Chapter Eight The Tenth Week Key points Choosing a Code Linguistic Taboos and Euphemisms Language and gender difficulties Diglossia Bilingualism and multilingualism Code-switching Language use of the two different gender 8.3 Choosing a Code 8.3.1 Diglossia 8.3.2 Blilngualism and multilingualism 8.3.3 Code-switching 8.3.1 The Definition of Diglossia Diglossia, a term first introduced by Ferguson in 1959 to refer to a sociolinguistic situation similar to bilingualism, usually describes a situation in which two very different varieties of language co-exist in a speech community, each with a distinct range of purely social function and appropriate for certain situations. Two very different varieties of the same language are used, for two different sets of functions. A sitration of this kind is called diglossia. High variety or H-variety (优势变体) and Low variety or L-variety (劣势变体) Both varieties are standardiezed to some degree, are felt to be alternatives by native speakers, and usually have special names. Usually, the more standard variety is called the High variety (H) or H-variety (优势变体)，the other is called the Low variety or L-variety (劣势变体). The High variety is learnt in school, tends to be used in sermon, political speeches, lectures, in the media, and inpoetry and letters; and it has greater social prestige. The low variety is used in family conversations, and other relatively informal contexts. Examples of H-variety and Lvariety Ex. (1) The German speaking part of Switzerland. (2) Diglossia also exists in most Arabic-speaking countries where the High variety is used in religious speeches and formal political talks, while the low variety is the local dialect of colloquial Arabic. (3) Diglossia existed with Latin as the High variety and local languages such as English and French as the Low variety. 8.3.2 Bilingualism and multilingualism Bilingualism refers to a situatin where two languages are used by an individual or by a group of speaker, such as the inhabitants of a particular region or a natin. Horizontal bilingualism (横向性双语现象) and Diagonal bilingualism (倾斜性双语现象) If the language spoken in a bilingual society have equal status in the official, cultural, and family life of the society, the situation is referred to as horizontal bilingualism (横向 性双语现象), whereas diagonal bilingualism (倾斜性双语现象)obtains when only one language has official standard status. Domains Regardless of the differences in the appproximation of perfect bilingualism, most bilingual communities have one thing in common, that is, a fairly clear functional differentiation of the two languages in respect of speech situations known as domains. Example of domain A bilingual Puerto Rican living in the US may use Spanish as the language of the home, un the sense that it would always by used in talking informally with other memebers of the family at home about domestic matters. That same person might use English in the Employment Domain in the office, or at home when the topic of a conversationdoes not concern anything in the Home Domain. Multilingualism Multilingualism refers to a situation where three or more languages are used by an individual or by a group of speakers such as the the inhabitants of a particular region or a nation. Examples of Multilingualism Ex. Multilingualism exists among the Tukano of the northwest Amazon, on the border between Colombia and Brazil. 8.3.3 Code-switching Bilinguals often switch between their two languages or language varieties in the middle of a conversation. This phenomenon is called code-switching. (√) Code-switching occurs quite often. For one thing, every person has to play many roles in society as mother, father, teacher, patient or client. Different roles require different forms of language. Secondly, there are so many different situations for language use. Situational code-switching(情景语码转换) and Metaphorical code-switching（隐喻语码转换） Situational code-switching occurs when the language used changes according to the situation in which the participants find themselves: they speak one language in one situationa and another in a different one. 8.4 Linguistic Taboos and Euphemisms Some words are rarely used in formal contexts because they are socially unacceptable in suc contexts. Taboo A word that we are reluctant to use may be called a taboo word. “Taboo” is from Tongan language “tabu” , a Polynesian language, in late 18th century and introduced into English by Captain Cook, which means “set apart, forbidden”. Ex. “four-letter words” Taboo Linguistic taboo originates from social taboo. When an act is taboo, reference to this act may also become taboo. Taboo words and expressions reflect the particular social coustoms and views of a particular culture. Examples of taboo Sacred language was taboo. “bloody” is a taboo word that some “respectable” people consider it a horid word because it refers to the blood of Christ. Latin words sound “scientific” while their native Anglo-Saxom counterparts are often consideren taboo. In many cultures, words relating to sex, sex organs, and natural bodily functions make up a large part of taboo vocabulary. Euphemism A more acceptable substitute of a taboo word may be called a euphemism. The word euphemism is taken from Greek word euphemismos, and means “sound good” or “good speech” or “to speak with good words”. A euphemism is a polite or more pleasant word or expression you use instead of a more direct one in order to avoid upsetting others. Taboo and euphemism The existence of taboo words or taboo ideas stimulates the creation o f euphemisms, since euphemisms may very well serve as plite substitutes for taboo language. Taboo and euphemism are, thus, two faces of the same communication coin. Examples Euphemism Pass away Indisposed Economically deprived Low-income dresses Dignified marton Ngative savings Disabled Retirement pension Unemployment benefit Take industrial action Chemical dependency Under the weather Low IQ/slow Companion animal Disposal officer/ Sanitation engineer Correctional facility Denotation die sick poor chep clothes old woman debts cripple ole-age pension dole go on strike dury addiction ill stupid pet dustman prison (√) Euphemisms are everywhere. Ex. Death and dying: tp pass away, to expire, to b no more, to rest in peace, to be out of his misery, to go to meet his Maker, to cross over the Great Divide, to go to his final resting place, go to a better place. 8.5 Language and Gender The study of language in relation to gender has two main focuses: First, it has been observed by many linguists that men and women speak differently; secondly, it has been observed by many feminists and by some linguists that men and women are spoken about differently, and it is often claimed that the language is discriminatory against women. Different talking ways of both sexes (1) In the same gender pairs having conversationsl women genereally discuss their perosnal feelings more than men. (2) Men seem to prefer non-personal topics such as sports and news. (3) Men tend to respond to an expression of feelings or problems by giving advice on solutions. (4) Women are more likely to mention personal experiences that connect with the other woman’s. (5) In mixed-gender pairs having conversations, the rate of men interrupting women is greater than the reverse. It has been suggested that there is a great deal of extra pliteness in female speech which makes use of the following linguistic devices (i) Frequent use of hedges like “I’, afraid that…”, “I’m not sure but…”, “kind of”, and “sort of”. For example, “John is kind of short” instead of “John is short”. (ii) Abundant use of tag questions as in “The lecture is terribly interesting, isn’t it?” (iii) Greater use of qualifiers and intensifiers than men: “awfully”, “lovely”, “terribly”, and “ fascinationg”, among others. (iv) Preference ofr use of the standard form of language on many occasions when men would not. (√) Language reflects sexism in society Language itself is not sexist, but it can encode sexist attitudes. Ex. My cousin------the cousin is a man. Assignments Euphemisms abund for “toilet” (which is itself a euphemism). What are some of them? Can you judge them in terms of acceptability for vrious kinds of social functions and itneractions? There are various suggestions why women tend to approximate more closely to the standard language than men do. What do you consider to be relevant factors? Why?