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Ethnolect is a variety of a language spoken by a certain ethnic/cultural subgroup and serves as a distinguishing mark of social identity. The term combines the concepts of an ethnic group and dialect.

Example: African American Vernacular in the American English context as a feature of African American or Black society.

Ethnicity and Dialect If the term "ethnolect" embodies a confluence of issues relating to ethnic groups and dialect it appears as a crossroads where linguistics intersects with ethnicity. Joshua Fishman in The Handbook of Sociolinguistics (1997) argues that "ethnicity" signifies the "identificational dimension of culture" and emphasizes that "the perspectival quality of ethnicity means that its specification or attribution is fundamentally subjective, variable and very possibly non-consensual" (329). This seems somewhat fluid and amorphous a concept but in reality Fishman frames his discussion in terms of modernity and the process of creating a national or Standard language. He argues that "modernization itself tends to render the language and ethnicity link more salient in consciousness" (330) and further:

<blockquote>The transformation from an ethnic group to a nationality corresponds to (without being solely responsible for) this transformation of a quiescent feature of daily life into a mobilizing dimension for social action, a dimension which combines reason with commitment that is above or beyond...
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