LINGUISTIC VARIETIES & MULTILIGUAL NATIONS COMPILED & PRESENTED BY MAHMOUD ALASHQAR MA STUDENT UNIVERSITY NUMBER: 201310984 SUPERVISED BY D. KHALIL NOFAL THE CHAPTER DISCUSSES • Most world’s population is whether bilingual or multilingual countries. What do you think? • As a result, there is a huge number of linguistic varieties such as: vernacular languages, standard languages, lingua franca, pidgins and creoles. • These linguistic varieties are used by people to serve different purposes in everyday interactions. • As mentioned before, the linguistic varieties or codes can be changed because of different factors such as: setting, topic, function, participants, and social dimensions: solidarity, status, formality and function. • So, this chapter discusses what criteria are used by linguists to distinguish between codes in multilingual nations. EXAMPLE 1, PAGE 73 SHOWS THAT: • An Indian merchant called Patel from Bombay. • He uses five different dialects everyday ( at home, at railway station, at work, when listening to cricket commentary) • His choices of codes are based on the factors mentioned before (setting, topic, function, , and social dimensions: solidarity, status, formality and function.) • His linguistic repertoire is improved by the fact that India is one of the most multilingual nations. • What problems do people of India face because of this linguistic diversity? VERNACULAR LANGUAGES The term vernacular is used in a number of ways: A language which hasn’t been standardized or codified. A language which doesn't have official status. - It is a native dialect (like vernacular Arabic in Jordan) or a native language (like Spanish in America) used by people to communicate in informal contexts. - In multilingual countries, there are many tribal and ethnic vernaculars used by different groups such as (Kurdish language in Kurdistan Iraq). - Vernacular language is first acquired by multilingual people. - Any language which has native speakers would be considered a vernacular. • THERE ARE THREE MAIN COMPONENTS OF THE MEANING OF THE TERM VERNACULAR. 1. - A vernacular is an uncodified or unstandarised. This component has been used as defining criterion, but emphasis on other components that lead to the use of the vernacular with different meanings: The term can be extended to refer to any language that is not the official language of a country. For example, Greek is a vernacular language in Australia but it isn’t in Greece or cypress The first language of a group socially or politically dominated by another group with different language. So, it is the unofficial language in a particular context. Spanish students use their vernacular to study in their ethnic schools in the USA. 2. It refers to the most colloquial variety in the person's linguistic repertoire. - In multilingual countries, this variety refers to the unstandarised ethnic or tribal language which is used in every day interactions. It is the language of solidarity. But in monolingual countries it refers to the most informal variety of language which may have a standard variety. - 3. - PAGE75 It is used to indicate that a language is used in informal everyday interactions without implying that it is appropriate only in informal domains. For example, Hebrew was the language of religion with no natives and wasn’t considered to be vernacular. Then its functions were extended from exclusively H to include L functions. This process is called vernacularisation. To sum up, vernacular contrasts with ritual or classical language • Exercise 1 a) Using the first definition above, which of the languages used by Kalala in chapter 2, example 1, Patel in example 1 above, qualifies as a vernacular language? Answer Shi is Kalala's vernacular. It is his tribal language, learned first and used in the home and with members of his ethnic group. In this sense Gujerati is Mr. Patel's vernacular, though it is a written language with a literary tradition. b) Is Dyirbal described in chapter 3, example 4, a vernacular language? Answer Dyirbal can be classified as a vernacular language on a number of criteria. It unstandarised and unwritten. It is, or was, acquired in the home and is used between of the same tribe for everyday interaction. Its function are relatively circumscribed. STARDARD LANGUAGE Standard language is defined as: Generally, one which is written, and which has undergone some degree of regularization. Standard varieties are codified varieties. Codification is achieved through grammar and dictionaries. Lexicographers have to decide which words are standard or dialectal. They take the usage of educated or socially prestigious members. One which is considered as a prestigious language spoken by noblemen, economical and political classes people at court …..etc. One which is used for H functions alongside a diversity of L varieties. One which has no linguistic merits, but is spoken by those who are politically powerful or socially prestigious. STANDARD ENGLISH • • • • Naturally emerged in the fifteen century from a variety of regional dialects spoken by the court, merchants, agricultural and business areas of London and the East Midlands . In the sixteenth century, George Puttenham viewed that good English speech was spoken at court and by noblemen. It was influential because it was used by the economically powerful merchant class. Also, people who came from the provinces learned it to serve these goals. As a result. It became easy to understand standard English. The codification process, which is part of the development of any standard variety, was accelerated in the case of English with the introduction of the printing. William Caxon, the first English printer, used the dialect of London in his translation from French. He used the vocabulary, the grammar, the pronunciation, constructions and spellings. To sum up, the development of standard English illustrates three essential criteria which characterize a standard: 1- An influential or prestigious variety. 2- A codified variety. 3- One which serves H functions. Once a standard dialect develops, it provides a very useful means of communication across areas of dialect diversity. - Standard English nowadays is spoken in a lot of Asian countries, African countries, Australia and the USA. - Other countries like Australia and New Zealand establish their own standard English. - In Countries like Singapore, Britain English is used by the government, schools and in official communication rather than local English dialect. • In Europe, standard languages were emerged from a variety of dialects of the vernacular languages which all derived from colloquial Latin. • They were based on the dialects of political, economic and social centers of countries. Exercise 2 Look up the meaning of ‘standard’ in a good dictionary. Which of the meanings listed seems closest to the definition provided in this section? Answer The following definition is the closest in the Collins Dictionary of the English Language(1991). Standard: 'an accepted or approved example of something against which other are judged or measured'. Note the definition stresses the notion of a model or norm without giving any indication of how that norm is determined or where it derives its status from. Sociolinguists emphasize the social and non-linguistic factors which determine the emergence of a particular variety as the standard. They point out that purely linguistic considerations are rarely important. Though linguists may be involved in codification, their recommendations are generally guided by cultural or social factors such as prestige and usage, rather than by the intrinsic linguistic features of alternatives. This point is illustrated in the next chapter. LIGUA FRANCA • • The term lingua franca describes a language serving as a regular means of communication between different linguistic groups in a multilingual speech community. For example, when academics meet at international conference, or when politicians arrange a summit, they use lingua franca such as English. It is a language used for communication between people whose first languages differ. For example, for the Colombian Indians who live in the Amazon have over twenty languages. but Tukano is the lingua franca for them. Also, they used Spanish to communicate with non-Indians. ex4 See example 3 78 • • • • • Sometimes, the official and national language is the most useful and widely used lingua franca. For example, Russian is the lingua franca for the countries of the former soviet union whose over 700 different vernaculars. In multilingual communities, lingua franca may displace the vernacular. For example, when two couples from different ethnic groups in Zaire or Tanzania get married, they use the lingua franca at home. Lingua francas often initially develop as trade languages. In west Africa, Hausa is learned as a second language and is just spoken in markets. The economic factor leads countries in east Africa to promote Swahili as the national language. PIDGINS • What is pidgin? A language develops as a means of communication between people who do not have a common language. So, it is a language without native speakers. For example, it is the language of African people who were taken to America to work in plantation. Their language was a mixture of their own languages and the language of their bosses. Why do pidgins develop? It was the language of slaves who were taken from Africa to work in plantation in America. On sea-coasts in multilingual context. It is the language of trade between traders. The word pidgin reflects it use. In Hebrew (pidjom) means trade or exchange. Pidgins are used exclusively for referential rather than affective functions. It is used as the language of buying and selling and animals hides, rather than to signal social distinctions or express politeness. As a result, it isn’t used to identify social groups. • • What kind of linguistic features does a pidgin have? Sounds, vocabulary and grammatical features of different languages can contribute to have a new variety. It has a small vocabulary, simplified sounds and grammar to serve certain functions like trade and basic communication. For example, Juba Arabic is a combination of the colloquial Arabic and the native language of south Sudan. Pidgins are created from the combined efforts of people who speak different languages. When a pidgin is created, a prestigious language supplies more vocabulary (lexifier language) and a vernacular has more influence on grammar (substrate language). Pidgins tend to reduce grammatical signals to minimum. It is learned easily by the speakers, but difficult to be understood by the listeners. Some structural features such as affixes and inflections, which are used to mark gender, tenses and plural, are not found in pidgins. So, the information they convey has to be deduced from the context. Exercise 4 Consider the table 4.1. What evidence can you find to support the claims that pidgin languages signal only a minimum grammatical information explicitly? French Je vais Tu vas Elle/il/va Nous allons Vous allez Elle/ils vont English I go You go She-he-it goes We go They go Tok Pisin mi yu em yumi mipela yupela ol Cameron pidgin a yu i go wi wuna dem go Answer Note that the verb in French changes its form with each pronoun (though in speech there would be no distinction between vas and va). Grammatical information about the subject is expressed twice therefore, once by the form of the pronoun and once by the verb form. In English the verb has two different forms (go\goes) distinguishing the third person singular verb form the form with other subjects. In Tok Pisin and Cameroon Pidgin the form of the verb is the same throughout. The pronoun alone signals the change in person and number of the subject. • What are the attitudes toward pidgins? They do not have high status or prestige and, to those who do not speak them, they are ridiculous languages. Many Europeans consider pidgins, which are derived from their languages such as Tok Pisin in Papa new Guinea, are debased forms of their languages. This can lead to misunderstanding which can be very serious. See ex 9 84 A pidgin may disappear when its functions end. For example, in Vietnam the pidgin disappeared when the trade died out. CREOLES What is a Creole? A pidgin which has acquired native speakers. Many languages which are called pidgins are in fact now creoles. What do you think? As families’ communicative needs expand, so do the resources of the language they use. Also, children acquire it naturally as their first language and use it in a wide rang of domains. Tok Pisin in Papa new Guinea and the languages of African slaves in America are examples of this. • Once a Creole has developed, it is used for all functions of any language – politics, administration, education and so on. • Structural features Example 11 Australia Rover River Creole A) Im megim ginu he makes a canoe (present simple) B) Im bin megim ginu he made a canoe (simple past) C) Im megimbad ginu he is making a canoe (present con) D) Im bin megimbad ginu he was making a canoe (past con) A pidgin is a Creole which has expanded in structure and vocabulary to serve the functions of a first language. Creoles develop ways of systemically signalling meanings such as verb tenses. Example 12 Tok Pisin at different stages A) baimbai yu go you will go B) bambai yu go you will go C) bai yu go you will go D) yu bai go you will go E) yu bego you will go • In its pidgin stage reference to future events in Tok Pisin used baimbai which derived from English phrase by and by. As the pidgin developed into a Creole the adverb gradually shortened to bambai or bai as in (b) and (c). Sentence (d) illustrates an alternative position used for bai while (e) shows how it eventually became attached to the verb as a regular prefix signalling future tense. • As pidgins develop into Creole, they become more structurally regular. Table 4.2 Tok Pisin English Tok Pisin English Bik Brait Daun Nogut Pret doti Big-large Wide Low Bad Afraid dirty Bikim Braitim Daunim Nogutim Pretim Dotim To enlarge, make larger To make wide, widen To lower To spoil, damage To frighten, scare ------- • Origins and endings Despite their geographical spread, many similarities are found among pidgins and creoles. Seven European languages (English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Dutch and Italian) are lexifiers for most pidgins and creoles. So the similarities are not surprising. Some have argued that they had a common origin. They claim that most pidgins can be tracked back to a single fifteenth-century Portuguese pidgin, and further to a Mediterranean lingua franca, Sabir Others argue that each pidgin arises and develop independently. • Why are they similar? Pidgins arise in different contexts but for the same kind of basic referential functions (trade-barter). These functions are expressed through structural processes which seem universal to all situations of language development. • How does a Creole end? In societies with rigid social divisions, creoles can serve L functions. For example, Haitian Creole is the L variety alongside with French. When the social barriers are fluid, the Creole may develop towards the standard language. When a Creole is used side by side with the standard language in a community where the social barriers are insuperable, the feature of the Creole tend to change into the direction of standard variety. (decreolisation) Over time, it is possible that a Creole may be standardized and adapted as an official language as Tok Pisin. Exercise 7 Using the social dimensions introduced in chapter1 – solidarity, status, formality and function- consider the following linguistic varieties described in this chapter. Vernacular Standard Lingua franca Pidgin Creole Answer Vernacular languages contrast with standardized varieties predominantly on the status and formality dimensions. Vernaculars are generally low status varieties used to express solidarity or identity in informal contexts. Standard dialects are prestigious varieties which may be used in more formal situation. Lingua francas and pidgin languages can perhaps be best described in terms of their functions. They are both primarily means of expressing referential function – they are associated with informal but information-oriented contexts, Pidgins and creoles are generally regarded as low status linguistic varieties, though we will see the next chapter that steps can be taken to raise the status of creoles which have been selected for promotion for political reasons.