Sociolinguistics 2 Languages and communities Wardhaugh Chapter 2 Sociolinguistics “to 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. butter, budder, bu’er b. fishing, fishin’ etc… p.26 Wardhaugh Okay, can we define “dialect” • Nope • But I like analogy with speciation. If it is different but mutually intelligible, I’d call it a dialect. If it so different that speakers can not understand each other, a language. • But sometimes the distinction is political. Think of Chinese: Mandarin vs. Cantonese and conversely Swedish vs Danish 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. (p. 44) English Scottish American English A Scots sampler Below is a selection of Scots/English differences in three parts (Scots on the left, English on the right). All listed forms are in current use. As regards pronunciation, whatever their typical speech (more Scots, more English, or mixed), 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, world, and there; (2) a voiceless velar fricative as in the ch of such words as ach, loch, Bach, Munich. (1) Pronunciation and typical spelling hame, stane, sair, gae home, stone, sore, go hoose, oot, doon/doun, coo house, out, down, cow ba(w), ha(w), faut, saut ball, hall, fault, salt buit, guid, muin, puir boot, good, moon, poor licht, micht, richt, sicht light, might, right, sight (2) Grammar lookit, mendit tell/tellt, 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, it’s yirsel looked, mended tell/told, 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 (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, handsome to clean, wipe sweet, especially in manner a stupor, dazed state flashy stupid-looking 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, to leap now to ask to wander, roam, go around/about a spring onion topsy-turvy to endure, 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 standardization Codification of language: grammars, spelling books, dictionaries, literature. What is “Standard English” • Variety which is: – In most print sources? – Taught in schools? – The version ESL students study? Madonna vs. Guy Richie • Sometimes standard or RP accent is valued • Sometimes dialect is valued • Elitist impulse vs socialist impulse in dialectic Vitality • • • • 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. Historocity • Groups link sense of identity with language. Unifying force? Divisive as well? Autonomy • Speakers of a language of dialect may feel different and special. Reduction • Other linguistic groups recognize their dialect as being substandard, though they may love it nevertheless. In fact, the fact that it is substandard can be thought of as a badge of honor. Cockney is a good example as is Glaswegian, Mancunian. Surfer dialect too. What others? Mixture • Feelings about the purity or lack of purity of a dialect. People feel that their “mixed” speech is debased, deficient, degnerate, etc… Good speakers Bad speakers • Most groups recognize better and worse dialects and pronunciations, though the heirarchy here is relative and shifting. Parisien French, Oxford English, Mull Gaelic?, Lancastrian (vs. Palmdalic) and Bakerfeldian (vs. Oildalese). Language vs Dialect • Whatever else it may or may not be, a dialect is a subset of a language? 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 Yikes! • Look at all the discussion questions on pp. 40-43. I think 1, 11, and 17 are worth talking about. Any others we might discuss? Dialect vs patois • Dialect: has a literature • Patois: purely oral, rural, lower class Dialect vs Accent • Dialect: vocabulary, syntax, pronunciation, etc.. • Accent: pronunciation • Everybody speaks English with some kind of accent. Thirdy, La’in, dune, dude? 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. Black English, Jewish English, Surfer Dudian, Academic English? Styles, Registers, Beliefs • Formal vs informal • Occupation lingo • Dialect, style, register are largely independent High/low vs better/worse • We often don’t like speakers who speak with a posh accent, even though/because we recognize the social superiority or “correctness” of the speech. In fact, rural dialects though recognized as “incorrect’ tend to be preferred over city dialects. We tend to like older, more familiar ways of speech. Simple over complex. Bush beats Kerry? As Wardhaugh points out, depite what we “know” 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 “proper” grammar and speech. On the other hand, humans are naturally very smart about language. We deduce and intuit a great deal about speakers. 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? My friends Alaister and Alex “Speak English!” Production vs. Reception: We notice and comprehend better than we can produce and convey. Our “competence” outstrips our “performance” ? Let us attempt/let’s try disussion questions 4-7 on pp. 54-5 Bilingualism • Individual bilingualism – two native languages in the mind – Fishman: “ a psycholinguistic phenomenon” • Societal bilingualism – A society in which two languages are used but where relatively few individuals are bilingual – Fishman: “a sociolinguistic phenomenon” • Stable bilingualism – persistent bilingualism in a society over several generations • Language evolution: – Language shift – Diglossia BENEFITS OF BILINGUALISM (California Department of Education, 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 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.S. study by Wharry, 1993) Subjects: Native American, Vietnamese American, Hispanic American college students Those who were bilingual tended to: -believe that learning their ancestral language was important -had integrative reasons for that (e.g., heritage, family relations) -believe that their parents wanted them to learn the ancestral language -had clearcut ethnic identity 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 - diglossia + bilingualism Everyone in a community knows both H and L, which are functionally differentiated An unstable, transitional situation in which everyone in a community knows both H and L, but are shifting to H - bilingualism A completely egalitarian speech community , where there is no language variation Speakers of H rule over speakers of L 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 Diglossic situation: functions of H vs. L Situation Sermon in church or mosque Instructions to servants, waiters, worksmen, clerks Personal letter Speeches in parliament, political speeches University lecture Conversations with family, friends, colleagues News broadcasts Radio 'soap opera' Newspaper editorial, new story, caption on picture Caption on political cartoon Poetry Folk literature H L x x x x x x x x x x x x Ferguson, Charles. 1972. Diglossia. In: Pier Paolo Giglioli (ed.). Language and Social Context. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 232-251. In: Ralph Fasold. 1985. The Sociolinguistics of Society. Oxford: Blackwell, 35. 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. Its common use has helped unify the 200 million citizens since Indonesia’s independence in 1949. Bahasa Indonesia is based on Malay, long the market language of coastal towns, and it contains elements of Chinese, Indian, Dutch, and English. Today, television programs, major newspapers, schools, and universities all use Bahasa Indonesia. Do you speak English? Bisa bicara Bahasa Inggris? 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 Example of code-switching in the Amazon Tariana is spoken by about 100 people in the northwest Amazonia (Brazil). Other languages in the area is e.g. Tucano (almost a lingua franca), Baniwa and Arawak (the two latter related to Tariana). The area is known for its language group exogamy and institutionlized multilingualism. Language choice is motivated by power relationship and by status, and there are strict rules for code- switching. Code-mixing with Tucano is considered a “language violation”; using elements of Baniwa is funny while mixing different Tariana dialects implies that one “cannot speak Tariana properly. Overusing Portuguese is associated with an Indian who is trying to be better than his peers. Aikhenvald (2003) Language in Society 32:1-21 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) – Standard • native language of a speech community codified in dictionaries and grammars (+p, +v) – Classical • language codified in dictionaries and grammars which is no longer spoken (+p, -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, ±v) Pidgin and Creole 1.Pidgin language is nobody's native language; may arise when two speakers of different languages with no common language try to have a makeshift conversation. Lexicon usually comes from one language, structure often from the other. Because of colonialism, slavery etc. the prestige of Pidgin languages is very low. 2. Creole is a language that was originally a pidgin but has become nativized, i.e. a community of speakers claims it as their first language. Next used to designate the language(s) of people of Caribbean and African descent in colonial and excolonial countries (Jamaica, Haiti, Mauritius, Réunion, Hawaii, Pitcairn, etc.) Language shift in different communities Migrant minorities • Typically, migrants are virtually monolingual in their mother tongue, their children become bilingual, but the grandchildren turn monolingual in the language of the host country. • At first, migrants use the host’s language in limited domains and reserve the home domain for their mother tongue, but soon the host language gradually infiltrates their homes through their children. • Children encounter the host languages first on TV but are compelled to using it for survival at school. Then this language turns to be the code for communicating with their siblings and friends. Most families eventually shift from using their mother tongue at home to using the host country’s language. • There is also pressure from the hosts on migrants to conform, which results in language shift from their mother tongue to the host language. • Language shift may take three to four generations to occur. Language shift in different communities Non-migrant communities • Language shift does not always result from migration; it may result from political, 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. After disintegration of the Habsburg Empire, he peace treaty of Saint-Germain (1919) provided that the predominantly German-speaking parts of western Hungary were ceded to Austria. Burgenland: A bilingual community for 400 years. Hungarian was originally associated with farming and peasants and German with industry. Then a diglossic situation resulted in Hungarian as the L-variety and German as the Hvariety. Eventually, German became the language for social and economic progress and the domains for Hungarian retracted; German is now spoken even at home. Language shift in different communities Non-migrant communities • It is almost a rule that the more domains in which a minority language is used, the more likely it will be maintained. • Where minority languages have resisted language shift the longest, there has been at least one exclusive domain for the minority language. • Generally, the religious domain is the most resistant to language shift. Until now, for example, Latin, Hungarian, and Arabic are used in Latin Roman Church, Oberwart prayers, and Islamic rites. Language Death & Shift • When all the people who speak a language die, the language dies with them. • Immigrants shift to the language of the majority in two to three generations, 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. • Language death is similar to language shift in being a gradual process, in which the functions of one language are taken over in one domain after another by another language. • Language death is manifested in a gradual loss of fluency and competence by its speakers; competence gradually erodes over time. UNESCO RED BOOK ON ENDANGERED LANGUAGES: EUROPE (i) extinct languages other than ancient ones (e.g. Kemi Sámi, Dalmatian) (ii) nearly extinct languages with maximally tens of speakers, all elderly (e.g., Ume Sámi, Livonian) (iii) seriously endangered languages with a more substantial number of speakers but practically without children among them (e.g., Ingrian, Breton) (iv) endangered languages with some children speakers at least in part of their range but decreasingly so (e.g., Irish Gaelic, Friulian) (v) potentially endangered languages with a large number of children speakers but without an official or prestigious status (low Saxon, Corsican) http://www.helsinki.fi/~tasalmin/europe_index.html#extinct 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. • Language Death: This is a process that occurs when a language is no longer spoken naturally anywhere in the world. Factors affecting language shift 1. Patterns of language use: Socio-economic factors - determine in which domains the minority language may be used the more domains a minority language is used in, 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. Attitudes to the minority language: (a) pride and respect of the language (b) symbol of the ethnic identity (c) the language has international status Factors affecting language shift Economic, Social, and Political Factors • A community sees an important reason for learning the second language: 1. Economic: Obtaining well-paying jobs 2. Political: Allegiance to the government 3. Social: Fitting in • Bilingualism is usually an indicator, a forerunner, of language shift; although stable diglossic communities demonstrate that bilingualism does not always result in language shift. • Language shift is inevitable without active language maintenance. Thinking that a language is no longer needed or that it is in any danger of disappearing may result in language loss. • Rapid shift occurs when speakers are eager to ‘fit in’ or ‘get on’ in society; young people and job seekers are the fastest to shift languages. Factors affecting language shift Demographic Factors 1. Social integration leads to language shift; social isolation, on the other hand, may result in resistance to language shift. – Isolated rural communities of minorities tend to resist language shift. E.g., Ukrainians in the Canadian farmlands. – Improved roads, buses, TV, telephone, internet are agents of language shift. 2. Size of community of speakers tends to influence language shift. Where there is a large number of speakers of the minority language, language shift is slowest. – To maintain a language, there must be people who can use it with one another; the larger the group, the more social pressure to speak the ethnic language. – Shift tends to occur faster in some groups than in others. 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. – 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 affecting language shift Attitudes and Values 1. Language shift tends to be faster among communities where the ethnic language is not highly valued. 2. It also occurs where the ethnic language is not seen as a symbol of identity. – Language is an important component of identity and culture; maintaining a group’s identity and culture is usually important to it, so they maintain their ethnic language to maintain their identity. – Positive attitudes of speakers support efforts to use the ethnic language in a variety of domains, these attitudes help people resist the pressure from the majority group to shift to their language. 3. The international status of the ethnic language either accelerates or slows down language shift e.g. French in Maine (U.S.A.) and Quebec (Canada). How Can a Minority Language be Maintained? There are certain social factors which help resist wholesale language shift: 1. The language is a symbol of identity; e.g., the languages of the Polish and Greeks in Anglo-Saxon countries. 2. Speakers live near each other and socialize and worship with each other frequently; e.g., Indians & Pakistanis in Birmingham and the Chinese in Chinatowns. 3. There is frequent contact with the homeland through regular visits and frequent new immigrants. 4. Discouraging inter-marriages helps maintain the language of the minority. 5. Using the minority language in the extended family helps maintain this ethnic language. 6. Institutional support through education, law and administration, religion, and the media is crucial to language maintenance. Language Revival • When some communities realize that their ethnic language is in danger of disappearing, they consciously work to revitalize or bring to life the language; Irish, Welsh, Scottish, and Maori are cases in point. • The success of language revival efforts depends on (a) how far the language loss has occurred, (b) how determined its speakers are in reviving it, and (c) whether the economic factor is conducive or not (encouraging or discouraging). • Hebrew was effectively dead for 1700 years but got revived and is now spoken as an everyday native language of communication. • There is no magic formula for guaranteeing language maintenance; 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. The Swedish Language in Finland -minority language: about 6% of population -language laws: Swedish has an equal status with Finnish as an official language. 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. -Swedish is a compulsory subject at Finnish comprehensive school and vice versa. -The number of daily newspapers for the Swedish minority (15) is probably higher than for any other corresponding language minority in the world. -attitudes among majority: according to a research report published in 1997, 70% of Finland's Finnish-speaking population feel that Swedish is an essential part of Finnish society, and 73% believe it would be a pity if the Swedish language and culture were to die out completely in Finland. http://virtual.finland.fi/finfo/english/finnswedes.html The Swedish Language in Finland: mono- and bilingualism About one third of all Swedish-speaking Finns are monolingual in Swedish, the rest know Finnish fairly well and use it to a varying extent both in everyday life and at work. The need for bilingualism in Swedish-speaking Finland varies geographically, and so do attitudes towards bilingualism. In the urban conglomerations in southern Finland, most working-age people have to be bilingual with a good knowledge of Finnish. The south is also where intermarriage between the language groups is quite common. On Åland and in Ostrobothnia, on the other hand, the situation is different. There, it is possible to be monolingually Swedish both in private and professionally. Those who are bilingual consider this to be a necessity and a credit; those who are not, consider bilingualism to be a problem that will eventually harm the Swedish-speaking minority. http://www.folktinget.fi/ Thought Question: Finnish-Swedish is a minority language in Finland with about 300 000 speakers. It is secured by legislation but bilingualism is becoming more and more common and there are concerns about ’degradation’ of the language. Should something be done to ensure its future in Finland? If yes, what? What is your opinion?