Definitions for ethnolect
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word ethnolect
A language variety specific to an ethnic group
Ebonics is an ethnolect of African Americans.
Origin: Portmanteau of ethnic and dialect.
Ethnolect is a variety of a language spoken by a certain ethnic/cultural subgroup and serves primarily as a language, but can also be a distinguishing mark of social identity, both within the group and by outsiders. The term combines the concepts of an ethnic group and dialect. Ethnicity and Dialect If the term "ethnolect" embodies a confluence of issues relating to ethnic groups and dialect it appears as a crossroads where linguistics intersects with ethnicity. Joshua Fishman in The Handbook of Sociolinguistics argues that "ethnicity" signifies the "identificational dimension of culture" and emphasizes that "the perspectival quality of ethnicity means that its specification or attribution is fundamentally subjective, variable and very possibly non-consensual". This seems somewhat fluid and amorphous a concept but in reality Fishman frames his discussion in terms of modernity and the process of creating a national or Standard language. He argues that "modernization itself tends to render the language and ethnicity link more salient in consciousness" and further: The transformation from an ethnic group to a nationality corresponds to this transformation of a quiescent feature of daily life into a mobilizing dimension for social action, a dimension which combines reason with commitment that is above or beyond reason, in the pursuit of solutions to the problems of that community that is defined by a particular language and ethnic link.
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