Sociolinguistics is the study of the effect of any and all aspects of society, including cultural
norms, expectations, and context, on the way language is used. Sociolinguistics overlaps to a
considerable degree with pragmatics.
It also studies how lects 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 class or socio-economic
classes. As the usage of a language varies from place to place (dialect), language usage varies
among social classes, and it is these sociolects that sociolinguistics studies.
The social aspects of language were in the modern sense first studied by Indian and Japanese
linguists in the 1930s, and also by Gauchat in Switzerland in the early 1900s, but none
received much attention in the West until much later. The study of the social motivation of
language change, on the other hand, has its foundation in the wave model of the late 19th
century. Sociolinguistics in the west first appeared in the 1960s and was pioneered by
linguists such as William Labov in the US and Basil Bernstein in the UK.
Microsociology is one of the main branches of sociology (contrast with macrosociology and
mesosociology) which concerns itself with the nature of everyday human social interactions
on a small scale. At the micro level, social statuses and social roles are the most important
components of social structure. It is usually based on observation rather than statistics. It
derives from the philosophy of phenomenology(Shultz) and includes symbolic
interactionism(Mead,Blumer) and ethnomethodology. Ethnomethodology in particular has led
to many academic sub-divisions and studies such as micro-linguistical research and other
related aspects of human social behaviour. It was conceived by Harold Garfinkel (and later
expanded by others - see Cicarel et al) to inquire into the methods people use to make sense of
their social world. It also provided an extra dimension between the studies of social
psychology and sociology - focusing more on individual interaction and thinking within
groups, rather than just large social group/societal behaviour. It has now become important in
many fields of study, including modern Psychosocial Studies; Conversational Analysis and
Human Computer Interaction. Micro-Sociology continues to have a profound influence on
research in all human fields, often under other names.
Dr Jonathan Miller, the well known British polymath, has a profound interest in analysing
human action, the answers to which, he believes, will be found in the `social` rather than the
biological. (He was a research fellow in neuro-psychology(Sussex). Thus Sociology should
vere away from the currently popular Evolutionary thought and concentrate on qualitative
research into human action.
Macrosociology is a sociological approach that analyzes societies, social systems or
populations on a large scale or at a high level of abstraction. It is considered one of the main
foundations of sociology, alongside microsociology and mesosociology. Microsociology
focuses on the individual social activities, while macrosociology studies society as a whole.
Macrosociology is concerned with individuals, families, classes, social problems, and all of
the other part and features of a society, but it analyzes these features in relation to the larger
social systems of which they are part. Macrosociology can also be the analysis of large
collectivities (eg. the city, the church). Lenski defines macrosociology simply as
"concerned with human societies". Human populations are considered a society to the degree
that is politically autonomous and its members to engage in a broad range of cooperative
activities. For example, this definition would apply to the population of Germany being
deemed a society, but German-speaking people as a whole scattered about different countries
would not be considered a society. Macrosociology deals with broad societal trends that can
later be applied to the smaller features of a society. To differentiate, macrosociology deals
with issues such as war, distress of Third World nations, poverty, and environmental
deprivation, whereas microsociology analyses issues such as the role of women, the nature of
the family, and immigration.
Hymes is a proponent of what he and others call ―ethnopoetics,‖ an anthropological method of
transcribing and analyzing folklore and oral narrative that pays attention to poetic structures
within speech. In reading the transcriptions of Indian myths, for example, which were
generally recorded as prose by the anthropologists who came before, Hymes noticed that there
are commonly poetic structures in the wording and structuring of the tale. Patterns of words
and word use follow patterned, artistic forms.
Hymes‘ goal, in his own mind, is to understand the artistry and ―the competence… that
underlies and informs such narratives‖ (Hymes 2003:vii). In fact, he created the Dell Hymes
Model of Speaking and coined the term communicative competence within language
In addition to being entertaining stories or important myths about the nature of the world,
narratives also convey the importance of aboriginal environmental management knowledge
such as fish spawning cycles in local rivers or the disappearance of grizzly bears from
Oregon. Hymes believes that all narratives in the world are organized around implicit
principles of form which convey important knowledge and ways of thinking and of viewing
the world. He argues that understanding narratives will lead to a fuller understanding of the
language itself and those fields informed by storytelling, in which he includes ethnopoetics,
sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, rhetoric, semiotics, pragmatics, narrative inquiry and
Hymes clearly considers folklore and narrative a vital part of the fields of linguistics,
anthropology and literature, and has bemoaned the fact that so few scholars in those fields are
willing and able to adequately include folklore in its original language in their considerations
(Hymes 1981:6-7). He feels that the translated versions of the stories are inadequate for
understanding their role in the social or mental system in which they existed. He provides an
example that in Navajo, the particles (utterances such as "uh," "So," "Well," etc. that have
linguistic if not semantic meaning), omitted in the English translation, are essential to
understanding how the story is shaped and how repetition defines the structure — in the Lévi-
Straussian sense — that the text embodies.
Main article: Speech community
Speech community is a concept in sociolinguistics that describes a more or less discrete group
of people who use language in a unique and mutually accepted way among themselves.
Speech communities can be members of a profession with a specialized jargon, distinct social
groups like high school students or hip hop fans, or even tight-knit groups like families and
friends. Members of speech communities will often develop slang or jargon to serve the
group's special purposes and priorities
Dialectology (from Greek διάλεκηος, dialektos, "talk, dialect"; and -λογία, -logia) is the
scientific study of linguistic dialect, a sub-field of sociolinguistics. It studies variations in
language based primarily on geographic distribution and their associated features.
Dialectology treats such topics as divergence of two local dialects from a common ancestor
and synchronic variation.
Dialectologists are ultimately concerned with grammatical features which correspond to
regional areas. Thus they are usually dealing with populations living in their areas for
generations without moving, but also with immigrant groups bringing their languages to new
William Labov is one of the most prominent researchers in this field.
A dialect (from the Greek word διάλεκηος, dialektos) is a variety of a language that is
characteristic of a particular group of the language's speakers. The term is applied most
often to regional speech patterns, but a dialect may also be defined by other factors, such as
social class. Sometimes in stories authors use dialects to make a character stand out.
A dialect that is associated with a particular social class can be termed a sociolect.
Other speech varieties include: standard languages, which are standardized for public
performance (for example, a written standard); jargons, which are characterized by
differences in lexicon (vocabulary); slang; patois; pidgins or argots. The particular speech
patterns used by an individual are termed an idiolect.
A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation (phonology,
including prosody). Where a distinction can be made only in terms of pronunciation, the term
accent is appropriate, not dialect (although in common usage, "dialect" and "accent" are
A standard dialect (also known as a standardized dialect or "standard language") is a dialect
that is supported by institutions. Such institutional support may include government
recognition or designation; presentation as being the "correct" form of a language in schools;
published grammars, dictionaries, and textbooks that set forth a "correct" spoken and written
form; and an extensive formal literature that employs that dialect (prose, poetry, non-fiction,
etc.). There may be multiple standard dialects associated with a single language. For example,
Standard American English, Standard British English, Standard Indian English, Standard
Australian English, and Standard Philippine English may all be said to be standard dialects of
the English language.
A nonstandard dialect, like a standard dialect, has a complete vocabulary, grammar, and
syntax, but is not the beneficiary of institutional support. An example of a nonstandard
English dialect is Southern English. The Dialect Test was designed by Joseph Wright to
compare different English dialects with each other.
 "Dialect" or "language"
There are no universally accepted criteria for distinguishing languages from dialects,
although a number of paradigms exist, which render sometimes contradictory results. The
exact distinction is therefore a subjective one, dependent on the user's frame of reference.
Language varieties are often called dialects rather than languages:
solely because they are not (or not recognized as) literary languages,
because the speakers of the given language do not have a state of their own,
because they are not used in press or literature, or very little.
or because their language lacks prestige.
The term idiom is used by some linguists instead of language or dialect when there is no need
to commit oneself to any decision on the status with respect to this distinction.
Anthropological linguists define dialect as the specific form of a language used by a speech
community. In other words, the difference between language and dialect is the difference
between the abstract or general and the concrete and particular. From this perspective, no one
speaks a "language," everyone speaks a dialect of a language. Those who identify a particular
dialect as the "standard" or "proper" version of a language are in fact using these terms to
express a social distinction.
Often, the standard language is close to the sociolect of the elite class.
In groups where prestige standards play less important roles, "dialect" may simply be used to
refer to subtle regional variations in linguistic practices that are considered mutually
intelligible, playing an important role to place strangers, carrying the message of where a
stranger originates (which quarter or district in a town, which village in a rural setting, or
which province of a country); thus there are many apparent "dialects" of Slavey, for example,
by which the linguist simply means that there are many subtle variations among speakers who
largely understand each other and recognize that they are each speaking "the same way" in a
Modern-day linguists know that the status of language is not solely determined by linguistic
criteria, but it is also the result of a historical and political development. Romansh came to be
a written language, and therefore it is recognized as a language, even though it is very close to
the Lombardic alpine dialects. An opposite example is the case of Chinese, whose variations
such as Mandarin and Cantonese are often considered dialects and not languages, despite their
mutual unintelligibility, because the word for them in mandarin, "Fangyan", was
mistranslated as dialect because it meant regional speech.
See also Mesoamerican languages#Language vs. Dialect
 "A language is a dialect with an army and navy"
Main article: A language is a dialect with an army and navy
The Yiddish linguist Max Weinreich published the expression, "A shprakh iz a dialekt mit an
armey un flot" (" ", "A language is a dialect with an
army and navy"; in Yivo-bleter 25.1, 1945, p. 13). The origin of this statement is, however,
uncertain — Weinreich explicitly says that he did not coin it. It illustrates the fact that the
political status of the speakers of a variety influences its perceived status as language or
dialect. Most governments establish a standard variety of their language (or languages) to be
taught in schools and used in official documents, courts and so on; often it is also promoted
for use in the media.
 Political factors
Modern Nationalism, as developed especially since the French Revolution, has made the
distinction between "language" and "dialect" an issue of great political importance. A group
speaking a separate "language" is often seen as having a greater claim to being a separate
"people", and thus to be more deserving of its own independent state, while a group speaking
a "dialect" tends to be seen not as "a people" in its own right, but as a sub-group, part of a
bigger people, which must content itself with regional autonomy. The distinction
between language and dialect is thus inevitably made at least as much on a political basis as
on a linguistic one, and can lead to great political controversy, or even armed conflict.
The classification of speech varieties as dialects or languages and their relationship to other
varieties of speech can thus be controversial and the verdicts inconsistent. English and Serbo-
Croatian illustrate the point. English and Serbo-Croatian each have two major variants
(British and American English, and Serbian and Croatian, respectively), along with numerous
lesser varieties. For political reasons, analyzing these varieties as "languages" or "dialects"
yields inconsistent results: British and American English, spoken by close political and
military allies, are almost universally regarded as dialects of a single language, whereas the
standard languages of Serbia and Croatia, which differ from each other to a similar extent as
the dialects of English, are being treated by many linguists from the region as distinct
languages, largely because the two countries oscillate from being brotherly to being bitter
enemies. (The Serbo-Croatian language article deals with this topic much more fully.)
Similar examples abound. Macedonian, although mutually intelligible with Bulgarian, certain
dialects of Serbian and to a lesser extent the rest of the South Slavic dialect continuum is
considered by Bulgarian linguists to be a Bulgarian dialect, in contrast with the contemporary
international view, and the view in the Republic of Macedonia which regards it as a language
in its own right. Nevertheless, before the establishment of a literary standard of Macedonian
in 1944, in most sources in and out of Bulgaria before the Second World War, the southern
Slavonic dialect continuum covering the area of today's Republic of Macedonia were referred
to as Bulgarian dialects.
In the 19th Century, the Tsarist Government of Russia claimed that Ukrainian was merely a
dialect of Russian and not a language in its own right. Since Soviet times, when Ukrainians
were recognised as a separate nationality deserving of its own Soviet Republic, such
linguistic-political claims had disappeared from circulation.
In Lebanon, the right-wing Guardians of the Cedars, a fiercely nationalistic (mainly Christian)
political party which opposes the country's ties to the Arab world, is agitating for "Lebanese"
to be recognized as a distinct language from Arabic and not merely a dialect, and has even
advocated replacing the Arabic alphabet with a revival of the ancient Phoenician alphabet -
which missed a number of characters to write typical Arabic phonemes present in Lebanese,
and lost by Phoenician (and Hebrew) in the second millennium BC.
This is, however, very much a minority position - in Lebanon itself as in the Arab World as a
whole. The Varieties of Arabic are considerably different from each other - especially those
spoken in North Africa (Maghreb) from those of the Middle East (the Mashriq in the broad
definition including Egypt and Sudan) - and had there been the political will in the different
Arab countries to cut themselves off from each other, the case could have been made to
declare these varieties as separate languages. However, in adherence to the ideas of Arab
Nationalism, the Arab countries prefer to give preference to the Literary Arabic which is
common to all of them, conduct much of their political, cultural and religious life in it, and
refrain from declaring each country's specific variety to be a separate language.
Interestingly, such moves may even appear at a local, rather than a federal level. The US state
of Illinois declared "American" to be the state's official language in 1923, although linguists
and politicians throughout much of the rest of the country considered American simply to be a
There have been cases of a variety of speech being deliberately reclassified to serve political
purposes. One example is Moldovan. In 1996, the Moldovan parliament, citing fears of
"Romanian expansionism," rejected a proposal from President Mircea Snegur to change the
name of the language to Romanian, and in 2003 a Moldovan-Romanian dictionary was
published, purporting to show that the two countries speak different languages. Linguists of
the Romanian Academy reacted by declaring that all the Moldovan words were also
Romanian words; while in Moldova, the head of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, Ion
Bărbuţă, described the dictionary as a politically motivated "absurdity".
In contrast, spoken languages of Han Chinese are usually referred to as dialects of one
Chinese language, because the word "fangyan", which means regional speech, was
mistranslated as dialect.. The article "Identification of the varieties of Chinese" has more
In the Philippines, the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino (Commission on the Filipino Language)
declared all the indigenous languages in the Philippines dialects despite the great
differences between them, as well as the existence of significant bodies of literature in each of
the major "dialects" and daily newspapers in some.
The significance of the political factors in any attempt at answering the question "what is a
language?" is great enough to cast doubt on whether any strictly linguistic definition, without
a socio-cultural approach, is possible. This is illustrated by the frequency with which the
army-navy aphorism discussed in the preceding section is cited.
In linguistics, diglossia (Greek: διγλωζζία) is a situation where a given language community
uses not just one dialect, but two: the first being the community's present day vernacular and
the second being either an ancestral version of the same vernacular from centuries earlier
(example: Arabic, Czech) or a distinct yet closely related present day dialect (example: the
German speaking world). As an aspect of study of the relationships between codes and social
structure, diglossia is an important concept in the field of sociolinguistics. At the social level,
each of the two dialects has certain spheres of social interaction assigned to it and in the
assigned spheres it is the only socially acceptable dialect (with minor exceptions). At the
grammatical level, differences may involve pronunciation, inflection, and/or syntax (sentence
structure). Differences can range from minor (although conspicuous) to extreme. In many
cases of diglossia, the two dialects are so divergent that they are distinct languages in the
scientific sense of the term "language" used by linguists, namely: they are not mutually
The dialect which is the genuine mother tongue is almost always held in low esteem; it is of
low prestige. Its spheres of use involve informal, interpersonal communication: conversation
in the home, among friends, in marketplaces. In some diglossias, the vernacular dialect is
virtually unwritten. It may even be the case that those who try to give it a literature are
severely criticized. The other dialect is held in high esteem and is devoted to written
communication and formal spoken communication. Formal spoken communication typically
encompasses university instruction, primary education, sermons, and speeches by government
officials. It is usually not possible to acquire proficiency in the formal, "high" dialect without
formal study of it. As a result, among those diglossic societies which are also characterized by
extreme inequality of social classes, a large fraction of the population has no proficiency in
speaking the high dialect, and if the high dialect is grammatically different enough, as in the
case of Arabic diglossia, then these uneducated classes cannot understand most of the public
speeches they might hear through television and radio. The high prestige dialect (or language,
as the case may be) tends to be the more formalised, and its forms and vocabulary often 'filter
down' into the vernacular, though often in a changed form.
Often, the phenomenon of diglossia is accompanied by numerous controversies and by
polarization of opinions of native speakers regarding the relationship between the two dialects
and their proper respective statuses. In the case where the "high" dialect is objectively not
intelligible to those exposed only to the vernacular, some speakers insist that the two dialects
are nevertheless a common language. The pioneering scholar of diglossia, Ferguson, observed
that native speakers proficient in the high prestige dialect will commonly try to avoid using
the vernacular dialect with foreigners and may even deny its existence, even though the
vernacular is the only socially appropriate one for them themselves to use when speaking to
their relatives and friends. Yet another common attitude is that the low dialect--which is
everyone's native language--ought to be abandoned in favor of the high dialect, which
presently is nobody's native language
An isogloss is the geographical boundary or delineation of a certain linguistic feature, e.g. the
pronunciation of a vowel, the meaning of a word, or use of some syntactic feature. Major
dialects are typically demarcated by whole bundles of isoglosses, e.g. the Benrath line that
distinguishes High German from the other West Germanic languages; or the La Spezia-
Rimini Line which divides the Northern Italian dialects from Central ones. Undoubtedly, the
largest well-known isogloss is the Centum-Satem isogloss, which traditionally separates the
Indo-European languages into two distinct categories.
Within the field of linguistics (including historical linguistics), the term "isogloss" describes a
distinctive feature of a language or dialect (see volumes such as The Cambridge Encyclopedia
of the World's Ancient Languages, ed. Roger D. Woodard). Such features are of great
importance for the purposes of linguistic classification. For example, a feature of the ancient
Northwest Semitic languages is the following: prima w > y. Thus, within Proto-Semitic and
subsequent non-Northwest Semitic languages and dialects, the root letters used to spell a word
for "child" were /wld/. However, within the ancient Northwest Semitic languages, the word
was spelled /yld/, that is, with w > y. This can be termed a linguistic isogloss and is an
important datum in linguistic classification. Similarly, Proto-Semitic long /a/ becomes long
/o/ in the Canaanite dialects of Northwest Semitic (see volumes such as W. Randall Garr,
Dialect geography of Syria Palestine: 1000-586 BCE). Note that within the Aramaic
languages and dialects of Northwest Semitic, the historic long /a/ is preserved. Thus, an
ancient Northwest Semitic language in which historic long /a/ becomes long /o/ can be classed
as part of the Canaanite branch of Northwest Semitic. Such features can be termed linguistic
isoglosses and can be used as data of fundamental importance for the purposes of linguistic
Just as there are distinguishing features of related languages, there are also distinguishing
features of related scripts (for a discussion of writing systems, see The World's Writing
Systems, eds. Peter Daniels and William Bright). For example, a distinguishing feature of the
ancient Old Hebrew script (i.e., Iron Age Old Hebrew script) is the fact that the letters bet,
dalet, 'ayin, and resh do not have an open head (compare Aramaic of the same period, with its
open-headed forms). Similarly, the bet of Old Hebrew has a distinctive stance (namely, leans
to the right), while the bet of the Aramaic and Phoenician script series has a different stance
(namely, both of these lean to the left). Recently, Christopher Rollston has suggested using
the term "isograph" to designate a feature of the script that distinguishes it from a related
script series (i.e., a feature that distinguishes the script of Old Hebrew, from Old Aramaic and
Phoenician, etc.). That is, he proposes for it to be used as a technical term for a distinctive
(and distinguishing) aspect of a script series that distinguishes it from a related script series.
See his discussion in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 344 (2006).
A major isogloss in American English has been identified as the North-Midland isogloss,
which demarcates numerous linguistic features, including the Northern Cities vowel shift:
regions north of the line (including western New York; Cleveland, Ohio; lower Michigan;
northern Illinois; and eastern Wisconsin) are subject to the shift and regions south of the line
(including Pennsylvania, central and southern Ohio, and most of Indiana) are not.
The name is inspired by contour lines or isopleths such as isobar, etc.; however, the isogloss
separates rather than connects points of equal language (perhaps one could say it connects
points of indefinite language
In linguistics, an accent is a manner of pronunciation of a language. Accents can be confused
with dialects which are varieties of language differing in vocabulary, syntax, and morphology,
as well as pronunciation. Dialects are usually spoken by a group united by geography or
 Social factors
When a group defines a standard pronunciation, speakers who deviate from it are often said to
"speak with an accent". People from the United States would "speak with an accent" from the
point of view of an Australian, and vice versa. The concept of a person having "no accent" is
meaningless, as even standard speech patterns constitute an accent. Accents such as BBC
English or General American may sometimes be informally designated in their countries of
origin as "accentless" to indicate that they offer no obvious clue to the speaker's regional
Groups sharing an identifiable accent may be defined by any of a wide variety of common
traits. An accent may be associated with the region in which its speakers reside (a
geographical accent), the socio-economic status of its speakers, their ethnicity, their caste or
social class, their first language (when the language in which the accent is heard is not their
native language), and so on.
Traditionally certain accents carry more prestige in a society than other accents. This is often
due to their association with the elite part
MUHAMMED ALI CLAY
Greatest of all Time
His humanitarian contributions
Muhammad has been instrumental in providing millions of meals and medicines to the
world's most needy populations. In addition to his international efforts as a United Nations
Messenger of Peace, Muhammad is equally devoted to helping domestic causes such as the
Make-A-Wish-Foundation and The Special Olympics. He also raises funds and awareness for
the Muhammad Ali Parkinson‘s Research Center in Phoenix, Arizona.
His boxing skills
As a boxer, Muhammad brought speed and grace to his sport in a professional career that
spanned 21 years. His accomplishments in the ring are the stuff of legend – two fights with
Sonny Liston, where he proclaimed himself "The Greatest" and proved he was; three epic
wars with Joe Frazier; the stunning victory over George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle;
and dethroning Leon Spinks to become heavyweight champion for an unprecedented third
time. His professional record stands at 56 wins, 5 losses. He is the first person ever to claim
the heavyweight crown 3 times.
MUHAMMED ALI CLAY AS A BOXER:
by Gregory Allen Howard, a friend of Ali, is the award-winning screenwriter of Remember
Who would've thought that a stolen bike was the key to the beginning of the Muhammad Ali
story? But it was. In 1954 in Louisville, Kentucky, 12-year-old Cassius Marcellus Clay's bike
was stolen while he and a friend were at the Columbia Auditorium. Young Cassius found a
cop in a gym, Joe Martin, and boiling with youthful rage, told Martin he was going to "whup"
whoever stole his bike. Martin admonished, "You better learn to box first." Within weeks, 89-
pound Cassius had his first bout‚ and his first win. For the next 27 years, Cassius would be in
that ring. Even in his youth, he had dreams of being heavyweight champion of the world. But
his life would take turns that no seer could've predicted.
Young Cassius dedicated himself to boxing with fervor unmatched by other young boxers.
Indeed, it was his only activity. As a teenager, he never worked. He boxed and trained. He
had 108 amateur bouts. According to Joe Martin, Clay set himself apart from the other boys
by two things: He was "sassy," and he outworked all the other boys. The work paid off: 6
Kentucky Golden Gloves championships; two National Golden Gloves championships; two
National AAU titles before he was 18 years old. And the son of Odessa, whom he lovingly
referred to as "Bird," and Cassius senior, "Cash," to everyone, won the Olympic Gold Medal
in 1960 in Rome months after his 18th birthday.
Although Cassius returned home to a parade, Louisville was still, in 1960 part of the
segregated South. Even with a medal around his neck, Cassius was refused service at a local
At the time, Cassius was managed by the Louisville Sponsoring Group, a consortium of
wealthy local white businessmen. The LSG, as it became known, put young Cassius with
veteran trainer, Angelo Dundee, after failed attempts with the Mongoose, Archie Moore, and
a turn down by Ali's boxing idol, Sugar Ray Robinson.
With Dundee in his corner, from his Miami base, Cassius blazed a trail through the
heavyweight division with his unorthodox style that defied boxing logic. He was a
"headhunter." He never threw body shots (he adopted this style in his youth because he had
reach and because he didn't want to get close enough to get hit). And he "danced." Because of
Clay's powerful legs-maybe the strongest in the history of boxing-he literally floated in the
ring. He invented the "Ali Shuffle;" a foot maneuver where he would elevate himself, shuffle
his feet in a dazzling blur, and sometimes deliver a blow while dancing.
The third element that Clay brought to boxing was his mouth. He never shut up. He became
known as, "The Louisville Lip." It was more than banter; it was a constant harangue. In a time
when boxers never talked to the media-their managers always spoke for them-Clay did all his
own talking. He even went so far as to predict the round. "To prove I'm great he will fall in
While training for his title bout against the fearsome heavyweight champion, Sonny Liston,
Clay met Cap'n Sam, a Nation of Islam minister of the local Miami mosque. Cap'n Sam
introduced Cassius to NOI spokesman, Malcolm X. Malcolm and young Cassius bonded on a
deep level. Malcolm brought Cassius into the Nation of Islam. Despite the 7-1 odds, Clay
upset Sonny Liston in Miami and became heavyweight champion of the world in 1964. The
next day, Clay announced to the world that he was a member of the Nation of Islam and that
his name was Cassius X. The X reflecting the unknown name that was taken from him by the
slave owners centuries before.
The national response was immediate, negative and intense. Cassius X, soon to be given the
name Muhammad Ali, by NOI founder, "The Messenger," the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,
chose to disassociate himself from his friend and mentor Malcolm X after the Messenger
suspended Malcolm. Herbert Muhammad, eldest son of Elijah, was installed as Ali's new
manager as Ali continued to defend his crown against all comers. In 1967, as the Vietnam
War was escalating, Ali was called up for induction into the Armed Services. Ali refused
induction on the grounds of religious beliefs. He was, in fact, a practicing Muslim minister.
This refusal led to the now-famous Ali quote, "I ain't got no quarrel with them Vietcong..."
The national furor over that comment combined with Ali's refusal to be inducted into the
Armed Services, caused virtually every state and local entity in America to cancel Ali's
boxing licenses. Ali's fight with Ernie Terrell became famous when Terrell incensed Ali at the
weigh-in by calling him "Clay." Ali pounded him in the ring with taunts of, "What's my name
After fighting Zora Folley in March 1967, Ali did not fight again for 3 1/2 years. He was
stripped of his championship title, his passport taken; all his boxing licenses were cancelled.
He lost an initial court battle and was facing a 5-year prison term. Ali made money during his
exile by speaking at colleges. He was the first national figure to speak out against the war in
Vietnam. In 1970, after a 3 1/2 year layoff, and with the mood of the country changing, Ali
staged his comeback, first against Jerry Quarry in Atlanta, then Oscar Bonavena at Madison
Square Garden, then for what was billed as, "The Fight of the Century," his first match against
undefeated champ, Joe Frazier at Madison Square Garden on March 8, 1971.
Ali fought valiantly, but lost. The 2 and a half year exile had cost Ali his legs. He could no
longer dance. He lost that night in the Garden, but months later he won his biggest fight, the
Supreme Court reversed his conviction and upheld his conscientious objector claim. Ali was
free of the specter of jail, and free to travel to box anywhere in the world. Several matches
followed, including an unexpected loss to ex-Marine, Ken Norton; a win in their next bout; an
uninspired win against Joe Frazier. But these matches were but window dressing for the
biggest match of Ali's career: The Rumble In the Jungle. George Foreman was a fearsome
champ. He had thunder and destruction in both hands. He had easily knocked out Ken Norton
and had lifted Frazier off the mat with one blow.
Promoter Don King got the government of the African nation of Zaire to guarantee the
unheard of sum of 10 million dollars for the fighters. In Kinshasa, Ali derived strength from
the African people. They adored him. They yelled, Ali Bomaye! (Ali kill him). Going into the
fight, Ali was 3-1 underdog. His fight doctor, Ferdie Pacheco, had a jet ready to spirit Ali
away to a neurological hospital in Spain after the fight. But Ali had other ideas.
Because of the heat, Ali realized he couldn't dance from Foreman for the whole fight. He
invented "The Rope-A-Dope," a strategy that allowed Foreman to pound on him until
Foreman tired. His corner men yelled at him to get off the ropes, but Ali persisted with his
strategy for seven rounds and then in the eighth round, when Foreman was spent, Ali came off
the ropes and scored a shocking knockout! Ali was the king again.
After the legendary "Thrilla In Manila," the rubber match against Frazier, who some have
deemed, the greatest boxing match ever, Ali fought and lost to young Olympic Champion
Leon Spinks. He subsequently regained his title against Spinks, thus becoming, at that time,
the only man in heavyweight history to win the crown three times. Ali ended his career 56
wins (37 by knockout) and 5 defeats.
Ali has inspired millions worldwide. He gave people hope and proved that anyone could
overcome insurmountable odds. He gave people courage. He made fighters of us all. This is
Ali and never comes another.
MUHAMMED ALI THE MAN :
He's still the most recognizable man on earth. And over forty years after he burst onto the
scene as a gold-medal winner at the 1960 Rome Olympics, Muhammad Ali remains a magical
figure, known and loved throughout the world.
His success as a boxer is widely respected, but Ali's greatest triumph lies in his legacy as a
champion, leader, humanitarian, and artist. His work both inside and outside the ring truly
makes Muhammad Ali "The Greatest of All Time."
MUHAMMED THE CHAMPION:
Muhammad has constantly been recognized for his contributions to sports. His honors
• Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Century"
• BBC's "Sports Personality of the Century"
• GQ magazine's "Athlete of the Century"
• World Sports Award's "World Sportsman of the Century"
As a boxer, Muhammad brought unprecedented speed and grace to his sport, while his charm
and wit changed forever what the public expected a champion to be. His accomplishments in
the ring are the stuff of legend – two fights with Sonny Liston, where he proclaimed himself
"The Greatest" and proved he was; three epic wars with Joe Frazier; the stunning victory over
George Foreman in the Rumble in the Jungle; and dethroning Leon Spinks to become
heavyweight champion for an unprecedented third time. But there was always far more to
Muhammad than what took place in a boxing ring.
MUHAMMED THE LEADER:
Muhammad's life and career have been played out as much on the front pages of newspapers
as on the inside sports pages. His early relationship with the Nation of Islam and his insistence
on being called Muhammad Ali instead of his "slave name," Cassius Clay, heralded a new era
in black pride. His refusal to be inducted into the United States Army anticipated the growing
antiwar movement of the 1960's. His willingness to stage his much-promoted and publicized
fights in such far-flung locales as Kinshasa, Manila, and Kuala Lumpur signaled a shift from
superpower dominance toward a growing awareness of the developing world.
Daring to go against political policy to help people in need, Muhammad has made goodwill
missions to Afghanistan and North Korea; delivered sorely-needed medical supplies to an
embargoed Cuba; traveled to Iraq and secured the release of 15 United States hostages during
the first Gulf War; and journeyed to South Africa to meet Nelson Mandela upon his release
MUHAMMED THE HUMANITARIAN:
Today, championing the issues in the developing world has become a major focus of
Muhammad's life. He has been instrumental in providing over 232 million meals to the
world's hungry. Traveling across continents, he has hand-delivered food and medical supplies
to children in Cote D'Ivoire, Indonesia, Mexico, and Morocco among other countries.
In addition to his international efforts, Muhammad is equally devoted to helping charities at
home. He has visited countless numbers of soup kitchens and hospitals, and helped such
organizations as the Make-A-Wish-Foundation and the Special Olympics. At the State Capitol
in Michigan, he advocated new laws for protecting children.
He annually participates in "Fight Night," which generates funds for the Muhammad Ali
Parkinson Research Center at Barrow Neurological Institute, in Phoenix, Arizona.
He is also the namesake of the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act, a federal law that
regulates professional boxing to protect boxers from unscrupulous promoters and poor health
and bout conditions. Muhammad has testified before the United States Senate several times
regarding boxing reform.
For his humanitarian efforts, Muhammad has been the recipient of countless awards. His
• United Nations Messenger of Peace in 1998-2008, for his work with developing nations
• Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, the United States of America's highest civil award
• Amnesty International's Lifetime Achievement Award
• Germany's 2005 Otto Hahn Peace Medal, for his involvement in the U.S. civil rights
movement and the United Nations
• International Ambassador of Jubilee 2000, a global organization dedicated to relieving debt
in developing nations
• State of Kentucky's "Kentuckian of the Century"
• The Advertising Club of Louisville's "Louisvillian of the Century"
Other honors include an Essence Award, an XNBA Human Spirit Award and recognition
from the National Urban League; 100 Black Men; Givat Haviva; the Oleander Foundation;
The National Conference of Christians and Jews; TIME magazine and many other.
President Jimmy Carter once cited Muhammad as "Mr. International Friendship."
MUHAMMED ALI THE ARTIST:
Ever the entertainer, Muhammad has appeared in several motion pictures, including the big-
screen adaptation of his first autobiography, The Greatest, playing himself. His life has been
the subject of numerous films, including the Academy Award-winning documentary When
We Were Kings and Michael Mann's biopic, ALI, starring Will Smith.
Muhammad starred in the television film, Freedom Road, and has made guest numerous
appearances on numerous popular television series ranging from Diff'rent Strokes to Touched
by an Angel. He also starred on Broadway in the short-lived musical, Big Time Buck White,
and recorded a popular album, I Am The Greatest!
Muhammad recently published a memoir entitled, The Soul of a Butterfly: Reflections on
Life's Journey, in which he discusses the meaning of religion, forgiveness, and some of the
defining moments in his life and career. He is also the co-author of Healing: A Journal of
Tolerance and Understanding and The Greatest: My Own Story.
In 2005, Muhammad opened the Muhammad Ali Center in his hometown of Louisville,
Kentucky. In addition to displaying a selection of his memorabilia, the Center's exhibits focus
on themes of peace, social responsibility, respect, and personal growth. In 2006, he partnered
with CKX, Inc. to form Muhammad Ali Enterprises for the licensing of his name, image, and
likeness and to continue promoting his cultural and philosophical legacy throughout the
Muhammad has nine children: Maryum, Rasheda, Jamillah, Hana, Laila, Khaliah, Miya,
Muhammad, and Asaad. He is married to the former Lonnie Williams of Louisville, whom he
has known since her family moved across the street from the Clay family when she was 6
Whether promoting tolerance and understanding, feeding the hungry, studying his religion, or
reaching out to children in need, Muhammad Ali is devoted to making the world a better place
for all people. No athlete has ever contributed more to the life of his country, or the world,
than Muhammad Ali.
"Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee"
"Me, whee!" (world‘s shortest poem, according to Ali)
"I‘m young, I‘m handsome, I‘m pretty and can‘t possibly be beat!"
"They must fall, in the round I call"
"I am The Greatest!"
More than an athlete, more than a humanitarian, many consider Ali to also be the world‘s first
rap artist. All agree that he is one of the most colorful and interesting figures in the last
century, one I n a trillion, The Greatest of All Time
Devolution in Scotland
1- 1973 Kilbrandon Report
The Royal Commission on the Constitution, also referred to as the Kilbrandon Commission or
Report, was a long-running royal commission set up by Harold Wilson's Labour government
to examine the structures of the constitution of the United Kingdom and the British Islands
and the government of its constituent countries, and to consider whether any changes should
be made to those structures. It was started in 1969 and reported in 1973. Various models of
devolution, federalism and confederalism were considered, as well as the prospect of the
division of the UK into separate sovereign states. The report rejected the options of
independence or federalism, in favour of devolved, directly-elected Scottish and Welsh
assemblies. The royal commission was set up in response to growing demands for home rule
or full independence for Wales and Scotland. The Commission's terms of reference were: to
examine the present functions of the present legislature and government in relation to the
several countries, nations and regions of the United Kingdom and in view of the constitutional
and economic relationships. The commission was unable to reach unanimous agreement. Two
commissioners did not sign the report, producing instead a memorandum of dissent.
There was mixed reaction to the Commission's report. One of the most important
consequences of the report was the unsuccessful Scotland and Wales Bill, which was
withdrawn in 1977. Two separate pieces of legislation were passed in the following year: the
Scotland Act and the Wales Act. The provisions of the Acts would not come into force unless
approved by referendums, and accordingly Scottish and Welsh devolution referendums were
held in 1979.
2-The first devolution referendum
The Scottish referendum of 1979 was to decide whether there was sufficient support for the
Scotland Act 1978 among the Scottish electorate. This was an act to create a deliberative
assembly for Scotland. In addition to all the arguments which traditionally surround
discussions of Scottish devolution or independence, the public debate in 1979 was dominated
by the issue of taxation. Since the proposed assembly would have no independent powers to
vary taxes, it would be greatly restricted in its scope of operation. As a result, many voters
who believed in devolution in principle were unwilling to support this particular devolution
bill. The result was a narrow majority in favour of devolution. However, Parliament had set a
condition that 40% of the registered electorate should vote "Yes" in order to make it valid.
Thus, despite a turnout of over 60%, normally regarded as a high proportion of voters,
devolution was not enacted. In the wake of the referendum, the disappointed supporters of the
bill conducted a protest campaign under the slogan "Scotland said 'yes'". They claimed that
the 40% rule was undemocratic and that the referendum results justified the establishment of
the assembly. Devolution was, however, lost from the mainstream political agenda for a
3- Scotland under Thatcher
Devolution was a way of ensuring that the agenda of change in England was not simply
imposed on Scotland. It is, of course, not unrelated, that the campaign for home rule in
Scotland gained momentum during the post-1987 period of the radical Thatcherite public
sector reform agenda. Devolution was the ‗solution ‘to the excesses of British centralism and
poor territorial management in the 1980s and 90s.To an extent it has solved the problem.
4- The Scottish constitutional convention
Following unsuccessful attempts to introduce devolution in Scotland and Wales in the 1970s,
many Scottish pro-devolution forces joined together to form the Scottish Constitutional
Convention. The Convention was attended by two major political parties, the Liberal
Democrats and Labour, but boycotted by the Conservatives and SNP after some internal
debate. Representatives from a wide range of Scottish civil society also participated in the
Convention. It held its first meeting in 1989 and adopted a declaration to assert the right of the
Scottish People to secure an Assembly or Parliament for Scotland.
5- The second devolution referendum
The Scottish referendum of 1997 was a pre-legislative referendum held in Scotland, over
whether there was support for the creation of a parliament for Scotland and whether there was
support for a parliament with tax varying powers. The referendum was a manifesto
commitment of the Labour Party and was held in their first term after the United Kingdom
general election, 1997. The Labour Party, Scottish National Party, Liberal Democrats, and
Scottish Green Party campaigned for the acceptance of both proposals. The Conservative &
Unionist Party was the only major party to officially oppose both the proposals. Curiously,
though, Labour MP Tam Dalyell opposed the creation of a Scottish Parliament but in favour
of giving such a Parliament the power to raise and lower taxes on the basis that, although he
opposed the Parliament as proposed by his party, if it did exist it should have tax varying
powers. This was a landslide victory for the Labour Party (with 74.3%) and was Tony Blair‘s
first office in Parliament. In response to the majority voting for both proposals, the United
Kingdom Parliament passed the Scotland Act 1998, creating the Scottish Parliament and
6- The future of Scotland
In the 2007 Scottish Parliament election, the Scottish National Party became the single largest
party, breaking the Labour Party's dominance of politics in Scotland. Lacking an overall
majority, the Scottish National Party formed a minority government. The SNP has a manifesto
commitment of holding an independence referendum by 2010. Prime Minister Gordon Brown
has also publicly attacked the independence option. Based on a subsequent debate in the
Scottish Parliament, the three main parties opposed to independence formed the Calman
Commission. This will review devolution and consider all constitutional options bar
independence. Despite the large number of opinion polls conducted on the issue, it is difficult
to gauge accurately Scottish public opinion on independence. In a poll by The Times,
published in April 2007, given a choice between independence, the status quo, or greater
powers for the Scottish Parliament within the United Kingdom, the last option had majority
support. The Times reported that the fall in support for independence was likely linked to
Devolution in Wales
1- The aims of Plaid Cymru
In the 20th century, Wales saw a revival in its national status. Plaid Cymru was formed in
1925, seeking greater autonomy or independence from the rest of the UK. Plaid Cymru: The
Party of Wales. It advocates the establishment of an independent Welsh state within the
European Union. Plaid Cymru has five stated aims: to promote the constitutional
advancement of Wales with a view to attaining independence for Wales within the European
Union, to ensure economic prosperity, social justice and the health of the natural environment,
based on decentralist socialism, to build a national community based on equal citizenship,
respect for different traditions and cultures and the equal worth of all individuals, whatever
their race, nationality, gender, color, creed, sexuality, age, ability or social background, to
create a bilingual society by promoting the revival of the Welsh language, and to promote
Wales's contribution to the global community and to attain membership of the United Nations.
In September 2008 senior a Plaid Cymru AM spelled out her party‘s continuing support for an
2- The first devolution referendum
In contrast to Scotland, devolution in Wales in the late 1990s was some way from
representing the settled will of the people. The Labour Party committed itself to devolution
after coming to power in the 1974 general election. Set up in 1969 in the wake of pressure to
address growing support for independence in Scotland and Wales, it delivered a split report in
1973. The Royal Commission recommended legislative and executive devolution to Scotland
and Wales. This plan was rejected as too bureaucratic and ill-advised in economic terms. New
plans were brought forward by Harold Wilson's government in 1975 and 1976 which confined
devolution to Scotland and Wales. The Scotland and Wales Bill had a difficult passage
through Parliament and the government, lacking a majority to pass the plan, withdrew the
legislation and introduced separate Bills for Scotland and Wales. Hostile Labour MPs from
the north of England, Wales and Scotland combined to insist that Assemblies could only be
passed if directly endorsed by voters in a post-legislative referendum. When they came, the
referendums coincided with a period of unpopularity for the Government in the wake of the
winter of discontent.
3- The second referendum
The Welsh referendum of 1997 was a pre-legislative referendum held in Wales only over
whether there was support for the creation of an assembly for Wales. Unlike the referendum
in Scotland, there was no proposal for the assembly to have tax varying powers. The
referendum was a manifesto commitment of the Labour Party and was held in their first term
after the United Kingdom general election, 1997. And by the tiny majority of just 0.6 %, the
people of Wales voted against proposals by the Labour government of the United Kingdom to
establish a Welsh Assembly.
One of the factors that made the referendum controversial was that Wales has a much greater
immigrant and transient population than Scotland. Welsh Labour, Plaid Cymru and the
Liberal Democrats campaigned for the 'Yes' vote. The Conservative party was the only major
party to support the 'No' vote. Herewith, the government of Jim Callaghan itself didn't have an
overall majority in the House of Commons, and was therefore vulnerable to opposition from
within its own ranks. The Labour party was split on home rule for Wales with a vocal
minority opposed. They considered devolution as a danger to the unity of the UK and a
concession to Welsh nationalism in the wake of by-election victories by Plaid Cymru.
Collins & Quillian Semantic Network Model
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The most prevalent example of the semantic network processing approach is the
Collins & Quillian Semantic Network Model. The semantic network
processing approach states that the meanings of words are embedded in
networks of other meanings. Knowledge is validated and acquires meaning
through correlation with other knowledge (Harley, 2008). The connections
within a semantic network are not only associative in nature. The links between
information in a semantic network are qualitative and purposeful. Therefore, the
links within the network have semantic value.
In the Collins & Quillian model, concepts are represented as nodes that are
interconnected to other nodes within the network. The nodes are accessed when
they are heard and then activated in memory causing information that is
correlated to the concept to be primed. The ‗ISA‘ link is the most common link
in this semantic network model. The nodes within the network that are
connected by this link have a specific type of relationship that is hierarchical in
nature. Therefore the concept at the lower level node is a form/type of the
concept at the higher level node. This type of interconnectedness is also
evidenced by the ‗HAS A‘ link.
The structure of the Collins & Quillian model compensates for many of the
deficits identified in earlier theories such as the behaviorist notion of meaning
being derived from a network of associations. According to the Behaviorists, a
word is defined based on placement in a network of associations. Meaning is
extrapolated from an accumulation of episodic instances involving the word in
question. The primary problem with this theory is the fact that a definition based
solely on associative properties alone is inadequate since it does not encompass
all aspects of meaning (Harley, 2008). Other prominent flaws in the network of
associations include its lack of structure, failure to evince relationships between
words, and the lack of cognitive economy.
Several components of the Collins & Quillian semantic network model address
the issues identified in the Behaviorists‘ network of associations. The
hierarchical schema intrinsic to the semantic network model creates structure
and facilitates the use of cognitive economy. Rosch (1999) refers to cognitive
economy as the means by which an organism acquires a substantial amount of
information without having to undergo a search of all finite resources. The
hierarchical structure of the semantic network model eliminates redundancy
since access to information stored at one level is not required to process an
instance of the category at another level. For example, if 'fur' is stored at the
level of ‗dog‘ it is not necessary to process ‗Collie‘ which is a type of dog.
Moreover, the relationships between words are demonstrated by the purposeful
interconnectedness of linked activated nodes within the network.
There are a variety of problems with the Collins & Quillian model despite the
fact that it ameliorates flaws identified in the network of associations, including
a great deal of evidence from research findings that debunk the hierarchical
framework. One obvious problem with the model is the fact that not all
categories can be represented in hierarchical form. The structure of the model is
well suited for itemizing words in naturally occurring categories, i.e., animals,
metals, (Harley, 1995). However, the process becomes challenging when it
comes to abstract concepts. While this finding is of extreme importance there is
also a significant amount of evidence that discredits the validity of the
hierarchical model stemming from information processing task research results.
Collins & Quillian employed a sentence verification task to test the efficacy of
the semantic network model and the results obtained appeared to support the
hierarchical structure of the theory. However, upon scrutinizing the materials
used, critics of the theory inferred that the size of the sample category and the
words used in the task administered by Collins & Quillian confounded the
semantic distance with 'conjoint frequency,' a term which refers to two words
with a clear association occurring together frequently. Therefore, according to
the critics, the results derived from the sentence verification task did not support
the hierarchical model since they were caused by failure to, ―properly control for
typicality and semantic distance‖ (Harley, 2008). Tests that gauge the speed
with which subjects make judgments about category membership are preeminent
in semantic memory research, (Rosch, 1999). Information processing tasks of
this type entail measuring reaction time speed of true-false judgments by
subjects to statements of the form: ‗x is a member of category y‘. It was
postulated that the reaction times were faster for the words in the sentences that
substantiated the hierarchical structure of the semantic network as a result of
correlative associations between the words selected for the task.
In addition to the fallible results due to conjoint frequency it was also
determined that the predictions of the hierarchical framework were also
inaccurate. For example, all untrue statements are not rejected at the same speed
as suggested by test results elicited by Collins & Quillian. This is especially true
in instances where items are compromised by the relatedness effect, which states
that, ―the more related two things are the harder it is to disentangle them,‖
(Harley, p. 182). Similarly, true statements of equal semantic distance can yield
disparate response times primarily when one item is judged to be a prototypical
example. There is a substantial amount of research solidifying the impact of
prototypes on reaction time measurements. Rosch (1999) references several
studies with results consistently indicating that true judgment responses for
items perceived as prototypical are invariably faster during information
The sentence verification task data and the prototypical examples played an
integral role in the decision to revise the Collins & Quillian semantic network
model. Subsequently, Collins & Loftus embarked on an effort to address and
rectify the deficits identified within the hierarchical structure of the original
model. The revised model is multidimensional with a separation between the
semantic and lexical components. Emphasis is placed on the premise of
spreading activation along links to nodes to initiate access and priming in the
network. The links between the nodes vary in both strength and distance and the
role of hierarchical relationships is minimized. The information compiled
suggests that although the hierarchical framework of the original semantic
network model developed by Collins & Quillian was exemplary in addressing
deficits identified in the earlier theory of network associations it is evident that
there are entirely too many flaws in the constructs of the model. The conclusions
drawn from scrutiny of the sentence verification task outcomes and the
implications of prototypes indicate that the pertinence of the hierarchical
infrastructure was not validated by the methods used to elucidate the model.
refers to the native language of a country or a locality. In general linguistics, it is used to
describe local languages as opposed to linguas franca, official standards or global languages.
It is sometimes applied to nonstandard dialects of a global language. For instance, in Western
Europe up until the 17th century, most scholarly work had been written in Latin, so works
written in a native language were said to be in the vernacular. Also, In the history of
European literature, there can be said to have been various periods of ―vernacularization‖
when, for example, those languages now referred to as Romance languages started to produce
literatures of their own. The Divine Comedy, the Cantar de mio Cid, and The Song of Roland
are examples of early vernacular literature in those languages that would one day be called
Italian, Spanish, and French, respectively. Dante‘s De Vulgari Eloquentia (1305), which he
wrote before the Divine Comedy, was an important justification of the need to start writing
literature in the vernacular, the language of the people. (See Vernacular literature)
The vernacular is also often contrasted with a liturgical language (in linguistics, the
relationship between these "High" and "Low" languages or varieties of a language is referred
to as diglossia). For example, until the 1960s, Latin Rite Roman Catholics held Masses in
Latin rather than in local vernacular language, to this day the Coptic Church holds liturgies in
Coptic; though parts of Mass are read in Amharic, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church holds
liturgies in Ge'ez, etc. The Reformation was spread by the publication of Bibles and other
religious writings in the vernacular, and the reforms of the Second Vatican Council permitted
the use of vernacular liturgies in Roman Catholicism.
Similarly, in Hindu culture, traditionally religious or scholarly works were written in Sanskrit
(long after its use as a spoken language) or in Tamil in the Tamil land (since Sangam era).
With the rise of the bhakti movement from the 1100s onwards, religious works started being
created in other languages Hindi, Kannada, Telugu and many other Indian languages
throughout the different regions of India. For example, the Ramayana, one of Hinduism's
sacred epics in Sanskrit had vernacular versions such as Ramacharitamanasa a Hindi version
of the Ramayana by the 16th century poet Tulsidas.
 Vernacular in sociolinguistics
Within the subcategory of sociolinguistics, the term vernacular has been applied to several
concepts, leading to confusion among scholars regarding what is actually being referred to.
This term had not been heard in the western world until the late 1800s. One use of the term, as
exemplified by Poplack (1993) and Labov (1972), defines vernacular varieties as casual
varieties used spontaneously rather than self-consciously. It could also be described as
informal talk used in intimate situations. Linguists consider the vernacular to be the first form
of speech acquired by a person.
Wolfram and Schilling-Estes (1998) on the other hand define vernacular varieties as
nonstandard, local dialects, particularly because of the nonstandard grammatical features that
they contain. They also state that there is a continuum between the vernacular and the
Similar approaches have been made to define vernacular culture: Cheshire (1982) sees
vernacular culture as a non-standard or counter culture that is expressed through participation
in particular activities or clothing styles, whereas Edwards (1992) defines it as a local culture
determined by the connectedness to a certain neighbourhood.[citation
A national language is a language (or language variant, i.e. dialect) which has some
connection—de facto or de jure—with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they
occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for instance represent the
national identity of a nation or country. National language may alternatively be a designation
given to one or more languages spoken as first languages in the territory of a country.
C.M.B. Brann, with particular reference to Africa, suggests that there are "four quite
distinctive meanings" for national language in a polity:
"Territorial language" (chthonolect, sometimes known as chtonolect) of a
"Regional language" (choralect)
"Language-in-common or community language" (demolect) used throughout a
"Central language" (politolect) used by government and perhaps having a symbolic
The latter seems often to be given the title "official language."
 Official versus national languages
"National language" and "official language" are best understood as two concepts or legal
categories with ranges of meaning that may coincide, or may be intentionally separate.
Obviously a stateless nation is not in the position to legislate an official language, but their
language may be considered a national language.
A national language declared as such by legislation could be the same as an official language.
It is different for that reason from the national predominant language, which is a national
language only through de facto use or by historical association with a particular nation.[citation
A national language is used for political and legal discourse.
Some languages may be recognized popularly as "national languages," while others may
enjoy a high degree of official recognition. Some examples of national languages that are not
official languages include Aromanian, Cherokee, and Navajo (and other living Native
Certain languages may enjoy government recognition or even status as official languages in
some countries while not in others. A national language is a language (or language variant, i.e.
dialect) which has some connection - de facto or de jure - with a people and perhaps by
extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously. A national language may for
instance represent the national identity of a nation or country. National language may
alternatively be a designation given to one or more languages spoken as first languages in the
territory of a country.
C.M.B. Brann, with particular reference to Africa, suggests that there are "four quite
distinctive meanings" for national language in a polity:
* "Territorial language" (chthonolect, sometimes known as chtonolect)
of a particular people
* "Regional language (choralect)
* "Language-in-common or community language" (demolect) used throughout
* "Central language" (politolect) used by government and perhaps having
a symbolic value.
The latter seems often to be given the title "official language."A national language is a
language (or language variant, i.e. dialect) which has some connection - de facto or de jure -
with a people and perhaps by extension the territory they occupy. The term is used variously.
A national language may for instance represent the national identity of a nation or country.
National language may alternatively be a designation given to one or more languages spoken
as first languages in the territory of a country.
Article 251(1) of the 1973 Constitution of Pakistan, titled National language, specifies: "The
National language of Pakistan is Urdu, and arrangements shall be made for its being used for
official and other purposes within fifteen years from the commencing day."National
Language Authority is an organization established to make these arrangements,since 1979.
 Mainland China and Taiwan
See also: Standard Mandarin and History of Standard Mandarin.
In China, plenty of spoken variants exist in different parts of the country. In ancient times,
several local dialects were chosen as the official spoken language, such as the dialects from
Hangzhou, Nanjing, etc.
After the Xinhai Revolution in 1911, the Kuomintang (Chinese nationalists) founded the
Republic of China (ROC). In order to promote a sense of national unity and enhance the
efficiency of communications within the nation, the ROC decided to designate a national
language. The Beijing dialect of Mandarin and Guangzhou dialect of Cantonese were the
most popular options. Ultimately the Beijing dialect was chosen as the national language and
given the name "國語" in Chinese (Pinyin: Guóyǔ, lit. national language, commonly known
as "Standard Mandarin" in English). In the beginning there were attempts to introduce
elements from other Chinese spoken variants into the national language, in addition to those
existing in the Beijing dialect. But this was deemed too difficult, and was abandoned in 1924.
Since then the Beijing dialect became the major source of standard national pronunciation,
due to its prestigious status in the preceding Qing Dynasty. Elements from other dialects
continue to exist in the standard language.
After the Chinese Civil War in 1949, the Chinese Communist Party established the People's
Republic of China (PRC) in mainland China. The Kuomintang regime of the Republic of
China retreated to the island of Taiwan and maintained the same policy. Similarly, the
People's Republic of China, which administers mainland China, continued the effort, and
renamed the national language that is largely based on the Beijing dialect as "普通話"
(Pinyin: pǔtōnghuà, lit. common speech).
 European Union
Sign in the entrance of the European Parliament building in Brussels written in the 20 official
languages used in the European Union as of July 2006.
The European Union has a list of 23 official languages, including English, French, German,
Spanish, Dutch, Greek, Portuguese, Polish, Italian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Irish and others.
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Suomi - Finland has two national languages namely Finnish language (suomi) and (Finland-
)Swedish language ((finlands)svenska), according to the Constitution of Finland.
However, there is an aboriginal nation Sami (saami) and another group Romani (romani) that
have their languages mentioned as legal to be maintained and developed by such groups. The
Sami have partial right to use Sami languages in official situations according to other laws.
Swedish language (6% of people) is a valid language everywhere in Finland, whereas Finnish
language (92% of people) is most widely used, but is not legally valid everywhere.  Despite
the large difference in the numbers of users, Swedish is not officially classified as a minority
language but equal to Finnish language. E.g., there are some Swedish-only, but no Finnish-
only universities. Finnish is legally in many cases banned in Åland Islands. In specific cases,
Finnish language in particular may be forbidden in other regions in Finland, but in Sweden
and Norway, too.
Most often bilingual Finns are counted as Swedes. Leading politicians have during the 2000s
begun to proclaim that in order to have the identity of a Finn, one must possess Swedish
skills. Historically, it has not been so, which we can see also from the Kalevala, or other old
folklore, where no word of Swedish was used. Today, all schools at any grade compel all
Finns to study Swedish, and one cannot get any exam nor public servant position above peon
level, without particular exam/ certificate of Swedish language. Similar requirements for
Swedes to know Finnish are required partially.
 Republic of India
Main articles: Languages of India and Official languages of India
Neither the Constitution of India nor Indian law specifies a National language. Article 343 of
the constitution specifies that the official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari
script. Article 354 specifies that the legislature of a State may by law adopt any one or more
of the languages in use in the State or Hindi as the Language or Languages to be used for all
or any of the official purposes of that State. Section 8 of The Official Languages Act of
1963 (as amended in 1967) empowers the Union Government to make rules regarding the
languages which may be used for the official purposes of the Union, for transaction of
business in Parliament, and for communication between the Union Government and the
states. Section 3 of G.S.R. 1053, titled "Rules, 1976 (As Amended, 1987)" specifies that
communications from a Central (Union) Government office to a State or a Union Territory in
shall, save in exceptional cases (Region "A") or shall ordinarily (Region "B"), be in Hindi,
and if any communication is issued to any of them in English it shall be accompanied by a
Hindi translation thereof. Section 3 of G.S.R. 1053, titled "Rules, 1976 states
Communications from a Central Government office to State or Union Territory in Region "C"
or to any office (not being a Central Government office) or person in such State shall be in
English. Region C covers Tamil Nadu, Kerala , Karnataka and Andhra Pra