Contemporary sociolinguistics : theory, problems, methods by Aleksandr D. Švejcer

By Aleksandr D. Švejcer

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At any rate, one aspect of sociolinguistic problems does not rule out the other but, on the contrary, supplements it. We have discussed in detail the views of various socioanthroplogists because this trend has exerted considerable influence on the formation and development of sociolinguistics abroad. It would be unfair to deny the unquestionable con­ tribution of this trend to the study of a number of sociolinguistic problems. Of course, after all, it was within social (or cultural) anthropology that so-called anthropological (or ethno-) linguistics was developed for which the problems of language in culture and language in society have always played an extremely important role.

Thus, V. N. Jarceva has pinpointed the links between this theory and the view of culture as a totality of generalized forms, modelling behaviourial types, a view firmly established in socioanthropology and going back to E. Sapir (Jarceva 1968, 41-43). The most elaborate version of the theory of isomorphism in the modelling of language, the structure of thought and social structure was produced by B. Whorf who, following E. Sapir, assigned an important role to language in the cognition of reality and believed that the linguistic norms of society presuppose a certain form of expressing reality, thus modelling it in a certain way.

Polivanov as far back as the early '30s long before this problem aroused the interest of American and West-European sociolinguists. In formulating this goal, E. D. e. relations of social interaction) are revealed than within large communities and that these associations determine a high degree of identity of the linguistic associative systems (Polivanov 1931, 55—56). It should be pointed out, however, that such analysis can only be effective if it relies on a broad sociolinguistic context and if small groups are viewed not in isolation, but against the background of the societal structure as a whole, with the use of macrosociological data.

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