ERIC Number: ED181714
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979
Reference Count: 0
Language Variation and Limits to Communication. Technical Report No. 3.
Simons, Gary Francis
Strategies are developed for understanding how language variation limits communication. Methods of measuring communication are discussed, including an intelligibility measure used in the Solomon Islands. The analysis of data gathered using communication measurement is discussed. The result of the analysis is a determination of the number of vernacular language programs needed in a given area, and the proper location for those programs. The measurement of communication and the methodology for finding centers of communication lead to a proposed model of communication. This model suggests that interdialectal understanding depends on the linguistic similarity of two dialects and on the the social relationships between speakers of the dialects. Data from ten field studies on linguistic similarity are analyzed to explore the relationship between lexical similarity and intelligibility. A model for expressing this relationship is proposed. Social data from Santa Cruz in the Solomon Islands are considered in the formulation of a more comprehensive model embracing social and linguistic relationships. Predictions from this model are demonstrated to be over 90% accurate. A bibliography is appended. (JB)
Descriptors: Communication (Thought Transfer), Contrastive Linguistics, Culture Contact, Diglossia, Educational Needs, Field Studies, Language Planning, Language Programs, Language Research, Language Tests, Language Variation, Models, Mutual Intelligibility, Needs Assessment, Prediction, Regional Dialects, Research Methodology, Sociolinguistics, Speech Communication, Vocabulary
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Science Foundation, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Cornell Univ., Ithaca, NY. Dept. of Modern Languages and Linguistics.
Identifiers: Solomon Islands
Note: Revised version of Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University