confused by style shiftingggggggggg!!

Stan Anonby stan-sandy_anonby at
Fri May 15 21:19:32 UTC 2009

Hi Mostari,

It's not really my area, but I'm interested in your questions, so I'll give an opinion, for what it's worth.

I think what we're talking about is a continuum of languages or language styles. All of us use either different languages, or different styles of the same language, depending on our circumstances. Maybe on the one extreme, you have shifts between the colloquial and formal English. This may depend on whether you're talking to a relative or writing a book. Maybe on the other extreme, you may have shifts between Pulaar and French. I would guess that in Senegal, you would talk to a relative in Pulaar, but write in French. So, in my opinion, most societies have a need for different kinds of speech. In some societies, this need is met by using different styles. In other societies, it is met by using different dialects. In still others, this need for marking different kinds of speech is met by using completely different languages. 

I think you are also asking whether stylistic differences within a language can lead to the formation of separate languages. I think they can. But usually, I think that separate languages are formed by people who have lost contact with each other. For instance, what will happen if two groups of people speaking the same language, for some reason stop talking to each other? I think over many years their speech will change in different ways to the point where they no longer can communicate. 

Hope these ideas area clear. 

Stan Anonby
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Christina Paulston 
  To: lgpolicy-list at 
  Sent: Friday, May 15, 2009 9:05 AM
  Subject: Re: confused by style shiftingggggggggg!!

  I think Mostari  deserves a response  -- did anyone write him a response? Christina

  On May 5, 2009, at 3:03 PM, mostari hind wrote:

          hi everybody , 
          while teaching today the concept of style shifting to my graduate students , I felt a somehow confusion , in fact , when speaking about style shifting , we refer to differences in styles but does it lead to the change of language like speaking the local dialect for informal style and moving to the standard form ( which is genetically related to the local dialect) in formal settings .
          this really confuses me, because if we possibly move from one languagto another while style shifting, so here , we can also speak about code switching between 2 varieties of the same language .
          need answers 
          all the best 

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Lgpolicy-list mailing list