Linguistic marketplace

In sociolinguistics, the notion of linguistic marketplace, also known as linguistic market, refers to the symbolic market where linguistic exchanges happen.[1] On linguistic markets, linguistic capital—a subtype of the broader concept of cultural capital according to Pierre Bourdieu[2]—is exchanged, and different languages and varieties have different symbolic values.

On the standard linguistic market, standard languages usually enjoy more value due to the high overt prestige associated with them while on linguistic markets that value non-standard varieties, vernaculars can also enjoy a higher value. This concept has been proven to be useful in understanding other sociolinguistic concepts such as language variation and change[3] and gender.[4]


  1. ^ Zhang, Qing (2005-07-01). "A Chinese yuppie in Beijing: Phonological variation and the construction of a new professional identity". Language in Society. 34 (03): 431–466. doi:10.1017/S0047404505050153. ISSN 1469-8013.
  2. ^ Bourdieu, Pierre (1977-12-01). "The economics of linguistic exchanges". Social Science Information. 16 (6): 645–668. doi:10.1177/053901847701600601. ISSN 0539-0184.
  3. ^ Trudgill, Peter (1974-02-22). The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich. CUP Archive. ISBN 9780521202640.
  4. ^ Eckert, Penelope (1989-10-01). "The whole woman: Sex and gender differences in variation". Language Variation and Change. 1 (03): 245–267. doi:10.1017/S095439450000017X. ISSN 1469-8021.

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