Language and Culture
Prof. R. Hickey
SS 2006
Sociolinguistics, Language
and Culture
Nadine Bieniek (Hauptstudium LN)
Alina Biesenbaum (Grundstudium LN)
Maike Ebert (Grundstudium TN)
Katharina Kraatz (Grundstudium TN)
Lukas Rott
Magdalena Szuber (ECTS Punkte)
Anna Zagermann (Grundstudium TN)
Jessica Zeltner (Hauptstudium LN)
Content
1. Standard Languages and Linguistic Engineering
2. Building National Identities
3. Language and Social Position: Social Inequality
4. Social Deixis
5. Social Markers
6. Non-verbal communication
7. Expressive movements between cultures
8. Human Rituals
1. Standard Languages and
Linguistic Engineering
The Concept of the Nation-State and
the National Language
Magdalena Szuber
The notion of a ‘nation –state’
A result of economic and political developments in the
19th century, particularly the French and industrial
revolutions, and from these via education of elites
diffused throughout the world.
The notion of a ‘nation –state’
Shift of political communities from Gemeinschaft
“community”
signifying relationships based on likeness, shared properties of
kinship and descent or locality, e.g. home, farm, village
to Gesellschaft “association”
people of different backgrounds engaging in contracts of association
and exchange, e.g. larger cities or industrial units as is clearly
modern nation-state. (Toennis, 1955)
In this sense the nation-state is an “imagined
community”, basis of which (or a powerful force for its
forming) is a shared, mostly standard, national language.
The notion of a ‘nation –state’
Forces producing and molding standard national languages
are various, but revolve mainly around politics and
economy.
Standard national language is likely to reflect the speech
of nation’s elite.
The Development of Standard
English
The Development of Standard
English

The idea of a standard English emerged in the London
area, center of trade and commerce, around the 14th
century;
English spoken in 4 main dialect groupings:
1)
Northern, above the Humber River
Midland, north of the Thames and Avon rivers, south of
Humber
Southern, south of the Avon and Thames rivers, west of
London
Kentish, south of the Thames River, mainly east of
London
2)
3)
4)
The Development of Standard
English
The Dialect of English spoken in London has always been
gradually seen as prestigious throughout the whole
country:





14th century - the Southern dialect
15th century - the East Midland dialect (The Black Death, William
Caxton)
16th century - the Northern dialect (wool trade & manufacture)
16th/17th century literacy solidifies position of the prestigious London
dialect,
late 18th century - the rise of a nation-state ideology mounts fullscale attack on the minority languages of the British Isles
The Development of Standard
English
Late 18th century - the rise of a nation-state ideology
mounts full-scale attack on the minority languages of the
British Isles



Unified British nation and people required acceptance of
all of a standard British language
Spelling standardized, stigmatizing certain variant forms
(development of prescriptive grammars and dictionaries)
The end result – Standard English we know today
Language standardization

Country’s economic and political power centralized

‘Standard’ likely to be based on speech of the higher
social strata, ‘the elite’

Literate forms and cultural activities
Dutch as a Standard
Language
Two different stories - Belgium and the
Netherlands
Standard Dutch of Belgium and the
Netherlands
In Belgium Dutch is one of the two official languages.
Originally modern Belgium and the Netherlands spoke
regional dialects of Dutch.
17th century revolt against Habsburg rule produce a new
standard of the independent northern provinces (The
Netherlands), based on the language of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam – cultural and scientific center
The developments in Belgium differ.
Standard Dutch of Belgium and the
Netherlands
Habsburg hegemony in Belgium continued until the 19th
century, when the Kingdom of Belgium emerged.
French was than an prestigious language of courts from
Paris to Moscow, also bulk of elite in Belgium.
Farmers and laboring classes continued to speak regional
Dutch dialects.
Dutch received an official status in Belgium only in 1938.
Belgian Dutch has never been officially recognized.
Real economic power lies in the hands of French speakers
(Brussels and the European Union).
Standard Languages in Norway
Standard Languages in Norway

Story reflects the Romantic idea that nation’s unique
identity and distinctive national language are closely
intertwined.
From 15th century until 1814, Norway was ruled by Denmark;
official language – Danish. When Norway regained its independence in
1814, there was no Standard Norwegian.
Two Standard languages emerge.
Standard Languages in Norway
Bokmal, the ‘book language’,
developed on the basis of speech of the urban elite, but influenced
by the language of the enemy – Danish.
Nynorsk, the new Norwegian
A school teacher Ivar Aasen introduces new standard, based on the
rural western Norwegian dialects, which have had least Danish
influence.
Conclusion
Language Standardization is primarily a political and
economic process
Significant role of ideologies of statehood and nationalism
2. Building National Identities
Alina Biesenbaum
Building National Identities
The concepts of nation and state:
State: any region governed under a central
administration with its own legal and political
institutions, and seperated by the administration from
surrounding regions.
Nation: community of people who see themselves as an
ethnic and cultural unit, and contrast with other
communities of people surrounding them.
Asia and Africa

are multiethnic and multilingual

problems of developing a standart language

constructing a standart language is seen as an intrinsic
part of building a modern nation-state

„one nation, one people, one language“
Asia and Africa

citizens are often divided by tribe, race, region, custom,
religion and language

therefore struggles may arise ( conflict between Bantu
and Nilotic tribes in 1970s and 1980s)

conflicts can lead to a collapse of the nation-state
Asia and Africa

according to Geertz conflicts are a result of integrative
failure

important to bind people together into a state

centralization of a national media, national school
curricula, national governmental bureaucracy
Asia and Africa

one of the major conflicts today is the struggle of
communities (nations) to become states (Kurds)

ex colonies: they are states struggling to be nations
Standard language and Elite
Hegemony

common identity of citizens = same national language

official languages are necessary for the functioning of
the state and its central institutions

many ex-colonies have chosen English or French to be
their national language
2 main reasons for this situation
1. countries are highly multilingual
2. prior to independence, the political and economic elite
were educated in the colonial languages

good and active control of these languages is essential
to gaining access to power and prestige
Forging a Standard language
- the case of Indonesian

not all ex-colonies have adopted French or English

Indonesia and Tanzania have raised regional languages
to the status of official national languages

Indonesia: multiethnic, multilingual (over 300 languages)
The Malay language

Malay: language of trade, also used by the Dutch

in 1928 Malay was claimed as official national language
The Malay language

colloquial:
aku tanam sayur
di kabun
I plant vegetables in garden

standart:
saya men-(t) anam-i kebun dengun
I
plant
garden with
sayur
vegetables
prefix men- indicates active voice
suffix –i indicates that direct object is a location


The Malay language

the colloquial varities employ word order to signal
grammatical functions and are morphologically
unelaborated

Standart Indonesian makes use of derivational
morphology
Modernization in Language
Standardization

standard Indonesian is under pressure to „modernize“

lack of words for concepts and practices connected with
the modern world of technology, bureaucracy, economy
Modernization in Language
Standardization

In coining new words for modern concepts, language
planners look
1.for sources in Indonesian languages,
2. Sanskrit,
3. Indic languages,
4. European languages (English)
Modernization in Language
Standardization





antropologi – anthropology
kwalitet - quality
rasionalisasi – rationalization
politik
- politics
demokrasi - democracy
In the field of politics, economies, technology the words are
borrowed from the English language
Conclusion
3. Language and Social
Position: Social Inequality
Jessica Zeltner
Contents:
Language and Social Position
1.
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and Prestige
2.
Social Roles
3.
Other Types of Social Structure
4.
Conclusion
5.
References
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and
Prestige
Sociolinguistics:
“deals with the inter-relationships between language
and society. It has strong connections […] to sociology,
through the crucial role that language plays in the
organization of social groups and institutions.” (Yule
1996: 239)
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and
Prestige
Social Stratification:
“the arrangement of any social group or society into a
hierarchy of positions that are unequal with regard to
power, property, social evaluation […]” (Tumin 1967:
12)
Power:
The ability to realize one’s wants and interests even
against resistance (according to Max Weber 1972)
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and
Prestige
Class:
-
defined by occupation and educational level
people behave in ways appropriate to their
class position
Class System:
positions people so that access to “scarce
goods” is either given or denied
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and
Prestige
Conflicts of interests: higher vs. lower class
Social Classes: “aggregates of people who have

similar overall positions in the economic system”
(Foley 1997: 308)
indicators: occupation, educational level
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and
Prestige
Status:
“the hierarchical ranking of individuals along a
dimension of social prestige, which leads to
differentials in power and access to scarce goods”
(according to Weber)
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and
Prestige
Criteria of Status:





inferior / superior
Status entitlements are not fixed
determined by occupation and educational
background
deference / avoidance
hierarchy
Social Roles
Criteria of Roles:

particular attitudes and practices

Influenced by class position and education

different contexts - different behavior
Social Roles
Criteria of Roles:

actors take on roles

different roles – differing status entitlements

asymmetrical power
Social Roles
Criteria of Roles:

expectations

asymmetry of power - strictness of roles

specific code of behavior: “styles of language”

highly pervasive roles
Social Roles
Society:
“network of fields of conventionalized interactive
relationships of differential power, reward, and
prestige” (Foley 1997: 311)
Other Types of Societies
Caste Society:




indicator: birth
no alteration
multidimensional
hierarchical
Other Types of Societies
Age Set Society:





biological features
hierarchy structured by age: age grades
political power: the eldest
younger must defer to older
alteration by aging
Conclusion
1. Societies are structured in various ways
2. Most common way in Western Societies: class
system
3. Social roles are linked to concept of class and status
4. Languages have various ways to indicate social
class, status and roles
4. Social Deixis
Maike Ebert
Contents:
Social Deixis
1.
T/V Phenomenon
2.
Example Japanese
3.
Example Javanese
4.
Conclusion
5.
References
T/V Phenomenon
• described by Brown and Gilman
• best known type of social deixis
• refers to the phenomenon that in almost every
European language but also elsewhere second-person
singular pronouns are used
T/V Phenomenon
•
T from Latin tu, V from Latin vos
•
T form  informal
•
V form  formal
•
Two dimensions how to use the forms:
1. Power
2. Solidarity
T/V Phenomenon
Dimension of Power:
- One has power over another to degree to which one
can control or influence the behaviour of another
- Asymmetrical
- V form
- Inferior uses V form, Superior T form
- Expl. Teacher – Pupil
Employer – Employee
T/V Phenomenon
Dimension of Solidarity:
No asymmetry of power
Related to social roles
Two types:
1. equal and solidary  T form
2. equal and not solidary  V form
Japanese
-
Special class of words or grammatical morphemes,
whose sole function is to indicate social deixis among
the interlocutors or the referent of some participant in
the utterance.
-
These grammatical units are called honorifics
Japanese
Boku kare ni au yo
I
he meet
DAT
I’ll meet him

T form
Japanese
Watakushi kare ni aimas u
I
he
meet
DAT
I’ll meet him



V form
I changes in V form (boku  watakushi)
Mas is added (au  aimas)
Japanese
Referent honorifics:
-Deference is accorded by the speaker to the referent of a
nominal participant in her utterance
1.

Neutral, non-deferential form, used to a solidary or
inferior addressee
Sakai drew a map for Suzuki
Japanese
2. Both are equal to the speaker
 Mr Sakai drew a map for Mr Suzuki
3. Speaker is considerably lower in status than Sakai,
special subject honorific forms must be used to
indicate the relative high status entitlement
 Mr Sakai came to draw a map for Mr Suzuki
4. Significant status differential between Sakai and
Suzuki
 Mr Sakai did the drawing of a map for Mr Suzuki
Javanese
-
Most complex systems of honorifics, humbling,
expressions and polite speech form indicating
deference to the addressee
-
Two speech levels which exemplify lexical items for
most items of basic vocabulary
1.
Ngoko  T form
Krama  V form
2.
Javanese
Ngoko: apa kowé njupuk sega semono
Krama: menapa panjenengan mendhet sekul semanten
 Will you take that much rice?
Javanese
Madya:
- Middle language
- Small vocabulary
- Disliked by nobility
- Used by speakers that can’t speak krama
- Krama-speakers mainly use it as an outgroup code
Javanese
Napa sempéyan mendhet sekul semonten
njupuk sega


Will you take that much rice?
Mixed form of both languages
Conclusion
5. Social Markers
Lukas Rott
Contents
1. Sociolinguistic Variables
2. Code Switching
3. Social Markers and Ethnicity
Sociolinguistic Variables

Definition:
- indexical linguistic feature present in most, if not all,
languages
Sociolinguistic Variables
-
A linguistic feature that shows statistically significant
variation along the lines of social variables (class, age,
sex…)
- Most commonly involves phonological variation, but can
involve any linguistic feature.
Example

Labov investigated differences in the phonetic
realization of the phoneme /r/ in postvocalic
position among speakers of New York City
English:
- two different realizations:
a) retroflection of the vowel = /r/ -ed variety
b) phoneme “r” is absent = /r/ -less variety

After World War II the first realization became
the standard pronunciation
Example

Labov’s research in three different New York City
department stores revealed that higher-class speakers
tend to pronounce the postvocalic /r/

lower- and working-class New Yorkers often leave out
the /r/ in postvocalic position
Code Switching

Code Switching is the shifting from one language or
variety of language to another in the course of verbal
interaction.
Example


Almost all adults in Yimas village (Papua New Guinea)
are bilingual.
They speak:
a) Tok Pisin: The major lingua franca of Papua New
Guinea
→ is used for political affairs, means modernity, lacks
intimacy, can show superiority
b) Yimas vernacular: carries social connotations of
traditional cultural patterns, intimate relations and local
conditions
→ shows solidarity, belonging
Diglossia
Diglossia is a language situation in which there is, in
addition to the primary dialect of the language, a very
divergent and extremely codified variety, which is
learned in formal education and is only used for written
and formal spoken purposes. It is basically the result of
an early codification of a language.
Example

In Cairo there are two different varieties of the Arabic
language:
- Classical Arabic of the Koran → prestigious variety,
predominantly a written language
- Colloquial Arabic → predominantly an oral language,
comprises several mutually unintelligible languages
Social Markers and Ethnicity

There is a strong relation between ethnicity/race and
language in many societies.

Code switching is very popular among the different
ethnic groups in hybrid countries
→ use of a shared local ethnic language is a claim to
solidarity
Example

Vernacular Black English is very different from Standard
American English:
- pronunciation is different in many cases (postvocalic /r/)
- grammatical differences ( 3rd pers. sg. present)
- different speech genres and styles of speaking
Conclusion

Languages have social markers: forms that differ
according to the social category one belongs to.

Good examples of social markers are sociolinguistic
variables, which is e.g. the difference in pronunciation of
postvocalic /r/ among New Yorkers of different social
classes.

Other social markers are code switching and diglossia in
which languages or varieties of languages are shifted to
index categories of status or solidarity

People of different ethnicities and races tend to talk
differently because they want to label social identity.
6. Non-verbal
communication
Katharina Kraatz
Main non-verbal signals

Bodily contact:




like: hitting, pushing, stroking
involves a variety of areas of the body
extend depends on culture
Proximity:


how close people sit or stand
reflects relation between people
Main non-verbal signals

Orientation:



angle at which people sit or stand to each other
varies with the nature of the situation:
 side-by-side position (cooperative situations/close
friends)
 head-on position (confronting/bargaining)
Appearance:
1. clothes, hair, skin  under voluntary control
2. physique and bodily condition  only partly under control
- purpose of manipulating appearance is self-presentation
- conveys information about personality and mood
Main non-verbal signals

Posture:
 way of lying, standing, sitting
 are culturally defined
 conventions about posture have to be adopted in
certain situations (e.g. church)
 it can be a signal for status (upright posture), varies
with emotional state (tense- relax)
 is less well controlled than facial expression
Main non-verbal signals

Head- nods:
 connection with speech
 usually a reinforcer (e.g. permission to speak)

Facial expression:
 cultural universal and independent of learning (e.g.
smiling)
 some aspects are hard to control (e.g. expansion of
the pupils)
 used in close combination with speech
Main non-verbal signals

Gestures:





movements of the hands
more expressive than movements of head or body
close connection with speech (e.g. illustrates)
can even replace speech: gesture languages
Looking:




people look about twice as much while listening as while
speaking
looking sends a signal of interest
amount of looking seems to be a signal for intimacy
used to obtain information: feed-back while talking, extra
information while listening
Non- verbal aspects of speech

paralinguistic signals: emotions expressed by tone of
voice; group membership expressed by accent,
personality characteristics expressed by voice quality,
speech errors, etc.;

not closely linked with language
Functions of non-verbal
communication
to communicate attitudes and emotions, to manage the
immediate social situation
 cultural variations in the signals used and situational
rules governing their use

to support and complement verbal communication
 coordinated with speech in a complex way


developed to replace verbal language
Sources of variations in non-verbal
communication



there are different rules of behaviour in different
situations
leads to different patterns of non-verbal
communication
different forms of groups:



family: intimacy, dependence, aggressions, affections 
more bodily contact; less formality and politeness
work-groups: bodily contact helping; gesture language
 where noise or distance prevents speech; facial
expressions work performance
friendship- groups: more self-presentation and attention to
appearance; behaviour is more polite
Conclusion
7. Expressive movements
between cultures
Nadine Bieniek
Similarities

Smiling

Crying

Laughing
Similarities
Greeting:
Smiling
Nodding
Raising eyebrows for 1/6th second (if friendly)


Signals readiness for contact
Similarities
Eyebrowflash:
 greeting
 flirting
 approving
 thanking
 emphasizing a statement
 seeking information
Similarities

Coyness / embarrasment / flirting:
hiding the face/mouth behind one hand
 especially young children and flirting girls
Differences

Yes – no:
Central European:
„yes“
„no“


nodding the head
shaking the head
Differences
Ceylonese:
factual question („Do you drink coffee?“)
„yes“

nodding the head
agreement to do something („Will you join me for a cup
of coffee?“)
„yes“

swaying the head in slow sideway
movements
„no“

shaking the head
Differences
Greece:
„yes“
„no“


nodding the head
jerking the head back, thus lifting the
face
Differences

Darwin:
suggested that shaking the head originated from foodrefusal
when a baby is satiated it refuses the breast by turning
ist head away
even deaf- and blind-born children refuse food in the
same pattern
Conclusion

patterns of non-verbal communication similary in
different cultures

non-verbal communication can lead to misunderstanding

Patterns of non-verbal communication are inborn
8. Human Rituals
Anna Zagermann
Human Rituals
Definition:

situation in which an individual actor puts on a
performance

performance consits of symbolic actions

showing mutual statuses in relation to other
persons/parties
Human Rituals

cultural traditions
characteristics of a certain group
take place within a cultural context

not an innate process
if you want to be part of a society you
have to learn the rituals
Why Rituals?

rituals in human‘s and animal‘s life
strategy to survive
1)
individual wants that the society of which
it is part continues
2)
to define ist own group
Examples
Prayer: Hinduism
Examples
Salutations
Problem of Rituals

problem of interpretation
context of action
 Private Arena
 Public Arena
each code used in a ritual is unique
Conclusion
References
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Foley, William 1997: Anthropological Linguistics. An
Introduction. Oxford:Blackwell
Tumin, Melvin M. 1967: Social Stratification. The Forms and
Functions of Inequality. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall, Inc.
Weber, Max 1972: Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft – Grundrisse
der verstehenden Soziologie: Tübingen
Yule, George 1996: The Study of Language. Cambridge: CUP
Hinde, R.A. 1972: Non-Verbal Communication.Cambridge
University Press.Cambridge
http://www.harekrsna.com/practice/sadhana/morning/mangala
-arati/mangala-arati.htm
http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gru%C3%9F
Descargar

Folie 1