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Introduction to sociolinguistics ch 1 4

  1. Introduction to sociolinguistics Chapters 1, 2 3 and 4 Janet Holmes
  2. What is sociolinguistics? • “...the study of how language works in casual conversations and the media we are exposed to, the presence of societal norms, policies, and laws which address language - regional dialects, multilingualism, language policy, non-sexist language, social class, ethnicity (p 1
  3. Example 1 • Ray : Hi, mum Mum: Hi. You’re late Ray: Yeah, that bastard kept us in again • What is sociolinguistics? Sociolinguistics is study the relationship between language and society (Holmes, 1995: 1)
  4. Sociolinguistics conveys social meaning • Language serves a range of functions • 1) to ask for • 2) to give people information • 3) to express indignation • 4) to express admiration and respect, etc
  5. • Key term: LANGUAGE • “...a system of linguistic communication particular to a group [including]...spoken, written, and signed modes of communication” (p 2)
  6. Key term: CODE • “When 2 or more people communicate with each other...speakers who are multilingual and have access to two or more codes...often switch back and forth between these codes in some sort of multilingual discourse [often call codeswitching]”
  7. Why do we say same thing in different ways? • 1. What you call your mother in different contexts: (a) Addressing her (i) at home alone with her (ii) on the telephone with friends listening (iii) in a shop (b) Referring to her (i) at home to another family member when she is present • (ii) at home to another family member when she is not present (iii) to an acquaintance who doesn’t know her (iv) to a sales assistant in a shop when she is present
  8. Some possible answers • Addressing your mother (i) mum, mummy, mom, ma (ii) mother, mater. (iii) mother • (b) Referring to your mother (i) mum, mom (ii) the old lady, our mam (iii) my mum (iv) my mother
  9. Social factors 1.Participant • •Who is speaking •Who are they speaking to 2. Setting • •Where are they speaking to 3. Topic and Function •What is being talked about? •Why are they speaking?
  10. Social dimensions • Social distance scale • (participant relationship) • Intimate relationship or distant relationship • Status scale • Participant scale • Low varieties or high varieties • Formality Scale & 2 functional scales • Setting or type of interaction • Relating to the purposes or topic of interaction
  11. Explanation • Why people use one set of forms in some contexts, but different forms in others The step which need to be taken in providing an explanation are 1. to identify clearly the linguistic variation involved e.g. vocabulary, sounds, grammatical construction, dialects, languages) 2. to identify clearly the different social or non- linguistics factors which lead speakers to use one form rather than another
  12. Diaglossia (speech situation) • When two varieties of the same language are used (H & L) H formal e.g. religion, newspaper, broadcasting, education, etc L informal e.g. education (discussion) , gossiping, and shopping, • diglossia has three crucial features: • 1. Two distinct varieties of the same language are used in the community, with one regarded as a high (or H) variety and the other a low (or L) variety. • 2. Each variety is used for quite distinct functions; H and L complement each other. • 3. No one uses the H variety in everyday conversation.
  13. Language maintenance and language shift • Language shift use one language to different language two distinct codes in different domains use different varieties of just one language for their communicative need Language death ( language are no longer spoken anywhere) • Language loss ( the process of language death gradually loss of fluency and competence by its speaker)
  14. Factors contributing to language shift • Economic People learn English- dominated countries to get a job • Social (i) no active steps to maintain their ethnic language (ii) not see it as offering any advantages to their children
  15. Language maintenance • a. The pattern of language use more domains more chances • b. Demographic factors • c. Attitudes to minority language • identity and culture • self esteem
  16. Linguistic varieties • Vernacular language The term vernacular is used in a number of ways. It generally refers to a language which has not been standardised and which does not have official status. There are hundreds of vernacular languages, such as Buang in Papua New Guinea, Hindustani in India and Bumbar in Vanuatu, many of which have never been written down or described. In a multilingual speech community, the many different ethnic or tribal languages used by different groups are referred to as vernacular languages. Vernaculars are usually the first languages learned by people in multilingual communities, and they are often used for a relatively narrow range of informal functions. (pg 77) • standard variety A standard variety is generally one which is written, and which has undergone some degree of regularisation or codification (for example, in a grammar and a dictionary); it is recognised as a prestigious variety or code by a community, and it is used for H functions alongside a diversity of L varieties. (pg 78)
  17. Linguafrancasdescribesalanguageservesasaregularmeansofcommunication betweendifferentlinguisticgroupsinmultilingualspeech community. • In multilingual communities, lingua francas are so useful they may eventually displace the vernaculars. When people from different ethnic groups marry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo-Zaire or Tanzania or Papua New Guinea, they often use the lingua franca of their area as the language of the home, and their children may therefore learn very little of their father’s and mother’s vernaculars. The reason that this has not happened in the Vaupés area, i.e. that Tukano has not displaced the many languages of the different longhouses, is related to the marriage patterns, which are exogamous. People must marry outside their language and longhouse group, and the taboo against marrying someone who speaks the same language is very strong.(pg 84)
  18. Code-switching or code-mixing Participants,solidarityandstatus • Example 8 [ The Maori is in italics. THE TRANSLATION IS IN SMALL CAPITALS. ] • Sarah : I think everyone’s here except Mere. John : She said she might be a bit late but actually I think that’s her arriving now. Sarah : You’re right. Kia ora Mere. Haere mai. Kei te pehea koe ? [ HI MERE. COME IN. HOW ARE YOU ?] Mere : Kia ora e hoa. Kei te pai . Have you started yet? [ HELLO MY FRIEND. I’M FINE ]
  19. • Code-mixing occurs when conversant use both languages together to the extent that they change from one language to other in the course of a single utterance.” ( Wardhaugh 1994:108). • “Code-switching as “ the alternative used by bilinguals of two or more languages in the same conversation.” ( Milroy and Musyken 1995, p. 7).
  20. WHAT IS CODE SWITCHING? • CODE SWITCHING (CS) • • Is the practice of *unpredictably changing one’s language, dialect or speaking style to better fit one’s environment which • Also a universal language-contact phenomenon that reflects the grammars of both languages working simultaneously. • • code switching is possible in *bilingual or *multilingual environment but not in monolingual. • • code-switching occurs when a speaker alternates between two or more languages, or language varieties, in the context of a single conversation • • Multilinguals, speakers of more than one language, sometimes use elements of multiple languages when conversing with each other. • • Also Style, Register and Voice, whether in spoken or written language, can then be included in a broad definition of code- switching.
  21. FACTORS THAT MODIFY CODE CHOICE • • Participants • • solidarity and status • • Social Distance • • Status Relationship • • Formality • • Function
  22. REASON FOR CODE SWITCHING • • No similar words in English • • Did not know the English word • • To fill the gap in speaking • • Easier to speak in own language • • To avoid misunderstanding • • To convey intimacy • • So others would not understand (Privacy) • • To add emphasis • • Other reasons
  23. Code mixing • Code mixing is possible in bilingual or multilingual environments • • Is also a language contact phenomenon that doesn't reflect the grammars of both languages working simultaneously. • • Words are borrowed from one language and adapt it in other language and it is usually without a change of topic. • • It often occurs within one sentence, one element is spoken in language A and the rest in language B. • • This term is usually found in mainly in informal interaction
  24. REASONS FOR CODE MIXING • • Interjection • • Quoting somebody else • • Expressing group identity • • Because of real lexical need • • Talking about a particular topic • • Repetition used for clarification • • Being emphatic about something • • To soften or strengthen request or command • • Intention of clarifying the speech content for interlocutor • • To exclude other people when a comment is intended for only a limited audience
  25. • Life ko face kiijiye with himmat and faith in yourself. (Code- switching, English in bold) • I AM COMING WITH YOU, JANA MAT.
  26. Lexical borrowing • It is obviously important to distinguish this kind of switching from switches which can be accounted for by lack of vocabulary in a language. When speaking a second language, for instance, people will often use a term from their mother tongue or first language because they don’t know the appropriate word in their second language. These ‘switches’ are triggered by lack of vocabulary. People may also borrow words from another language to express a concept or describe an object for which there is no obvious word available in the language they are using. Borrowing of this kind generally involves single words – mainly nouns – and it is motivated by lexical need. It is very different from switching where speakers have a genuine choice about which words or phrases they will use in which language. Borrowings often differ from code-switches in form too. Borrowed words are usually adapted to the speaker’s first language. They are pronounced and used grammatically as if they were part of the speaker’s first language. New Zealand English has borrowed the word mana from Maori, for instance. There is no exact equivalent to its meaning in English, although it is sometimes translated as meaning ‘prestige’ or ‘high status’. It is pronounced [ma:na] by most New Zealanders. 1
  27. • Anonymous (Greek) The word 'anonymous' comes from the Greek word 'anōnumos'. ... • Loot (Hindi) ... • Guru (Sanskrit) ... • Safari (Arabic) ... • Cigar (Spanish) ... • Cartoon (Italian) ... • Wanderlust (German) ... • Cookie (Dutch) or_language_of_origin
  28. Pidgin and creole pg(85) • Why do pidgins develop? • A pidgin is a language which has no native speakers. Pidgins develop as a means of communication between people who do not have a common language. So a pidgin is no one’s native language. Pidgins seem particularly likely to arise when two groups with different languages are communicating in a situation where there is also a third dominant language. On Caribbean slave plantations in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, West African people were deliberately separated from others who used the same language so as to reduce the risk of their plotting to escape or rebel. In order to communicate with each other, as well as with their overseers, they developed pidgins based on the language of the plantation bosses as well as their own languages. O n sea-coasts in multilingual contexts, pidgins developed as languages of trade between the traders – who used a colonial language such as Portuguese, or Spanish or English – and the Indians, Chinese, Africans or American Indians that they were trading with. In fact, many of the meanings which have been suggested for the word pidgin refl ect its use as a means of communication between traders. It may derive from the word ‘business’ as pronounced ,, pidgin English which developed in China, or perhaps from Hebrew pidjom meaning ‘trade or exchange’, or perhaps from the combination of two Chinese characters péi and tsCn meaning ‘paying money’.
  29. Pidgin • 1. has no native speaker • 2. a means of communication between people who don’t have a common language • 3. Pidgin linguistics structures such as: sound, vocabulary, grammatical features, a new variety ( borrowing/ emerging from some languages) • 4. Example: in Papua New Guinea, Pidgin Chinese English spoken by Chinese languages a Neo Melanesia / Tok Piksin • must watch:
  30. ■ What kind of linguistic structure does a pidgin language have? (pg86) • Pidgin languages are created from the combined efforts of people who speak different languages. All languages involved may contribute to the sounds, the vocabulary and the grammatical features, but to different extents, and some additional features may emerge which are unique to the new variety. Nevertheless, it has been found that when one group speaks a prestigious world language and the other groups use local vernaculars, the prestige language tends to supply more of the vocabulary, while vernacular languages have more influence on the grammar of the developing pidgin. The proportion of vocabulary contributed to Tok Pisin by English, for example, has been estimated at 77 per cent, compared to about 11 per cent from Tolai, the local vernacular which has contributed the largest amount of vocabulary. The language which supplies most of the vocabulary is known as the lexif er (or sometimes superstrate ) language, while the languages which influence the grammatical structure are called the substrate. So in Papua New Guinea, English is the lexifier language for Tok Pisin, while Tolai contributes to the substrate. Because pidgins develop to serve a very narrow range of functions in a very restricted set of domains, they tend to have a simplified structure and a small vocabulary compared with fully developed languages. Pacific pidgin languages have only fi ve vowels, for example: [a, e, i, o, u] compared to around twenty in most varieties of English (see Appendix 1). Consonant clusters tend to be simplified (e.g. pes for ‘paste’), or vowels are inserted to break them into two syllables (e.g. silip for ‘sleep’). Affixes are dispensed with. So words generally do not have inflections, as in English, to mark the plural, or to signal the tense of the verb. Nor are affixes used to mark gender, as in Spanish and Italian. Often the information affixes convey is signalled more specifically elsewhere in the sentence, or it can be deduced from the context, or it is referentially redundant. Every learner of French or Spanish, for example, knows that the grammatical gender of objects is strictly dispensable if you are interested in communication as opposed to impressing people.
  31. • To sum up, a pidgin language has three identifying characteristics: • 1. it is used in restricted domains and functions • 2. it has a simplified structure compared to the source languages • 3. it generally has low prestige and attracts negative attitudes – especially from outsiders. • Pidgins often have a short life. If they develop for a restricted function, they disappear when the function disappears. In Vietnam, a pidgin English developed for use between the American troops and the Vietnamese, but it subsequently died out. A trading pidgin usually disappears when trade between the groups dies out. Alternatively, if trade grows, then more contact will generally lead to at least one side learning the other’s language, and so the need for the pidgin disappears. In some cases, however, pidgins go on to develop into fully- fl edged languages or creole
  32. Creole • A creole is a pidgin which has acquired native speakers. Many of the languages which are called pidgins are in fact now creole languages. They are learned by children as their first language and used in a wide range of domains. Tok Pisin (which was used to illustrate some of the features of pidgins in the previous section) is one obvious example of a pidgin which has developed into a creole language. This makes it clear that the label of a language is not an accurate guide to its status as pidgin or creole. Despite its name, Tok Pisin is a creole because it has been learned as a fi rst language by a large number of speakers, and has developed accordingly to meet their linguistic needs. A s a result of their status as some group’s fi rst language, creoles also differ from pidgins in their range of functions, in their structure and in some cases in the attitudes expressed towards them. A creole is a pidgin which has expanded in structure and vocabulary to express the range of meanings and serve the range of functions required of a first language. •
  33. • Many present-day creoles are spoken by descendants of the African slaves in the USA and the Caribbean. As mentioned above, the common language of the plantation was generally a pidgin, and children naturally acquired the pidgin as a first language. As the families’ communicative needs expanded, so did the resources of the language they used. The pidgin developed into a creole. Alternatively, a pidgin can become so useful as a lingua franca that it may be expanded and used even by people who share a tribal language. In multilingual speech communities, parents may use a pidgin so extensively during the day, in the market, at church, in offices and on public transport that it becomes normal for them to use it at home too. In this case, too, children will often acquire it as their first language and it will develop into a creole. Tok Pisin is the first language of many children in Papua New Guinea. Once a creole has developed it can be used for all the functions of any language – politics, education, administration (including tax forms, as illustrated in example 1 0) , original literature (and translations of Shakespeare too, as in • example 1 3) , and so on. Tok Pisin is frequently used as the language of debate in the Papua New Guinea Parliament, and it is used for the fi rst three years of education in many schools. Creoles have become accepted standard and even national and official languages. Pg 93
  34. Difference between the standard language and the creole • eventually there may exist a continuum of varieties between the standard language and the creole – sometimes described as a post- creole continuum. In this situation, linguists label the variety closest to the standard an acrolect (where acro means ‘high’), whereas the variety closest to the creole is labeled the basilect or ‘deep’ creole. These two varieties are often mutually unintelligible. Varieties in between these two extremes are described as mesolects or intermediate varieties. Examples can be found in Jamaica and Guyana. So in Guyanese Creole the acrolectal form ‘I told him’, used by educated middle class people, has a mesolectal form ‘I tell im’, used by lower middle class people, and a basilectal form ‘mi tell am’ used by old and illiterate rural labourers. Over time a creole in this situation may be engulfed by the standard language, as Negerhollands has been by Dutch in the Dutch West Indies. One further possibility.