Baylor College Medical School

What are acculturation threshold, ego boundary, fossilization, prestige language, double bind, anomie and creole?

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Acculturation threshold is defined as the educational leap from one stage to another when learning a second language. The explanation I read cited the area between stages two and three, in which a student moves from advanced beginner to competent.


Ego boundaries, a key concept in the theory of Paul Federn,

form a necessary basis for distinguishing real from not real.

Interlanguage fossilization is a stage during second language acquisition. When mastering a target language (TL), second language (L2) learners develop a linguistic system that is self-contained and different from both the learner’s first language (L1) and the TL (Nemser, 1971). This linguistic system has been variously called interlanguage (IL) (Selinker, 1972), approximative system (Nemser, 1971), idiosyncratic dialects or transitional dialects (Corder, 1971), etc.

In sociolinguistics, prestige describes the level of respect accorded to a language or dialect as compared to that of other languages or dialects in a speech community. The concept of prestige in sociolinguistics is closely related to that of prestige or class within a society. Generally, there is positive prestige associated with the language or dialect of the upper classes, and negative prestige with the language or dialect of the lower classes. The concept of prestige is also closely tied to the idea of the standard language, in that the most prestigious dialect is likely to be considered the standard language, though there are some notable exceptions to this rule, such as Arabic.[1] Prestige is particularly visible in situations where two or more languages come in contact, and in diverse, socially stratified urban environments, in which there are likely to be speakers of different languages or dialects interacting frequently. Despite common perceptions that certain dialects or languages are relatively good or bad, correct or incorrect, "judged on purely linguistic grounds, all languages—and all dialects—have equal merit".[2]

double bind 


1. Psychology . a situation in which a person is given conflicting cues, especially by a parent, such that to obey one cue is to disobey the other.


Definition of ANOMIE

: social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; also : personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals


Cre·ole (krl)


1. A person of European descent born in the West Indies or Spanish America.


a. A person descended from or culturally related to the original French settlers of the southern United States, especially Louisiana.

b. The French dialect spoken by these people.

3. A person descended from or culturally related to the Spanish and Portuguese settlers of the Gulf States.

4. often creole A person of mixed Black and European ancestry who speaks a creolized language, especially one based on French or Spanish.

5. A Black slave born in the Americas as opposed to one brought from Africa.

6. creole A creolized language.

7. Haitian Creole.


1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the Creoles.

2. creole Cooked with a spicy sauce containing tomatoes, onions, and peppers: shrimp creole; creole cuisine.