties characteristic of other socially definable groups. Determining whether
two speech varieties are dialects of the same language, or whether they have changed enough to
be considered distinct languages, has often proved a difficult and controversial decision.
There are three kinds of dialect which are:
(a) Regional Dialect: it is spoken in one part of a country based on region.
Example: dialect of Sylhet, Noakhali, Chittagong etc.
(b) Sociolect: It is spoken by a group of people belonging to a particular social
class. Example: dialect used by the elite class.
(c) Idiolect: this is the personal variety of the language which varies from
person to person. Example: we all have one.
SOCIAL VARIETIES OF LANGUAGE:
Sociolects are dialects determined by social factors rather than by geography. Sociolects often
develop due to social divisions within a