By Aleksandr D. Švejcer

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Chomsky's philosophical position). After reviewing the contemporary sociolinguistic literature (primarily Ameri­ can), the conclusion is drawn about lack of unanimity on the subject, inasmuch as some authors regard speech activity as a reflex of social structure, others assign to social structure the determinant role in relation to speech activity and still others prefer to speak of a co-relation of linguistic and social structures without any attempt at establishing causal links between them. A.

Generally promising, though still in the initial stage, are the attempts of some sociolinguists to take into account the informal structure of small groups in analyzing the social determinants of their verbal activity (Levine and Crockett PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF CONTEMPORARY SOCIOLINGUISTICS 35 1964). Particularly interesting, though still requiring further confirmation, is the idea that within the same community the speech behaviour of members of informal groups is characterized by a far greater degree of uniformity than the speech behaviour of randomly selected individuals and that this phenomenon (at least partially) is due to interaction and interpersonal influences within these groups.

Of particular interest in this connection is the essay by A. D. Grimshaw, "Sociolinguistics", one of the sections of which is entitled "The Case for Isomor­ phism" (Grimshaw 1971). The author's attention is centred on one of the key philosophical problems of sociolinguistics — the problem of causal relations between the social structure and language. He distinguishes among three funda­ mentally different approaches to the solution of this problem: 1) Viewing language as a source, cause or independent variable (a position, cor­ responding to the theoretical conception of B.

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