You are on page 1of 70

SocioSociolinguistics 2

Languages and communities

Wardhaugh Chapter 2

³to study the relationship between language and society´ (Ferguson 1966)

‡ possible interactions between language and society
± social structure influence ± language influence society ± mutual influence ± no influence

Culture: how a group of people perceives, believes, thinks, behaves (different verbal and
nonverbal communication patterns, values, cognitive styles, expectancies, etc.)

Three main factors that distinguish one culture from another: 1) ethnicity 2) language 3) social class

Inter-relationship between linguistic items and social evaluations a. fishing. fishin¶ etc« p. budder.26 Wardhaugh . butter. bu¶er b.

a language. If it so different that speakers can not understand each other. can we define ³dialect´ ‡ Nope ‡ But I like analogy with speciation. I¶d call it a dialect.Okay. Cantonese and conversely Swedish vs Danish . If it is different but mutually intelligible. Think of Chinese: Mandarin vs. ‡ But sometimes the distinction is political.

(p.Taking a slow walk through villages from southern Italy to northern France? Where does French end and Italian begin? Some French dialects are very Italian and some Italian dialects are very French. 44) .

English Scottish American English .

A Scots sampler Below is a selection of Scots/English differences in three parts (Scots on the left. As regards pronunciation. . world. and there. English on the right). more English. Munich. or mixed). Bach. (2) a voiceless velar fricative as in the ch of such words as ach. whatever their typical speech (more Scots. a majority of the Scottish people differ in speech from other Anglophones in two ways that are shibboleths of Scottishness: (1) a tapped or rolled alveolar r in such words as breathe. All listed forms are in current use. loch.

micht. poor licht. guid. out. moon. sore. stane. sight . sair. muin. cow ba(w). puir boot. stone. might. hall. fault. doon/doun. faut. saut ball. down. salt buit. sicht light. oot. richt. right. coo house. gae home. good. ha(w).(1) Pronunciation and typical spelling hame. go hoose.

mendit tell/tellt. it¶s yirsel looked.(2) Grammar lookit. sell/sold go/went give/gave/given eye/eyes He won¶t be able to come today I might be able to go tomorrow I don¶t know We couldn¶t do it He won¶t be coming I¶m going home now Ah. it¶s you . sell/sellt gae/gaed/gan gie/gied/gien eye/een he¶ll no can come the day ah micht could gae the morn ah dinna(e) ken we couldna(e) dae it he¶ll no be comin that¶s me awa(e) hame ah. mended tell/told.

especially in manner a stupor.(3) Vocabulary an ashet a bairn tae blether a brae braw tae dicht douce a dwam fantoosh glaikit a serving dish a child to talk nonsense a slope (of a hill) fine. beautiful. dazed state flashy stupid-looking . wipe sweet. handsome to clean.

More Scots a howf(f) tae ken tae lowp (the) noo tae spear tae stravaig a sybie/syboe tapsalteerie tae thole tae trauchle a sair (=sore) trauchle a favourite haunt/pub to know to jump. go around/about a spring onion topsy-turvy to endure. roam. to leap now to ask to wander. tolerate to overburden. harass a great burden .

Some Scots Gaelic Tha mi uamhasach sgith ! .

Dialect at one time indicated a geographical as well as linguistic distinction .

literature. dictionaries.standardization Codification of language: grammars. spelling books. .

What is ³Standard English´ ‡ Variety which is: ± In most print sources? ± Taught in schools? ± The version ESL students study? .

Guy Richie ‡ Sometimes standard or RP accent is valued ‡ Sometimes dialect is valued ‡ Elitist impulse vs socialist impulse in dialectic .Madonna vs.

‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Manx and Cornish dead Latin too is dead Dialects also die But other dialects (and languages) are born and the classical languages are still vital parts of Western culture.

‡ Groups link sense of identity with language. Unifying force? Divisive as well?

‡ Speakers of a language of dialect may feel different and special.

Mancunian. What others? . though they may love it nevertheless. Surfer dialect too. Cockney is a good example as is Glaswegian.Reduction ‡ Other linguistic groups recognize their dialect as being substandard. In fact. the fact that it is substandard can be thought of as a badge of honor.

Mixture ‡ Feelings about the purity or lack of purity of a dialect. People feel that their ³mixed´ speech is debased. etc« . deficient. degnerate.

Oxford English. though the heirarchy here is relative and shifting.Good speakers Bad speakers ‡ Most groups recognize better and worse dialects and pronunciations. Lancastrian (vs. Parisien French. . Oildalese). Mull Gaelic?. Palmdalic) and Bakerfeldian (vs.

a dialect is a subset of a language? .Language vs Dialect ‡ Whatever else it may or may not be.

Vernacular and Koine ‡ Vernacular: the speech passed down from parent to child as primary mode of communication (Do parents pass down language?) ‡ Koine: speech shared by people of different vernaculars .

40-43. Any others we might discuss? . 11. I think 1.Yikes! ‡ Look at all the discussion questions on pp. and 17 are worth talking about.

rural. lower class .Dialect vs patois ‡ Dialect: has a literature ‡ Patois: purely oral.

dude? .. syntax. pronunciation. ‡ Accent: pronunciation ‡ Everybody speaks English with some kind of accent. La¶in. etc. dune.Dialect vs Accent ‡ Dialect: vocabulary. Thirdy.

Discussion questions ‡ Let¶s look at 1-6 on page 46-7. . in groups for 15 minutes then general discussion.

Social dialects ‡ Dialect associate with group identity apart from geographical identity. Jewish English. Surfer Dudian. Black English. Academic English? .

Registers. Beliefs ‡ Formal vs informal ‡ Occupation lingo ‡ Dialect. style. register are largely independent .Styles.

We tend to like older. even though/because we recognize the social superiority or ³correctness´ of the speech. rural dialects though recognized as ³incorrect¶ tend to be preferred over city dialects. In fact.High/low vs better/worse ‡ We often don¶t like speakers who speak with a posh accent. more familiar ways of speech. Bush beats Kerry? . Simple over complex.

As Wardhaugh points out. . depite what we ³know´ people tend to believe and to teach value judgments about lanaguage and dialect.

People without university educations tend to think of their speech and grammar as inferior. . They believe pundits who tell them about ³proper´ grammar and speech.

humans are naturally very smart about language. How can do we make these judgments? How can we know when we are right and wrong? Would we be able to spot a Martian trying to pass himself off as a native English speaker? .On the other hand. We deduce and intuit a great deal about speakers.

My friends Alaister and Alex ³Speak English!´ .

Our ³competence´ outstrips our ³performance´ ? .Production vs. Reception: We notice and comprehend better than we can produce and convey.

Let us attempt/let¶s try disussion questions 4-7 on pp. 54-5 .


Bilingualism ‡ Individual bilingualism ± two native languages in the mind ± Fishman: ³ a psycholinguistic phenomenon´ ‡ Societal bilingualism ± A society in which two languages are used but where relatively few individuals are bilingual ± Fishman: ³a sociolinguistic phenomenon´ ‡ Stable bilingualism ± persistent bilingualism in a society over several generations ‡ Language evolution: ± Language shift ± Diglossia .

Language Policy and Leadership Office) ‡Enhanced academic and linguistic competence in two languages ‡Development of skills in collaboration & cooperation ‡Appreciation of other cultures and languages ‡Cognitive advantages ‡Increased job opportunities ‡Expanded travel experiences ‡Lower high school drop out rates ‡Higher interest in attending colleges and universities .BENEFITS OF BILINGUALISM (California Department of Education.

BILINGUALISM AND MOTIVATIONAL FACTORS The more motivated you are the quicker you learn an additional language (evidence from a number of studies) Gardner & Lamberts (1972): Integrative motivation = social motivation (to integrate in a specific culture to fit in to a social group.) Instrumental motivation = motivation for practical reasons (to do well at school get to university) Conflicting evidence in later research with regard to the importance and distinctiveness of the two motivational factors .

Relationships between knowing one¶s ancestral language and affective factors (an U. Vietnamese American. 1993) Subjects: Native American.g.S. family relations) -believe that their parents wanted them to learn the ancestral language -had clearcut ethnic identity . heritage. Hispanic American college students Those who were bilingual tended to: -believe that learning their ancestral language was important -had integrative reasons for that (e.. study by Wharry.

which are functionally differentiated . transitional situation in which everyone in a community knows both H and L. but are shifting to H A completely egalitarian speech community . where there is no language variation .bilingualism Speakers of H rule over speakers of L .Diglossia ‡ Ferguson¶s definition (1959): the side-by-side existence of historically & structurally related language varieties ± the Low variety takes over the outdated High variety ‡ Fishman¶s reformulation (1967): a diglossic situation can occur anywhere where two language varieties (even unrelated ones) are used in functionally distinct ways ± the Low variety loses ground to the superposed High variety ± problematic as it creates an opposite situation to widespread bilingualism Fishman¶s reformulation + diglossia + bilingualism Everyone in a community knows both H and L.diglossia An unstable.

Diglossic situation ‡ Four examples: Situation Arabic Swiss German Haitian Greek 'high' variety Classic Arabic 'low' variety Various regional colloquial varieties Standard German Swiss German Standard French Haiti Creole Katharévousa Dhimotiki .

Oxford: Blackwell.Diglossic situation: functions of H vs. friends. 1972. 1985. 35. Diglossia. Language and Social Context. colleagues News broadcasts Radio 'soap opera' Newspaper editorial. Harmondsworth: Penguin.). caption on picture Caption on political cartoon Poetry Folk literature H x x x x x x x x x x x x L Ferguson. waiters. . The Sociolinguistics of Society. L Situation Sermon in church or mosque Instructions to servants. Charles. worksmen. In: Pier Paolo Giglioli (ed. In: Ralph Fasold. clerks Personal letter Speeches in parliament. new story. political speeches University lecture Conversations with family. 232-251.

Indian. television programs. and universities all use Bahasa Indonesia. schools. Its common use has helped unify the 200 million citizens since Indonesia¶s independence in 1949.Example of L moving towards H & becoming national language: LANGUAGES IN INDONESIA: 300 languages and dialects are spoken in Indonesia. but Bahasa Indonesia is the official and most widely spoken tongue. and English. Do you speak English? Bisa bicara Bahasa Inggris? . Bahasa Indonesia is based on Malay. long the market language of coastal towns. Dutch. and it contains elements of Chinese. major newspapers. Today.

Language choice ‡ code switching ± changing from one language to an other ‡ situational switching ‡ metaphorical switching ‡ code-mixing ± speaking in one language but using pieces from another ‡ style shifting ± standard English vs. afro-american vernacular ‡ language borrowing .

Tucano (almost a lingua franca). Other languages in the area is e. Code-mixing with Tucano is considered a ³language violation´. Overusing Portuguese is associated with an Indian who is trying to be better than his peers. using elements of Baniwa is funny while mixing different Tariana dialects implies that one ³cannot speak Tariana properly. and there are strict rules for code.g.switching. Language choice is motivated by power relationship and by status. Aikhenvald (2003) Language in Society 32:1-21 .Example of code-switching in the Amazon Tariana is spoken by about 100 people in the northwest Amazonia (Brazil). Baniwa and Arawak (the two latter related to Tariana). The area is known for its language group exogamy and institutionlized multilingualism.

-v) ± Pidgin ‡ hybrid language with lexicon from one language and grammar from another language (-p. -v) ± Creole ‡ language acquired by children of speakers of pidgin. or subsequently by speaker or Creole (-p.Pidgin and Creole ‡ Ferguson (1966) distinguished between five language types based on prestige (p) and vitality (v): ± Vernacular ‡ unstandardized native language of speech community (-p. ±v) . +v) ± Classical ‡ language codified in dictionaries and grammars which is no longer spoken (+p. +v) ± Standard ‡ native language of a speech community codified in dictionaries and grammars (+p.

Next used to designate the language(s) of people of Caribbean and African descent in colonial and excolonial countries (Jamaica. Mauritius. a community of speakers claims it as their first language. Creole is a language that was originally a pidgin but has become nativized. Hawaii. Haiti. may arise when two speakers of different languages with no common language try to have a makeshift conversation. Réunion. the prestige of Pidgin languages is very low. etc. i. structure often from the other. slavery etc. 2.Pidgin language is nobody's native language. Pitcairn.Pidgin and Creole 1.) .e. Lexicon usually comes from one language. Because of colonialism.

their children become bilingual. ‡ Children encounter the host languages first on TV but are compelled to using it for survival at school. Most families eventually shift from using their mother tongue at home to using the host country¶s language. ‡ Language shift may take three to four generations to occur. ‡ At first. . ‡ There is also pressure from the hosts on migrants to conform. but soon the host language gradually infiltrates their homes through their children.Language shift in different communities Migrant minorities ‡ Typically. but the grandchildren turn monolingual in the language of the host country. which results in language shift from their mother tongue to the host language. Then this language turns to be the code for communicating with their siblings and friends. migrants are virtually monolingual in their mother tongue. migrants use the host¶s language in limited domains and reserve the home domain for their mother tongue.

. it may result from political.Language shift in different communities Non-migrant communities Non‡ Language shift does not always result from migration. economic. or social changes within the community of speakers.

Example of language shift in non-immigrant communities: Burgenland shifted from Hungarian to German when it became part of Austria rather than Hungary. he peace treaty of Saint-Germain (1919) provided that the predominantly German-speaking parts of western Hungary were ceded to Austria. . After disintegration of the Habsburg Empire.

Then a diglossic situation resulted in Hungarian as the L-variety and German as the Hvariety. German is now spoken even at home. German became the language for social and economic progress and the domains for Hungarian retracted. Hungarian was originally associated with farming and peasants and German with industry. Eventually.Burgenland: A bilingual community for 400 years. .

and Islamic rites. Hungarian. and Arabic are used in Latin Roman Church. there has been at least one exclusive domain for the minority language. ‡ Generally. Latin. the more likely it will be maintained.Language shift in different communities Non-migrant communities Non‡ It is almost a rule that the more domains in which a minority language is used. ‡ Where minority languages have resisted language shift the longest. the religious domain is the most resistant to language shift. for example. Oberwart prayers. . Until now.

‡ Language death is manifested in a gradual loss of fluency and competence by its speakers. the language dies with them. but that does not constitute the death of their ethnic language because it continues to be spoken by the majority in their old country of origin. competence gradually erodes over time. in which the functions of one language are taken over in one domain after another by another language.Language Death & Shift ‡ When all the people who speak a language die. ‡ Language death is similar to language shift in being a gradual process. . ‡ Immigrants shift to the language of the majority in two to three generations.

Kemi Sámi... Ume Sámi. Dalmatian) (ii) nearly extinct languages with maximally tens of speakers. Irish Breton) (iv) endangered languages with some children speakers at least in part of their range but decreasingly so (e.g. Friulian) (v) potentially endangered languages with a large number of children speakers but without an official or prestigious status (low Saxon. Livonian) (iii) seriously endangered languages with a more substantial number of speakers but practically without children among them (e. Ingrian.g. Corsican) http://www.html#extinct .helsinki.UNESCO RED BOOK ON ENDANGERED LANGUAGES: EUROPE (i) extinct languages other than ancient ones (e. all elderly (e.

‡ Language Death: This is a process that occurs when a language is no longer spoken naturally anywhere in the world. .Language Death & Shift Differences between language shift and language death: ‡ Language Shift: This is a process in which one language displaces another in the linguistic repertoire of a community.

Patterns of language use: Socio-economic factors . the more chances there is to maintain it 2. Demographic factors: (a) large enough community of speakers (b) the community is able to isolate itself from the influences of the majority (c) there is a high frequency of contact with the homeland 3.Factors affecting language shift 1.determine in which domains the minority language may be used the more domains a minority language is used in. Attitudes to the minority language: (a) pride and respect of the language (b) symbol of the ethnic identity (c) the language has international status .

of language shift.Factors affecting language shift Economic. and Political Factors ‡ A community sees an important reason for learning the second language: 1. ‡ Rapid shift occurs when speakers are eager to µfit in¶ or µget on¶ in society. Social: Fitting in ‡ Bilingualism is usually an indicator. ‡ Language shift is inevitable without active language maintenance. a forerunner. young people and job seekers are the fastest to shift languages. Social. Economic: Obtaining well-paying jobs 2. . Thinking that a language is no longer needed or that it is in any danger of disappearing may result in language loss. Political: Allegiance to the government 3. although stable diglossic communities demonstrate that bilingualism does not always result in language shift.

telephone..Factors Factors affecting language shift Demographic Factors 1. language shift is slowest. E. Social integration leads to language shift. Where there is a large number of speakers of the minority language. the more social pressure to speak the ethnic language. TV. internet are agents of language shift. 2. social isolation. buses. Ukrainians in the Canadian farmlands. ± Improved roads. ± Isolated rural communities of minorities tend to resist language shift. . ± Shift tends to occur faster in some groups than in others. the larger the group. ± To maintain a language. may result in resistance to language shift. there must be people who can use it with one another. Size of community of speakers tends to influence language shift. on the other hand.g.

± Mothers tend to influence language change either by accelerating it towards the language of the majority or by slowing it down if her native language is that of the minority.Factors Factors affecting language shift Demographic Factors 3. Intermarriage can accelerate language shift towards the language of the partner who speaks the language of the majority. unless multilingualism is the norm in society. .

so they maintain their ethnic language to maintain their identity. 2. .g. Language shift tends to be faster among communities where the ethnic language is not highly valued. The international status of the ethnic language either accelerates or slows down language shift e. French in Maine (U.A. these attitudes help people resist the pressure from the majority group to shift to their language.) and Quebec (Canada). 3.Factors Factors affecting language shift Attitudes and Values 1. ± Language is an important component of identity and culture. maintaining a group¶s identity and culture is usually important to it.S. ± Positive attitudes of speakers support efforts to use the ethnic language in a variety of domains. It also occurs where the ethnic language is not seen as a symbol of identity.

religion. 4.. Using the minority language in the extended family helps maintain this ethnic language. e. law and administration. Speakers live near each other and socialize and worship with each other frequently.How Can a Minority Language be Maintained? There are certain social factors which help resist wholesale language shift: 1. Institutional support through education. 6. The language is a symbol of identity. e. 5.g. 2..g. . Indians & Pakistanis in Birmingham and the Chinese in Chinatowns. Discouraging inter-marriages helps maintain the language of the minority. There is frequent contact with the homeland through regular visits and frequent new immigrants. 3. the languages of the Polish and Greeks in Anglo-Saxon countries. and the media is crucial to language maintenance.

and (c) whether the economic factor is conducive or not (encouraging or discouraging). ‡ The success of language revival efforts depends on (a) how far the language loss has occurred. and Maori are cases in point. they consciously work to revitalize or bring to life the language. Welsh. Scottish. similar factors apparently result in a stable bilingual situation in some communities but language shift in others. ‡ Pressures towards language shift occur more in monolingual communities than multilingual communities that consider the existence of more than one language as normal. . ‡ Hebrew was effectively dead for 1700 years but got revived and is now spoken as an everyday native language of communication. Irish. (b) how determined its speakers are in reviving it.Language Revival ‡ When some communities realize that their ethnic language is in danger of disappearing. ‡ There is no magic formula for guaranteeing language maintenance.

.The Swedish Language in Finland -minority language: about 6% of population -language laws: Swedish has an equal status with Finnish as an official language. -attitudes among majority: according to a research report published in 1997. The Language Act of 1922 states that a Finnish citizen is entitled to use either Finnish or Swedish in courts of law and in dealings with other national authorities. -bilingual municipalities (= at least 8% / 3000 minority language speakers) are required to provide schools for both language groups. 70% of Finland's Finnish-speaking population feel that Swedish is an essential part of Finnish society. -The number of daily newspapers for the Swedish minority (15) is probably higher than for any other corresponding language minority in the world. -Swedish is a compulsory subject at Finnish comprehensive school and vice versa. and 73% believe it would be a pity if the Swedish language and culture were to die out completely in Finland. .

The south is also where intermarriage between the language groups is quite common. In the urban conglomerations in southern Finland. On Åland and in Ostrobothnia. consider bilingualism to be a problem that will eventually harm the Swedish-speaking minority.The Swedish Language in Finland: mono. most working-age people have to be bilingual with a good knowledge of Finnish. Those who are bilingual consider this to be a necessity and a credit. the rest know Finnish fairly well and use it to a varying extent both in everyday life and at work. and so do attitudes towards bilingualism. http://www. on the other hand. it is possible to be monolingually Swedish both in private and professionally. There.folktinget.and bilingualism About one third of all Swedish-speaking Finns are monolingual in Swedish. The need for bilingualism in Swedish-speaking Finland varies geographically. those who are not. the situation is .

It is secured by legislation but bilingualism is becoming more and more common and there are concerns about ¶degradation¶ of the language.Thought Question: Finnish-Swedish is a minority language in Finland with about 300 000 speakers. Should something be done to ensure its future in Finland? If yes. what? What is your opinion? .