The 3 levels of the language (and their characteristics)

Language is one of the most important abilities of human beings because we are social animals who need to be able to communicate with each other in order to coordinate and survive.

Language involves the creation of a series of symbols shared between the members of a group that allows the transmission of ideas, intentions, emotions and the needs between different individuals. And one of the most relevant types of language is spoken language.

But there is a great variety of languages ​​and languages ​​with big differences from each other, and always in the same language we will find different variations and ways of expressing ourselves. In this last sense it should be noted that we can find different levels of language or language, Which we will talk about throughout this article.

What are the language levels?

They are called language levels (or language) the set of styles or ways of communicating through language. This name can refer to different ways of classifying language competence or its use, such as the level of learning and knowledge of a language (B1, B2, C1, C2 …) or, in the case where the the different registers used by users of the same language are occupied according to their contextual and cultural situation.

In this sense, it should be remembered that many factors determine the type of document used. The socio-educational level is very relevant, given that people who are now illiterate or those who have little education will have much more difficulty in being able to use more sophisticated files.

However, this is not the only one: the historical moment, the adequacy to specific contexts and situations or the personality of the speaker can influence the type of register used.

The three main levels

Although, as we have said, we could classify the use of the language at different levels according to a great diversity of criteria, if we look at the level of correction and the cultural background of the speakers and the type of language we use. in different contexts we can consider a total of three main language levels. Specifically, the following.

1. Level below standard

The sub-standard level is considered the less sophisticated language level and one who needs less formal knowledge to be employed. Using this level results in multiple inaccuracies and idioms, often using shortened forms of words and phrases.

They usually include the use of slang and regional variants (no dialects), as well as lexical and syntactic errors. It is generally used by people belonging to close circles or with a low level of education. In this level we can find two major sub-levels

1.1. colloquial language

This type of language is characterized by its great simplicity and little by great simplicity and having no ornaments.. Many of its terms are not in the dictionary and often include limited lexicons, short and partial sentences, and a large number of vulgarisms and errors that do not seek to be corrected.

While this is understandable, a speaker from another region may have difficulty understanding all of the messages. It is also common to use corners and serious word order problems, as well as accent or syllable changes or the use of wrong graphemes and phonemes (vowels and consonants other than those that incorporate the word. itself).

It is often a speech that is poorly adapted to the environment and the context: the way of speaking is almost always the same and does not adapt according to the situation.

1.2. popular language

The so-called vernacular language is part of the lower-than-standard level (Although it incorporates several elements of standard language), and in this case, we observe a much more correct use and accepted by most speakers, although informal and not elaborate. Although limited in the lexicon, it also has great generativity when it comes to the different constructions.

He often uses many adjectives and proverbs, records constructions and sentences (sentences are reduced to the maximum) and abuses calls to the listener.

It is often a type of language used by people with little education, old or young, with fairly widespread informal use.

2. Standard level

By standard level we mean what the majority of the population recognizes as correct, Which follows the lexical, syntactic and morphological rules of the language in question and serves as a basis and example of what a particular language is. It requires a certain level of training to learn to use the language and its rules.

In the standard level we can find two language sublevels or subtypes.

2.1. colloquial language

This is the type of recording that most people usually use in their daily life and spontaneously. It is a correct language and follows the main rules of spelling, syntax and grammar, although there might be small errors.

It uses interjections and is quite lexically rich, although it should be used informally and does not tend to be ornate or ornate. Very practical and expressive, it generally includes elements of subjectivity and emotionality.

2.2. cult language

Cultured language is a sub-level of the standard level which implies a high level of correction in all its aspects.. This usually involves a relatively high knowledge and command of the rules of the language. It has a fairly rich lexicon and elements of abstraction and ornamentation can be seen, and is a type of formal communication.

Worship language, although generally regarded as standard, has characteristics which bring it closer to the superstandard level and which sometimes place it at these levels of language.

3. Superstandard level

The most advanced and sophisticated level of language is the superstandard level. This level is characterized by the use of a very correct and flowery language, as well as by its restricted use in certain fields or contexts. Its use is not common in everyday life and is limited to certain situations, in addition to which requires a high level of education to understand it.

The vocabulary is wide and they often use cultism. He often seeks the expression of beauty through speech. Among the different sub-levels that we can find, it is possible to highlight the following.

3.1. poetic language

Poetic language is that whose main function is the expression of emotions and feelings not so much by the content of the word as by its form.. While what is said may be relevant, it is much more relevant in the way it is expressed, seeking to generate beauty with the use of language.

    3.2. Scientific and technical language

    A superstandard language subtype in which the transmission of objective information prevails, With a clear and orderly presentation of information and the use of terminology specific to a field of knowledge. Understanding the messages emitted at this level of the language implies having very specific knowledge in a specific domain, or at least notions of very specific domains.

    Bibliographical references:

    • Areiza Londoño, R and Tabares Idárraga, LI (2003). Social variables and their relation to the use of language. Journal of the Humanities, 9 (32).

    • Cavaller Muñoz, D. (1993). Some psychosocial considerations on correct language and vulgar language. Open class, 62: 157-168. University of Oviedo.

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