Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics

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(2,814 words)

Diglossia refers to the complementary coexistence of two linguistic varieties within a speech community, typically one of which is an elevated code (the H[igh] language) used for higher order social functions such as religious sermons, government missives and formal writing, the other of which is the everyday vernacular (the L[ow] language) used in lower level exchanges with friends and family. …

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Chris Wen-chao LI, “Diglossia”, in: Encyclopedia of Chinese Language and Linguistics, General Editor Rint Sybesma. Consulted online on 21 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2210-7363_ecll_COM_00000128>
First published online: 2015

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