By Martin J. Ball
Medical Sociolinguistics examines how sociolinguistic study paradigms could be utilized to evaluation, analysis and remedy within the medical state of affairs.
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Extra resources for Clinical Sociolinguistics
Much of the research into language and gender has focused on how the dynamics of power and solidarity are played out within our daily interactions. The “difference” versus “dominance” gender debate has long held sway in sociolinguistics and it is evident from the mass popularity of books such as Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus (Gray, 1992) and You Just Don’t Understand (Tannen, 1991) that this notion has struck a chord within western society. It is easy when reviewing the literature on language and gender to fall into the trap of extending the results of studies, which were often based on small samples of discourse, to entire populations.
Tannen, however, suggests that men respond to self-disclosure with advice rather than “matching” stories (1991: 49). Thus, it may be that it is the choice of discursive strategies that reﬂects the real difference between men’s and women’s approaches to PSD, women tending to cooperate by offering evidence of similar troubles while men, rather than avoiding PSD encounters, attempt to offer solutions. However, women’s PSD talk does not always orient towards cooperativity or a collaborative ﬂoor. For example, Guendouzi (1998) found that in her data-set, women “mirror” PSD accounts in a way that was competitive rather than cooperative.
In the second perspective there is a distinction between the standard language and dialects so that speakers who use a dialect are regarded as speaking a non-standard form of the language. Whether or not the standard form of a language is regarded as one dialect Regional and Social Variation 19 among many, it can be controlled in two different ways: explicitly by a body such as the Académie française, or implicitly by people such as broadcasters (“BBC English”). We turn now to the speciﬁc areas of language where regional variation can be found.