Sociolinguistics


Speech Situation

A speech situation is the social context of interaction. It is determined by different situational factors the elements of a speech situation. These include:

(1) The participants (speaker(s) / addressee(s) ) and their social relations (grade of familiarity, power) define their social roles in the communicative situation,
(2) The location or physical setting of communication (e.g. school, at home, in a shop),
(3) The purpose of the communication,
(4) The topic: what is being talked about?,
(5) The mode or channel of linguistic expression: spoken or written language.

Together these factors make up the speech situation. Based on the aspects of the speech situation, the participants consciously or subconsciously choose a language variety which they deem appropriate for a certain speech situation (see Register and Style).