While both a shrewd social commentary and an amusing comedy in its day, assumptions made on the basis of these linguistic precepts had a very real impact on every aspect daily life—economic and social—from what job you could take, to whom you could or could not marry.
Such things matter much less today of course, however, it is still possible for some sociolinguistic experts to pinpoint who you are and where you come from by the way you speak.
While Eliza valiantly attempts to stick to the limited subject matter, it’s clear from the following exchange that her metamorphosis is as yet incomplete: LIZA: Y-e-e-e-es, Lord love you! She come through diphtheria right enough the year before. LIZA: [piling up the indictment] What call would a woman with that strength in her have to die of influenza?
What become of her new straw hat that should have come to me?
Sociolinguists might also study the grammar, phonetics, vocabulary, and other aspects of this sociolect much as dialectologists would study the same for a regional dialect.
The study of language variation is concerned with social constraints determining language in its contextual environment.She’s taken to tea at the home of Higgins' very proper mother with strict orders: “She’s to keep to two subjects: the weather and everybody’s health—Fine day and How do you do, you know—and not to let herself go on things in general.That will be safe.” Also in attendance are the Eynsford Hills. They all thought she was dead; but my father he kept ladling gin down her throat til she came to so sudden that she bit the bowl off the spoon.Code-switching is the term given to the use of different varieties of language in different social situations.William Labov is often regarded as the founder of the study of sociolinguistics." On the other hand, if you were that same 17-year-old boy and saw the school principal drop something in the parking lot as she was walking to her car, you'd more likely utter something along the lines of, "Excuse me, Mrs. You dropped your scarf." This word choice has to do with societal expectations on the part of both the speaker and the person to whom he is speaking. Perhaps the most famous example of the study of sociolinguistics comes to us in the form "Pygmalion," the play by Irish playwright and author George Bernard Shaw that went on to become the basis for the musical "My Fair Lady." The story opens outside London's Covent Garden market, where the upper crust post-theater crowd is attempting to stay out of the rain. Eynsford, her son, and daughter, Colonel Pickering (a well-bred gentleman), and a Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle (a.k.a Liza). When Eliza catches him writing down everything she says, she thinks he’s a policeman and loudly protests that she hasn’t done anything.The mystery man isn’t a cop—he’s a professor of linguistics, Henry Higgins. Higgins boasts that he could turn Eliza into a duchess or the verbal equivalent in six months, with no idea that Eliza has overheard him and is actually going to take him up on it.Sociolinguistics overlaps considerably with pragmatics. It is historically closely related to linguistic anthropology, and the distinction between the two fields has been questioned.It also studies how language varieties differ between groups separated by certain social variables (e.g., ethnicity, religion, status, gender, level of education, age, etc.) and how creation and adherence to these rules is used to categorize individuals in social or socioeconomic classes.The is data is then measured against socio-economic indices such as education, income/wealth, occupation, ethnic heritage, age, and family dynamics to better understand the relationship between language and society.Thanks to its dual focus, sociolinguistics is considered a branch of both linguistics and sociology.