I need help analyzing the topic of linguistics as part of one of these areas of study:
-age as a sociolinguinstic variable
-dialect varieties and variations
Let's focus on the role of linguistics as part of the variables that naturally occur in sociolinguistics. As the word implies, the study focuses on how a specific cultural, ethnic, religious, or even casual-social group adopts a personality by adapting specific patterns in their speech.
Groups get together for a specific purpose, particularly for extrapolating the unique traits that make them salient (or hidden) from the typical community. In the process, language is customized to further solidify the group. The linguistic variables that exist in such language differentiation include:
- semantics - meanings that groups give specific words, i.e., code language.
- intonation - inflection given to specific words to denote importance, sarcasm, irony, or "double entendre".
- lack of conscious suppression - sociolinguistic groups often do not suppress language, but create and expand it further by coining words. For example, words that denote endearment and connection such as 'ma' (jargon of respect for 'lady') and other terms to that effect.
- syntax and grammar - notice how many hip hop performers purposely switch verb tenses to make a statement such as "get your hair DID, instead of 'done'". They do know the difference between the two, but they use it to differentiate themselves as a community. This is the way that linguistics affect mass media. Each time someone wants to set a trend, it is usually through the way that they switch language and create new jargon words. This is becoming a widely-used trend because social media such as Tumblr, Facebook, and a myriad of others experience language switching in writing.
This is also what explains dialect variations. The Selten/Pool model, for instance, explains how there are gains and "costs" in switching from one social language to mainstream sociolinguistics. The "cost" is not as big as the gain of expansive language, but there is certainly a gap that may form when code switching occurs.
This, along with the isolated use of language and its role in the general structure of everyday communication is what creates dialects and region-specific language usage which may or may not be easy to switch to mainstream later on.
All this being said, the study of linguistics encompasses not only the way in which language is meant to be used, but it also focuses on the formation of language, its differentiations, and the purpose for which the meaning is used in a diversity of situations.