Headword
Variation
Level
SG/HS
Language
English
Topic
Sociolinguistics
Definition
Variation refers to differences in the way a language is used within a speech community; for example, people from different social classes will use language in distinctive ways, as will people from different ethnic backgrounds, different genders, different age groups, and different professions.

This variation in language use is the object of study of Sociolinguistics.
Notes
Sociolinguists study variation by correlating certain linguistic choices with membership or affiliation to given social groupings, e.g. social classes, gender, sex, age, ethnicity and/or profession.
Compare
Concept
See also
Code-switching, Dialect, Register, Variety, Women’s language