- Parts of folk speech are covered by the linguistic concept of register. The latter is typically defined as a repertoire of lexemes, prosody, and collocations associated with a particular social practice and with individuals engaged in such practices. The repertoire is possessed by individuals within a group. The register, or repertoire, is variously distributed across the group and thus is also dynamic in nature.
- Typically, use of a register cues participants to the fact that a social practice is occurring: sometimes use of the register constitutes the practice itself. (See: J.L. Austin’s How to Do Things with Words and the idea of perlocutionary.)
- There is a relationship between register as an analytical concept and voice. Voice is simply the linguistic contruction of social persona. Both register, which can be seen as the linguistic construction of a group, and voice depend upon word, word combination, and syntax choices.
- For folklorists, the simplest level of verbal folklore is the traditional word, expression, usage, or name that circulates within a group.
- There is a difference between register and dialect, but that’s for another time.