Restricted Choice Principle Of


RESTRICTED CODE THEORY. The English sociologist Basil Bernstein (1924-2000) formulated restricted code theory to account for an informal use of language that is related to immediate/context-bound situations and that involves the use of a reduced semantic and syntactic range. The employment of such restricted language is hypothesized to be indicative of lower-working-class individuals -as compared to middle-class persons/speakers who demonstrate both a restricted and an elaborated code (i.e., a comparatively complex and formal use of language that is not restricted to immediate situations, and is context-free containing a wide semantic and syntactic range). The restricted code theory is reduced often - in an unwarranted or specious manner - to the proposition (based on differences in linguistic resources that are available) that middle-class individuals are capable of abstract reasoning, whereas lower-working-class people are not capable of such reasoning. See also LANGUAGE ACQUISITION THEORY; LANGUAGE ORIGINS, THEORIES OF.

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