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Part I is completed by three other essays. Scobie Smith provides an analysis of the Hebrew of Second Temple period, focussing on biblical and mishnaic Hebrew. Porter, then follows with an examination of Koine Greek. After giving his own overview of the discussion on diglossia, Porter provides a sophisticated analysis of Romans, 1 Corinthians, Philippians, and the Pastoral Epistles (using the Hallidayan concept of register) to examine and compare the use of Greek in these letters. While the details are to complex to cover here, it is interesting to see the Pastoral Epistles analysed alongside some accepted Paulines and to find the results not entirely in step with usual higher critical findings. Following Porter, Christina Paulston, Professor of Linguistics, University of Pittsburgh gives a response as someone not directly involved in biblical studies but significantly involved in the area of historical sociolinguistics. While stating, ‘I find very little explanatory power in the concept of diglossia when applied to first-century Palestine and considerable- and unnecessary- conceptual confusion’ (88-89), she finds several things to commend and encourages scholars to move forward by establishing solid theoretical models and concepts.

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Hi, I'm an American living in Rio, I've been here for 3 years and have perfectly fluent portuguese by now. In my opinion, the idea that Brazil has two languages seems a bit outlandish...yes, an essay is written in more formal language, but the same is true in English. How often do you use the word "Secondly" or "Latter" in conversation? Brazil has stronger dialects than the US, but I don't quite understand how Brazilian Portuguese has 'diglossia' and not English? Would 'ebonics' qualify for diglossia? How is diglossia fundamentally any different from formal and informal speech?


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Whether diglossia is really a kind of bilingualism is disputed. While a number of researchers categorize diglossia exclusively within the framework of bilingualism, others, to the contrary, treat diglossia and bilingualism as two separate linguistic phenomena in their own right, which tend to overlap each other. In this essay I will touch upon some aspects of diglossia within the context of its relation to bilingualism referring to the studies of the researchers who stress on both similarities and differences between diglossia and bilingualism. According to Charles Ferguson, who first introduced the notion of diglossia into linguistic discourse in 1959, diglossia and bilingualism are closely related notions (Ferguson, 1959). Diglossia is a widespread sociolinguistic phenomenon that applies to a situation within the framework of one speech community, when speakers use two or more language varieties depending on communicative context switching from either local dialect to the literary standard language or vice versa (Ferguson, 1959). For instance, a speaker may use a local dialect of Italian language when communicating to his/her family members at home or friends in informal atmosphere and switch to the literary standard Italian during public speech in formal atmosphere or during a conversation with compatriots from other regions of Italy. It must be noted that according to Ferguson, diglossia is ...