Sociolinguistics is the study of how language affects society and how language is affected by society.

Why does a teenager use different expressions than their parents? How does the Spanish in Spain differ from the Spanish in Mexico? What effect does a person’s accent have on other people’s perceptions of them? These are all questions a sociolinguist might ask and research.

Language usage varies from place to place. It also varies between social groups in one place, depending on social variables. Social variables are identity factors such as age, gender, class, ethnicity, religion, education level, and much more.

The video below will introduce you further to sociolinguistics, its history and its theories.

To read more on language variation in Australian English click here. Make sure to check out our Australian English vocabulary maps!