Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A language variety specific to an ethnic group

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Portmanteau of ethnic and dialect.

Examples

  • Based on a large-scale survey, this paper argues that the speech of American Jews should be analyzed not as a separate ethnolect or language variety but as English with a repertoire of distinctive linguistic features stemming from Yiddish, Hebrew, Aramaic, and other sources.

    COMD News

  • He says the the ethnolect, a variety of a language spoken by an ethnic subgroup, "is used consciously to separate the speakers from Anglo-Australian values, and at its extreme also to separate the speakers from some parts of their own culture".

    The Advertiser

Comments

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  • As a sociolinguist, I study the science of language in its social context. I began my lecture by describing the different ways that linguists subcategorize languages. Dialects, which most people are familiar with, are regional varieties of a language, like Texan or Midwestern English. But there are also ethnolects, associated with specific ethnic groups, like Chicano and Jewish English, and genderlects which refer to the distinctive ways that women and men talk.

    An idiolect is not the language of idiots, but an idiosyncratic form of language that is unique to an individual. No two individuals—not even family members living under the same roof—speak the exact same language. We all pronounce words slightly differently, have different inflections in our voices, and choose different words to refer to the same thing.

    Jennifer Sclafani, The Idolect of Donald Trump, Scientific American Mind blog, March 16, 2016

    October 10, 2016