Language code, Socio-communicative system - Sociolinguistics

Language code

Each language community uses certain means of communication - languages, their dialects, jargons, stylistic varieties of language. Any such tool can be called a code.

In the most general sense, code is a means of communication: a natural language (Russian, English, Somali, etc.), an artificial language such as Esperanto or the type of modern machine languages, Morse code, marine flag signaling, etc.

In linguistics, the code is used to refer to language formations: language, territorial or social dialect, urban koine, pidgin, lingua franca, etc. (below we will dwell on these concepts in more detail).

Along with the term & quot; code & quot; the term & quot; subcode & quot; is used. It denotes a kind, a subsystem of some common code. a communication tool of a smaller size, a narrower scope of use, and a smaller set of functions than the code. For example, such varieties of the modern Russian national language as a literary language, territorial dialect, urban vernacular, social jargon are subcodes, or subsystems, of a single code (Russian national language). In the future, we will use the terms subcode and subsystem as synonyms.

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The subcode, or subsystem, can also be divided into varieties and, thus, include sub-codes (subsystems) of a lower level in its composition, and so on. For example, the Russian literary language, which itself is a subcode in relation to the national language, is divided into two varieties - the codified language and the spoken language, each of which has a certain self-sufficiency and differs in functions: the codified language is used in book-written forms of speech, and the colloquial language - in oral, everyday-everyday forms. In turn, the codified literary language is differentiated into styles, and styles are realized in a variety of speech genres; a certain semblance of such differentiation is in the colloquial language.

In Russian sociolinguistics, subcodes are often called forms of language existence, in the West they are also called registers of this language.

Socio-communicative system

The set of codes and subcodes used in a given language community and located with each other in the relationship of functional complementarity, is called the social and communicative system of this community.

In this definition, the phrase "functional additionality" requires clarification. It means that each of the codes and subcodes that make up a social-communicative system has its functions that do not overlap with the functions of other codes and sub-codes (thus they all seem to complement each other in functions).

For example, each literary language style - scientific, official, publicistic - has its own specific functions that are not inherent in other styles, and together they functionally complement each other, forming a system capable of "serving" all communication needs of a given society (which can be conditionally called a society of speakers of the literary language, except for them, there are also dialect carriers, vernaculars) and all spheres of communication.

In a multilingual society, a social and communicative system is formed by different languages, and communicative functions are distributed among them (each of the languages ​​can naturally be subdivided into sub-codes - dialects, jargons, styles).

The concept of a social and communicative system introduced into the scientific revolution in the mid-1970s. Moscow scientist L.D. Schweitzer. He stressed the functional aspect of this concept: "The ratio of functional complementarity means a socially determined distribution of systems and subsystems coexisting within a given language collective (in book-written speech, everyday communication, etc.) and social functions (science, culture , education, religion), on the one hand, and social situations - on the other & quot; (Schweizer, 1976a, c 76).

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