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What is informal language?

 

Definition
 

Informal language is language use characterized by

 
  • spontaneous speech in situations that may be described as natural or "real-life," and
  • the use of a "low” dialect or language in preference to a “high” one.
Examples (English)
 

Here are some examples of language domains where informal language takes place:

 
  • Instructions to subordinates
  • Conversation with family and friends
  • Portrayal of "real" life in a soap opera
 
Source:

Ferguson 1959 329

Generic
  Informal language is a kind of
 
Sources
 

Crystal 1985 125

 

Britto 1986 298, 315–316

 

Fasold 1984 35

 

Ferguson 1959 329


Context for this page:

Go to SIL home page This page is an extract from the LinguaLinks Library, Version 5.0 published on CD-ROM by SIL International, 2003. [Ordering information.]

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