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Next: Homogeneous and heterogeneous diglossia. Up: Diglossia and the Linguistic Previous: Diglossia and Linguistic Areas.

Partial vs. Total Diglossia

Researchers have noted the situation where some speakers control H but others have L as a mother tongue, and learn H as a second system. Thus in some linguistic cultures, all speakers exhibit diglossic behavior (i.e. use both H and L varieties in complementary distribution), while in others, only some members of the society do.[*] This could be illustrated either by a society where everyone controls L, but only some actively control H, or the opposite case where everyone speaks and writes H, but some also control an L variety. We can refer to this dichotomy as total diglossia vs. partial diglossia. This factor is distinct from the issue of whether diglossia is homogeneous or heterogeneous in the area (see below ).

Harold Schiffman