After reading some comments on Sociolinguistics over at the b-greek forum a few days ago, I was fascinated to find a 1994 paper by Eugene Nida on Sociolinguistics and translation today. The article is available online. If you are unclear on the distinction between Sociolinguistics and other forms of Linguistic inquiry, you will find this article helpful.
Language Choice in Ancient Palestine
I have added Hughson Ong’s article, “Language Choice in Ancient Palestine: A Sociolinguistic Study of Jesus’ Language Use Based on Four ‘I Have Com'” Sayings” (Biblical and Ancient Greek Linguistics. 1.3 ) to the bibliography at Greek-Language.com.
Here’s the abstract I included:
Ong discusses language authenticity to address a problem in historical Jesus research—the lingua franca of Jesus’ social environment. Using sociolinguistic principles he argues that Palestine was a multilingual society and that various social groups necessitate the use of language varieties, raising the issue of language choice (the occasions and reasons multilingual people use their native tongue over and against their second language). Ong’s objective is to show in four “I have come” sayings in the Synoptic Gospels that, with high probability, Jesus’ internal language was Aramaic, and his public language was Greek.
Those of you interested in sociolinguistics may find Ong’s argument particularly stimulating.