A manner of speaking a particular language. It can be marked by vocabulary/lexicon and syntax/grammar.
Vocabulary/lexicon is the words people use. Someone from the midwest might call a fizzy drink “pop,” while someone on the west coast might call it “soda.” A Spanish speaker from the U.S. might call a car “un carro,” while a Spanish speaker from Spain might call it “un coche.”
Syntax/grammar is the way people arrange the words that they use. African American English can express more verb tenses than most White English dialects. For example, speakers of AAE use what is called the “habitual be,” where using the verb “be” in addition to an action can express the idea that the person often or habitually does that action. “John be on his phone,” expresses the idea that John is frequently on his phone, not the idea that he is one his phone right now.
Dialect may also be marked by register and tone.
The concept of a dialect is often very political. The standard distinction between a dialect and a language is that dialects are supposed to be “mutually intelligible,” meaning that two people who speak different dialects of the same language are supposed to be able to understand each other, in the same way that a speaker of Southern English and a speaker of New York English can understand each other. Real life is rarely so simple, so whether a certain language variety is characterized as a “dialect” or “language” frequently depends on geography, politics, and national, ethnic, or racial group identity.
The concept of a “standard” or “correct” dialect is also determined by social power dynamics. There is no scientific reason why one dialect should be considered more “standard” than any other, and certainly not more “correct.”
The term “Heritage Language” is used to mean a few different things. It’s generally defined in terms of an individual or community’s relationship with the language, rather than being a characteristic that a language inherently possesses.
Some use “Heritage Language” in a U.S context to describe any minority language, or essentially any language other than English. Others use level of fluency, defining a heritage language as a minority language that an individual does not speak fluently because it is only spoken inside the home and not in the wider community. If two Swedish speakers married and moved to Mexico, and their child grew up speaking Swedish and Spanish with their parents, but Spanish in their school and with their friends, then Swedish would be a heritage language for them.
The concept is often used to describe learners, so that a person with a connection to a given language would be a heritage language learner. This may be a person who grew up with the language in their home, and speaks it less than fluently, or someone who speaks the language fluently, but hasn’t received formal education in that language. In some contexts, such as in the case of indigenous languages, a person who is a member of the ethnic group who speak the language may be considered by the community to be a heritage language learner even if they were not previously exposed to the language.
The unfair treatment of an individual based solely on their use of language.
A way to talk about varied types of traits including language family, grammar, and vocabulary; a subset of cultural diversity; an interdisciplinary field of study that includes how languages are acquired; language pedagogy; individual and societal impacts of bi/multilingualism; policy and political issues; and language maintenance, revitalization, and loss.
A linguistic ideology is a belief about language as a whole, a particular language or its speakers, or a particular way that language is used. Some examples of linguistic ideologies are:
Spanish is easy to learn
French is romantic
German is harsh/angry-sounding
People with a Southern accent are unintelligent
People who come to the U.S. should learn English
People who don’t speak English “the right way” are unintelligent
Linguistic ideologies can be explicitly expressed, or subconscious. So why not reflect on what linguistic ideologies you might hold?