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UNED

Academic Year
2010 - 2011
An Introduction to Sociolinguistics
Rubn Chacn Beltrn

No cup no broke, no coffee no dash wey


Even if disaster strikes your home,
Its always possible that all may not be lost.
Jamaican Proberb
(in Jamaican Patwa)

Notes & Compilation


by
Hlne Sofos

Index
Unit 1: Key Concepts in Sociolinguistics.
Origin of Sociolinguistics.
Speech Communities
Unit 2: Some Variables in Sociolinguistics..
Styles..
Registers
Gender
Speech Accommodation..
Unit 3: Pidginization & Creolization..
Creole Languages..
Characteristics of Pidgins
Hawaiian Creole.
Jamaican Patwa.
Tok Pisin
Decreolization..
Instumental, Accommodation & Awareness Programs....
Code-Switching..
Diglossia
Diglossia & Bilingualism.
Language Contact..
Language Conflicts
Unit 5: Bilingual Education.
Advantages of Bilingual Education..
Language Planning
Minority Languages..
Particular Sociolinguistic Situations: India..
Particular Sociolinguistic Situations: New Zealand..
Particular Sociolinguistic Situations: Canada.
Particular Sociolinguistic Situations: European Union........
The Role of English
Unit 6: Language Teaching & Learning..
Communicative Competence.
Rules of Speaking..
Analysis of English as a Foreign Language in Classrooom Use.
Implications in Language Teaching.
Pragmatics in Language Teaching
Language in the Law.
World Englishes.
Glossary

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Unit 1
Introduction:
Key Concepts in Sociolinguistics
Language is used:

To convey meaning,
To transmit a verbal message,
To initiate,
Maintain and
Preserve social relationships.
Language is a social phenomenon THAT RELATES THE SPEAKERS TO
THEIR SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT and their kinship to other members of the
SPEECH COMMUNITY.
Sociolinguistics is a relatively NEW field. Sociolinguistics tried to find THE
REASONS for linguistic variations in social and environment conditions.

Dell
Hymes
coined
the
term
COMMUNICATIVE
COMPETENCE as opposed to Chomskys LINGUISTIC COMPETENCE.

COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE

refers not only to the human


ability to use the language in different situations and under different
circumstances, but it also refers to other NON-LINGUISTIC
ASPECTS which are
VOLUME
AMOUNT OF TALK
WORD CHOICE
GESTURES
Etc

Sociolinguistics VS Sociology of Language

When in the 1960s Sociolinguistics first began to develop, both terms were
used interchangeably. However,
SOCIOLINGUISTICS is the study of LANGUAGE in relation to society.
SOCIOLOGY OF LANGUAGE is the study of SOCIETY in relation to
language.
Sociolinguists may make analyses in either a
level.

MICRO

or a

MACRO

In a MICRO LEVEL, they would analyze

Pronunciation,
Grammar,
Vocabulary
Within a single speech community, in order to determine some features of
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND, ECONOMIC STATUS or SOCIAL CLASS.

In a MACRO LEVEL, they would analyze


Language variations

As a human phenomenon that affects large parts of the population.


For example, when large populations MIGRATE to a different place and the
language is preserved because of social factors.
Some authors prefer to talk about MICRO-sociolinguistics and MACROsociolinguistics. BOTH are concerned with LANGUAGE and SOCIETY,
although at a different SCALE.

The ORIGINS of Sociolinguistics

Sociolinguistics has spread in the LAST THIRTY YEARS together with other
branches of linguistics such as:
Psycholinguistics
Pragmatics and
Applied linguistics
Sociolinguistics comprises various areas of study and research like
historical and comparative linguistics, dialectology and anthropology.

IN EUROPE,

sociolinguistics started with the study of


Historical linguistics and
Linguistic geography
Dialectology
Regional languages and the
Linguistic situation of the COLONIZED COUNTRIES.

In the USA,

Sociolinguistics emerged from the CONTACT OF linguistics with disciplines


such as ANTHROPOLOGY and SOCIOLOGY.

SUBFIELDS

of sociolinguistics:

Pragmatics
Language gender studies
Pidgin
Creole studies
Language planning
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Policy studies
Education of linguistic minorities
Etc.

Variation

Sociolinguistics is ALL ABOUT VARIATION. For it, the most important


source of information is the way social and situational factors affect
language and make it vary.

One aspect of it

is when two people, for example, start talking about


the weather and at the same time they get information about the ORIGIN of
the other person, as well as their SOCIAL, ECONOMICAL, POLITICAL,
RELIGIOUS and CULTURAL background.

Another aspect of variation

is that it has certain bounds. That


is, a speaker CAN VARY their speech ONLY IN SOME DEGREE, but not
beyond certain limits because otherwise the speech would be
UNGRAMMATICAL or/and INCOMPREHENSIBLE.
When we use a language, we also learn the social conventions associated
with it, which can be different from one culture to another.

CONCLUSION
of subchapter Variation

The AIM OF SOCIOLINGUISTICS is to DESCRIBE the variations WITHIN A


LANGUAGE and MATCH these variations with the different groups of people
that use them,, as well as the corresponding situations.

Some Instances of Variation


Style shifting
Example 1:

In American English, the first phoneme in the words


thing or that.
It can be pronounced as a smooth fricative or
As a lightly or strongly articulated alveolar plosive
As a blend of these 2 variants or
Not pronounced at all in some utterances.

Example 2:

In Black English Vernacular, we can see the double negative


Nobody dont know about that.

Example 3:

WORD CHOICE also determines style shifting as the linguistic domain


(home, neighborhood, job, church, store, school etc)

Diachronic Variations

LANGUAGES change OVER TIME.


Languages are in a CONSTANT FLUX.
PRONUNCIATION also changes in all languages. (sound shift)
SYNTAX also changes.
SEMANTIC change takes places also.
The WORD STOCK can also be expanded with coined, invented or
borrowed words from other languages, especially nowadays.

Examples:

Greek =
Latin =
Gothic =
Old English =
Present-day English =
Greek =
Latin =
Gothic =
Present-day En.

patr
pater
fadar
foeder
father

dka
decem
teon
Ten

Speech Community
What is a speech community?
definition.

It is difficult to find a comprehensive

For GENERAL LINGUISTICS,


A speech community is a group of people that share the same language
or dialect in a specific setting, which can be close or broad.
For SOCIOLINGUISTICS,
Giving a definition is a much more complicated task, because, for example,
of the number of variables involved in the social and linguistic interaction
of some speech communities.
The DEFINITION of speech community needs to be kind of FLEXIBLE and
ABSTRACT to include social groupings as dissimilar as neighborhoods and
countries as speech communities.
A BIG COMPONENT of a speech community is to SHARE AT LEAST ONE
LANGUAGE. Each individual can be a member of a speech community on
one occasion and of another on another occasion.

It is also important to remember that speech communities do not


necessarily correspond with political boundaries, religions or cultures.
Languages are shared by groups of people that share a physical context but
ALSO A NUMBER OF SOCIAL NORMS.
4 major types of speech communities, as distinguished by Kahru:
1. A MULTILINGUAL speech community = more than one official
languages, such as in Switzerland.
2. A BILINGUAL speech community = two official languages in the same
country, such as Canada and Belgium.
3. A MONOLINGUAL speech community = only one official language,
although in the same country people can use different styles,
registers and even dialects, which can be very different from the
standard language.
4. A DIGLOSSIC community = two languages or varieties are
functionally COMPLEMENTARY. Usually, one variety if the HIGH
ONE and another is for colloquial speech (low variety) (Arabic
Classical and colloquial).
DIGLOSSIA is often intertwined with bilingualism/multilingualism, like in
German-speaking Switzerland.
Children learn the low variety
(Schwyzerttsch) and then the high variety at school.

CONCLUSION
On the DEFINITION OF SPEECH COMMUNITIES
NOT EASY to define a speech community. HOWEVER, there are general
guidelines (Spolsky):
No limitation of location or size.
It entails a complex interlocking network of communication.
The members of the speech community share the knowledge of language
use patterns.
They share attitudes towards themselves and others.
They also share a set of language varieties and norms for using them.

Doing Sociolinguistic Research

The very same language is not used in the same way by all those who speak
it. The way each person uses the language depends on the persons
SOCIAL or GEOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND and other factors such as AGE,
SEX or EDUCATION.
A researcher needs to make sure that they will devise a way to collect data
with a TRANSPARENT, SYSTEMATIC and UNAMBIGUOUS method in order
to get RELIABLE, NON-BIASED DATA. They have to make sure that when
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they record the speech of people, that the people who speak do that in a
very natural way, without thinking that somebody is recording them. This
is the only way they can have reliable data for analysis.
Sociolinguistic research is based on the collection of LARGE AMOUNTS OF
DATA and the later statistical analysis of data in order to find general
tendencies or regularities.

Unit 2
Some VARIABLES in Sociolinguistics
This chapter is divided in 2 big parts:
The FIRST ONE talks about the 3 main variables in Sociolinguistics,
which are:
1. Style
2. Register
3. Gender
And the SECOND part is about SPEECH ACCOMMODATION.

PART I.1

Variable of STYLE

It is a type of variation a bit less conspicuous and therefore more laborious


to describe.
Members of a speech community usually have a range of CHOICES to use
when they speak regarding
WORD CHOICE
SYNTACTIC COMPLEXITY and even
SUBTLE PRONUNCIATION features.
For example, you can speak
VERY FORMALLY or
VERY INFORMALLY
CASUALLY or
REALLY INFORMALLY,
Depending on certain circumstances and situations.
This range of formality to informality or vice versa can be manifested either
in the written or in the spoken word.
STYLE implies a CHOICE on the part of the speaker to say something.
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An example:
If the speaker wants to say Can you pass me the salt?, they cannot
change the word salt, because in this case they would alter the meaning
of the phrase. BUT, they can change can to could or would.
Another example:
The different words or expressions that somebody has died, that is,
die
pass away
bite the dust
kick the bucket
Can be used by a speaker depending on the style he will choose to say that
somebody has died, and that depending on the context, the speakers
education etc.
STYLE in linked to all linguistic behavior and not only in literature.

PART I.2

Variable of REGISTER

A REGISTER is a SET OF LANGUAGE FEATURES, mainly the choice of


LEXICAL TERMS or SYNTACTIC ORDERING of UTTERANCES, whose use
tends to be associated WITH A SPECIFIC INTEREST GROUP as in the case
of professionals with a PARTICULAR OCCUPATION, and, often, a
PARTICULAR WORKING CONTEXT:
Doctors,
Air traffic controllers,
Lawyers,
Computer enthusiasts
Etc.
Nowadays, the OVERWHELMING AMOUNT of information to which we are
exposed in our society favors the appearance of registers.
SPECIALIZATION is encouraged and the FLOURISHING number of
TECHNICAL WORDS and ACRONYMS sometimes makes it difficult for a
lay person to follow a conversation on any topic that requires a specific
register. Register is SOCIALLY MOTIVATED, as it entails A SOCIAL
NEGOTIATION among the participants in order to accommodate the
ADEQUATE register either in written or spoken discourse.

2 DIFFERENT CONCEPTIONS OF REGISTER


1.
In a NARROW SENSE of the word, it can refer to the type of
language used by a group of PROFESSIONALS who employ
certain LINGUISTIC FEATURES which are NOT USED in other
settings = THIS CONCEPTION OF REGISTER IS CLOSELY RELATED
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JARGON AND TENDS TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH


WORD CHOICE RATHER THAN SYNTACTIC ORDERING.
2.
In a BROAD SENSE of the word register can be understood
as a SOCIAL GENRE, a SOCIOLECT that bears upon
TO

LEXICAL CHOICE and SYNTACTIC ORDERING and could

be exemplified in the language of newspaper articles, academic prose


or legal language.

3 Main DIMENSIONS
by means of which a register can be depicted:
1. FIELD, which relates to the ACTIVITY PERFORMED, the SETTING
and the AIM of the interaction.

2. TENOR,

which refers to SOCIAL ROLES ENACTED and the


relationship between the participants.

3. MODE,

which refers to the MEDIUM of the language in that

situation.

An example: In the case of a newspaper article,


The FIELD would be the SUBJECT MATTER OF THE ARTICLE.
The TENOR would be the JOURNALIST who wrote the article as well as
the INTENDED AUDIENCE.
The MODE would be the PIECE OF WRITTEN WORK THAT IS PRINTED
ON THE NEWSPAPER and reaches the reader.
The professor goes on giving three examples of different registers:
1. A text with legal language.
2. A newspaper article.
3. A recipe.

PART I.3

Variable of GENDER

There is some evidence that marks language as SEXIST, or rather THEIR


USERS, and that both sexes do not speak the same way and that CANNOT
ONLY BE ATTRIBUTED to stylistic or individual differences.

HOWEVER, language SHOULD NOT be considered as INHERENTLY

SEXIST but it is used in a sexist way or even that it reflects a sexist world.
(He is the 12th commonest word in the English language, whereas She is
the 31st commonest word.) But there are no more men than women in the
world, so this is evidence that the English language is used to TALK AND
WRITE IN A SEXIST WORLD.
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Patters of VARIATION between men and women are much more EVIDENT
in some parts of the globe, as is the case of JAPAN.
Japanese women, for example, show they are women when they speak by
using ne as a sentence final particle. MALE SPEAKERS refer to
themselves as wasi or ore and female speakers use watasi or
atasi.
Then, the professor exposes some of the conclusions of a study carried by

Trudgill

in 1972, in Norwich (England), about the way men and women

Men:

More language change.


More tendency to underreport their use of prestige forms.
Liable to react to vernacular prestige forms.
Their type of language was associated with ROUGHNESS and
TOUGHNESS, which were considered, to some extent, as
DESIRABLE MASCULINE ATTRIBUTES.

speak.

Women: More conservative in terms of language use.

More status-conscious than men.


A clear tendency to overreport their use of prestige forms.
Tended to respond to standard-language prestige norms.
Their type of language was associated, in the context in which
the research was carried out, with REFINEMENT,
SOPHISTICATION and ADHERENCE to the standard language.

The reason for womens adherence to the standard could be


motivated, according to Trudgill, to their POWERLESS position in life.
The study of GENDER is a COMPLEX DEVELOPING ISSUE and arises from
the different ROLES and EXPECTATIONS upon the sexes.
Many of the conceptions we have had about gender and variation are based
upon POPULAR BELIEF and not on sociolinguistic analysis. But this is
changing a lot.

Sex & Gender


Traditionally, the term SEX
Has been used to refer to biological and anatomical differences between
men and women.

GENDER

has been used to refer to psychological and socio-cultural


differences between the sexes.
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RELATION between SEX & GENDER

SEX

is a biological category which is the base for the differentiation of


roles, norms and expectations within a certain speech community.
These

social roles, norms and expectations compose the idea of

GENDER.
FEMININITY and MASCULINITY change
- from ONE CULTURE TO ANOTHER,
- they also depend on ethnic, religious or social groups.
Recently, studies have been made to support the existence of certain
characteristics that identify GAY and LESBIAN LANGUAGE, although this
is still an ONGOING DEBATE.

NEUROPHYSIOLOGICAL Differences
in the way
MALES and FEMALES process LANGUAGE
It seems that PHONOLOGICAL PROCESSING in MALES relates to the left
hemisphere of the brain whereas it involves both hemispheres in the case of
females. However, there is no evidence that such biological differences
have an effect on male-female language processing and speech. ANY
DISSIMILARITY IS A RESULT OF:
-

SOCIAL FACTORS
EDUCATIONAL FACTORS, or
POWER.

ANALYSIS

of

these

DIFFERENCES

lead

to

the

formation

of

GENDERLECTS.
Robin Lakoff identified certain features distinguishing womens talk in
terms of:
-

Word choice
Hesitant intonation
A voice pitch associated with surprise and questions
Frequency of tag phrases
Their attitude towards politeness
The use of more polite noises which support the interlocutors view.

In general, women understand language as information gathering


rather than a mechanism to initiate and support their relationship
with others.
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Then, the professor refers to the use of his for men and women and
mentions that a number of solutions have been suggested to avoid this
instance of sexism in English. One of the BEST ONES is to use their.
Also, many words which indicated professions have changed in order not to
indicate that they are only jobs done by men.
Examples:
Bus boy
Chairman
Fireman
Policeman
Foreman
Salesman
Spokesman

Dining room attendant


chairperson
Firefighter
Police Officer
Supervisor
Salesperson
Spokesperson

PART II

Speech Accommodation

Speech Accommodation is to MODIFY ones speech or OTHER


COMMUNICATIVE BEHAVIOURS to the ones used by the person one is
interacting with. This modification is done according to the INTENTIONS of
the speakers and the RESULTS of the communication encounter.

WAYS
To perform Speech Accommodation

a. Doctors, lawyers and therapists can accommodate their speech when


they communicate with clients in order to show EMPATHY.
b. Speakers of a NON-standard variety can accommodate their speech
in such a way that they can be understood by a person who doesnt
know this variety.
SPEECH CONVERGENCE shows a speakers or a groups NEED for
SOCIAL INTEGRATION and/or IDENTIFICATION with another or others.
SOMETIMES, this accommodation may be done consciously and
deliberately, BUT, on MANY occasions it reflects an UNCONSCIOUS
behavior.

RESULTS of Speech Accommodation

It increases the speakers perceived:


a. Attractiveness
b. Predictability
c. Supportiveness
d. Level of interpersonal involvement
e. Intelligibility
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f. Comprehensibility and
g. The speakers ability to gain their listeners compliance.
Speech DIVERGENCE and the use of DIVERGENT STRATEGIES are more
often fostered where the participants in the communication encounter stem
from DIFFERENT SOCIAL OR WORKING BACKGROUNDS giving way to a
strategy of intergroup distinctiveness.
By means of this TACTIC,
members of an ingroup can intensify their inclusion in the relevant
group while excluding others.
This target can be attained with the use of a specific slang, jargon,
grammatical complexity or, simply, accent.

Unit 3
Pidginization & Creolization
Pidgins & Pidginization
PIDGINIZATION is a PROCESS that sometimes takes place when 2
languages COME INTO CONTACT and, as a result, there is a process of
SIMPLIFICATION or HYBRIDIZATION.
This normally happens because speakers of different languages need to
have limited relations between them, for example, for trade/some kind of
business and they invent a language in order to be able to
communicate.
Often, one language gives the VOCABULARY, whereas the other gives the
SYNTAX. AS A RULE, GRAMMAR as well as other COMPLEX LINGUISTIC
FEATURES are SIMPLIFIED.
Most of pidgins were formed in the 16th and 17th centuries, during the
period of colonization by European powers. That is why all these pidgins
are lexically related to the language of the colonizers.

INITIALLY,

these pidgins were CONTACT LANGUAGES. They were


only used for specific purposes, such as trade mainly, and they were

NOT

the native language of anybody. Speakers continued to use their


OWN native language in their own speech communities.
According to WARDHAUGH, the process of Pidginization requires the
CONTACT OF MORE THAN 2 LANGUAGES. In case of only 2, there
would finally be a relation of DOMINANCE OF ONE OVER THE OTHER,
depending on social and economic factors. The dominant culture would
impose its language. HOWEVER, WHEN MORE THAN 2 LANGUAGES ARE
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SPOKEN, THOSE WHO NEED TO COMMUNICATE MUST FIND A COMMON


GROUND.
EXAMPLE of a pidgin language which underwent several geographical and
sociolinguistic contexts:

MELANESIAN PIDGIN ENGLISH.

1. It arose as a SHIPBOARD lingua franca.


2. It was later used as a PLANTATION language.
3. It finally came to be a language for INTER-ETHNIC
communication.

CITY

CREOLES CREOLIZATION

CREOLIZATION takes place when that language which originally used


ONLY

for

PURPOSEFUL

communication

is acquired AS A

MOTHER TONGUE by children who are exposed to it.


But since this language is not used now only for very limited purposes, it
has to fulfill ALL KINDS OF SOCIAL NEEDS and communicative purposes.

Therefore, the language expands and the language


that used to be pidgin becomes MORE COMPLEX both
in terms of GRAMMAR and PHONOLOGY.

RELATION BETWEEN
PIDGINIZATION & CREOLIZATION
Pidginization and Creolization are absolutely DIFFERENT although they
may overlap.
PIDGINIZATION = simplification (lexis, grammar, phonology).
CREOLIZATION = expansion of linguistic features and communicative
functions.
NOT EVERY PIDGIN BECOMES A CREOLE.
Creoles languages were considered to be of INFERIOR STATUS for a
long time. However, between 1950 and 1975 they stooped to be looked
upon as uninteresting and marginal bastardized jargons to gain the
status of languages. They have become the CENTRAL INTEREST of
many linguists: sociolinguists, applied linguists and theoretical linguists.

Lingua franca
ORIGINALLY, pidgins served the purpose of a lingua franca. That is, they
were used by people who spoke different mother tongues FOR A SPECIFIC
FUNCTIONAL SITUATION, SUCH AS TRADE.
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Nowadays, English as well as Esperanto can be considered as


lingua franca, because they are used all over the world. English has
become the language of business and intercultural communication,
whereas Esperanto is sometimes used for international communication.

Some Instances of PIDGINS

Most pidgins and creoles are based on EUROPEAN languages.


The MOST COMMON ones are based on: English, French, Spanish, Dutch,
Italian or German.

ENGLISH-BASED CREOLES

are common in the

=
Antigua
Barbados
Jamaica and
The West Indies in general.
Also, in AFRICA =
Cameroon
Kenya
St. Helena
Zimbabwe
Namibia
In ASIA too =
India
China
Hong Kong
In the PACIFIC =
Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands
Australia

FRENCH-BASED CREOLES

can be found in

Martinique
Guadeloupe
St. Lucia and
Haiti

SPANISH-BASED PIDGINS and CREOLES:


Dominican Republic
Cuba
Puerto Rico
The Philippines.

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CARIBBEAN

PORTUGUESE-BASED CREOLES
Aruba
Bonaire
Curaao
Malaysia
Singapore

SOME OF THE MOST IMPORTANT


Cameroon Pidgin English
Hawaiian Pidgin
Kamtok
Kenya Pidgin Swahili
Naga Pidgin
New Guinea Pidgin German
Nigerian Pidgin English
Papuan Pidgin English
Pidgin German (Gastarbeiters)1
Russenorsk2
Sango
Vietnamese Pidgin French

PIDGINS

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF

PIDGINS

1. Almost complete LACK OF INFLECTION in nouns, pronouns, verbs


and adjectives.
2. Nouns are UNMARKED for number or gender.
3. Verbs lack TENSE MARKERS.
4. NO distinction for CASE in personal pronouns, so I can stand for

me, and they for them.

5. SYNTACTICALLY, THE ABSENCE OF CLAUSAL STRUCTURES is


quite common in pidgins. However, relative clauses and other types
of embedding develop in Creolization.
6. NO distinction between LONG and SHORT vowels. For example, SHIP
and SHEEP would be pronounced in the same way.
7. A common resource is REDUPLICATION. For example, in TOK PISIN
sip means ship and sipsip means sheep. Pis means peace
while pispis has the meaning of urinate. Reduplication is also
used TO INTENSIFY THE MEANING OF A WORD, for instance cry
1

In the 1970s guest workers in Germany coming from neighboring countries, such as Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Turkey developed a pidgin in
some
big German cities like Berlin and Frankfurt.
2
Used until the 1920s in the Arctic and was used by Russian fishermen and Norwegian fish traders.

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means cry whereas crycry means cry continually. Talk means


talk, but talktalk means chatter.

Some Instances of CREOLES

Anglo-Romani (a Creolization of Romani in England)


Asmara Pidgin (Italian-based, it is spoken in part of Edingburg)
Berbice Creole Dutch
Chabacano o Zamboangueo (Spanish-based)3
Haitian Creole
Hawaiian Creole English
Jamaican Patwa
Tok Pisin

2 MAJOR GROUPS

OF ENGLISH-BASED CREOLES can be identified:


1. The ATLANTIC group, spoken in:
1.a. West Africa
1.b. The Caribbean area:
1.b.i. Jamaican Creole English
1.b.ii. The Creole English of the Lesser Antilles
1.b.iii. The Eastern Caribbean varieties:
iii.. Trinidad & Tobago,
iii.. Guyana
All having flourished in the 17th and 18th centuries.
2. The PACIFIC group, which includes:
2.a. Hawaiian Creole and
2.b. Tok Pisin

Hawaiian Creole English

Spoken by more than 600,000 people in Hawaii. Also known as Hawaii


Pidgin or simply Pidgin. It was DENIGRATED repeatedly in schools and
public administrations for years, BUT IT IS USED MORE AND MORE in
order to EXPRESS SOLIDARITY and FORGE LOCAL IDENTITY.
NOWADAYS, Hawaiis Council is DETERMINED to maintain and develop
this local language by means of enforcing competent language planning and
policy.

There are 3 main examples of creoles based on Spanish: PAPAMIENTO (formed in the 17th century in the island of Curzao which is currently used
in the islands of Aruba and Bonaire); PALENQUERO (developed in the 18th century near Cartagena, Colombia), and CHABACANO or
ZAMBOANGUEO (is used in some parts of the Phillipines).
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1.

CHARACTERISTICS OF
HAWAIIAN CREOLE
From a PHONOLOGICAL point of view.

Phonologically, it is rather SIMPLE, because it avoids phonological


features which are difficult to pronounce in any of the languages in
contact (English, Hawaiian and many others).
The VOCALIC SYSTEM was SIMPLIFIED.
AVOIDED.

FRICATIVES tend to be

Examples:
Bo da dem (both of them)
Braddah (brother)
2.

VOCABULARY

is derived to a large extent from the SOCIALLY


DOMINANT groups. English pidgins usually have about 90% of words
coming from English. Some words come directly from English and some
others have been adapted or simplified.
From English
Boy
Fish
Guy
Stuff
Stay

Adapted
den
lata
neva
togedda
wot?

Examples:
(then)
(later)
(didnt)
(together)
(what?)

3. Many words are POLISEMOUS.


Examples:
try can be used as a MAIN VERB try, BUT ALSO as a verb
auxiliary with the meaning of PLEASE.
inside means inside, soul and heart.
4. Almost COMPLETE LACK OF INFLECTION in nouns,
pronouns, verbs and adjectives. NOUNS are UNMARKED for number
and gender:
Dis da language fo mos peopo dat say live inside Hawaii.
Him was real tight wit his brudda.
You go five mile sout.
5. TENSE and ASPECT are normally indicated with a

MARKER:

PAST TENSE is expressed by placing preverbal preterite


auxiliaries wen, bin and hd BEFORE the verb:
19

Shi wen pein da grin haus


You bin say go up on roof

FUTURE EVENTS are marked by go,


gona, or goin BEFORE the verb:

gon,

I gon it fish

PROGRESSIVE ASPECT can be expressed by:

a. Inserting ste (stay) BEFORE the verb in the infinitive.


b. Using the ing form of the verb, and
c. Using both forms altogether.
Examples:
Shi ste rait da leta.
Dey pleing futbawl.
Naue ste iting da kek.
6.

Auxiliaries

NONEXISTENT. NEGATION
expressed by placing no or neva BEFORE the verb:
are

is

Shi neva si daet muvi.


No can (cannot, its not possible)
No mo (there isnt any)

Jamaican Patwa
(or Patois)

There is no FIXED NAME for the creole language of Jamaica. Terms used
are Jamaican, Jamaican Creole, Jamaican Patwa or Patois.
Over 90% of the 2.5 million people of Jamaica in the late 1990s are
DESCENDANTS of SLAVES brought from Africa, WHICH MEANS THAT
language in Jamaica REFLECTS that HISTORY of that country and its
contact with all the cultures and languages that have passed through.
THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE remains STANDARD ENGLISH, which is the
one spoken by the educated elite.
In Jamaica you can find people using the most formal Standard English on
one extreme, and the Jamaican Creole (Patois) on the other.

JAMAICAN PATWA is characterized by:

a. Its FRAGMENTED ENGLISH SPEECH, and


b. For having a SYNTAX developed during the days of slavery with the
influence of several West African languages, pertaining to the NIGERCONGO family of languages.
20

NOWADAYS, this language has not got much social and socioeconomic
status in Jamaica and it largely represents the speech of the peasants and
laborers with little education. NOT ACCEPTABLE for formal purposes.
ATTEMPTS have been made to change this situation at GIVING PATWA
OFFICIAL STATUS. Jamaican Patwa is gaining in prestige and is
now seen sometimes in newspapers or heard on the radio. Also present
in SONGS to help to raise the self-esteem of the speakers and assert their
identity.
Patwa DOES NOT HAVE a UNIFORM ORTHOGRAPHY.
NO agreement has been made whether it should accommodate the
LEXIFIER LANGUAGE (Standard English) or if an entirely new system
should be created.

GENERAL FEATURES OF JAMAICAN PATWA

1. NO /t-/ or /d-/ distinction:


JP
De
Dis
Odder
Wid
Tink

English
the
this
other
with
thing

2. Final consonant clusters tend to be DEVOICED (/d/ become /t/)


or DELETED:
JP
Husban
Purfume

English
husband
perfumed

3. It is not stressed-timed, but SYLLABLE-TIMED. So, ALL SYLLABLES


RECEIVE THE SAME STRESS.
4. Modified personal pronouns:
I
He
They

me
im
dem

5. ABSENCE of PLURAL MARKERS on nouns.


JP
English
all type a people
All kinds of people
book
shoes

21

6. Altered 3rd-person singular subject-verb concord:


JP
English
If im dare axe
if he dares to ask
Shi greet im
she greets him
7. Absence of auxiliaries to form the negative:
English:
J. Patwa:

I dont want anything to eat.


Mi nuh wan nutten fe eat.

8. Copula deletion:
JP
It soh bad
Im short an tumpa
Life ard many sey

English
It is so bad
he is short and stocky
many people say that life is hard

9. TENSE marked LEXICALLY (instead of morphologically):


English
That is the woman that took my money.
JP
Is dat ooman deh did tek mi money.

Tok Pisin
Papua New Guinea

has 3 official languages, which turn to be


SECOND LANGUAGES to most people:

1. Hiri Motu
2. Tok Pisin and
3. English
Tok Pisin is used nowadays by 3 MILLION PEOPLE as a UNIFYING
LANGUAGE and LINGUA FRANCA too, among speakers of a number of
INDIGENOUS languages (over 800) in Papua New Guinea.

Tok Pisin:
a. Remains very distant to English.
b. It is sometimes used as pidgin and sometimes as Creole.
c. It shows clear INFLUENCES from English.
HOWEVER, there is NO CONTINUUM between Tok Pisin and English.
Papua New Guinea was born in 1975.
In that year Tok Pisin was RECOGNIZED in the constitution.
22

NOW, some communities can choose to have their children schooled in Tok
Pisin in the first 3 years of elementary education, but parents perceive that
English brings MORE ADVANTAGES TO THEIR CHILDREN.
Tok
-

Pisin is also used in


many GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS
in radio
television broadcasting and
in the House Assembly (the Parliament)
in Wantok (a weekly newspaper readership over 10.000 people)

SOME GENERAL FEATURES OF TP


1. Consonant ASSIMILATION. NO distinction between
and /f/; /g/ and /k/, // and /t/:

Examples:
TP
Hap pas seven
Lipt
Pait
Pilta
Pinga
Pul bilong pis
Pulap

English
half past seven
lift
fight
filter
finger
fin of fish
full, full up

TP

English

Sips
Sis
Sops

chips
cheese
chops

TP

English

Sak
Sel
Sem
Sip
Sot, sotpela
Su

Dok
Lek
Pik

shark
shell
shame
ship
short
shoe

dog
leg
pig

23

/p/

2. Simplified consonant clusters:


TP

English

Ailan
Gaden
Hos
Kona
Lam
Lephan
Wok
Wan handet

island
garden
horse
corner
lamp
left hand
work
hundred

3. Simplified VOCALIC SYSTEM.


TP

Only /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, /u/:

English

Fut
Grin
Gro
Ston
Smok
Stret
Tumora

foot
green
grow
stone
smoke
straight on
tomorrow

4. Word REDUPLICATION to indicate EMPHASIS:


TP

Liklik bas
Lukluk
Man bilong toktok
Singsing

English

minibus
look at
talkative person
festival

5. Plural suffix -pela:


TP

Emtupela
Emtripela
Etpela
Tupela
Tupelo marit

English

those two
those three
eight
both
married couple

6. LEXICON based on ENGLISH.

In the process of DECREOLIZATION, more and more words TEND TO


BE ADOPTED FROM THE LEXIFIER LANGUAGE and the acrolect
quickly adopts words that portray the present society.
24

TP

Adres
Dokta
Heven
Man
Stori
Skul

English
address
doctor
heaven
man
story
school

7. METAPHORS in word formation.


TP

English

Haus bilong tumbuna pasin


Kaikai long moning
Laplap bilong windo
Lain bilong Jisas
Pin bilong nus

museum
breakfast
curtain
disciples
nose pin

8. Simplified PREPOSITIONAL SYSTEM (ONLY 3):


a. long = used for to, for, from.
b. bilong = used for of
c. wantaim used for with

Decreolization

DECREOLIZATION is a PHENOMENON that arises WHEN ONE CREOLE


language

has PROLONGED contact

with a STANDARD language

in a SPECIFIC SOCIETY, and that STANDARD LANGUAGE brings

considerable INFLUENCE on the CREOLE

language.

to DEVELOP THE CREOLE taking the


STANDARD as a MODEL. In this way a CONTINUUM IS
CREATED WITH THE STANDARD AS A MODEL at the TOP and the
So, speakers start

CREOLE as a model AT THE BOTTOM.


This
-

PROCESS can be CLEARLY perceived nowadays in places like:


Barbados
Cameroon
India
Nigeria and
Papua New Guinea, among others.

THE VARIETY OR VARIETIES of the creole


WHICH
ARE
CLOSER to the STANDARD

In this way,
language

25

LANGUAGE gain more prestige and BECOME the language of the


ELITE and EDUCATED SOCIETY (ACROLECT),
WHEREAS

VARIETY CLOSER TO THE CREOLE often represents


ILLITERATE PEOPLE and LOWER SOCIAL CLASS
The

(BASILECT).

BETWEEN THESE 2 POLES,

there can appear a whole RANGE

MESOLECTS

OF VARIETIES or
which determine not only social
stratification but also alleged identities among speakers.

the example of Hawaii, where we can find


CONTINUUM of SPEECH which ranges from the distinct

The professor mentions

this
Hawaiian Creole English varieties to Standard English of Hawaii. What
variety each person speaks depends on their location and upbringing. The

BASILECT
ACROLECT

countryside,
is spoken in the major cities.
is

spoken

in

the

whereas

the

The use of Pidgins and Creoles in EDUCATION

NOT COMMON AT ALL to find a pidgin or creole, or other minority


dialect, as the LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION in FORMAL EDUCATION in
ANY educational system in the world.

Valdman gives us 2 reasons:

1. The continuum of variation that is usually found between the


pidgin/creole and the standard educational language represents A
STRONG OBSTACLE as it is sometimes difficult to ISOLATE A
PARTICULAR NORM to be used in education.
2. The pidgin/creole is frequently considered as DEVIANT from the
standard and as having AN INFERIOR STATUS in the speech
community.
Therefore, the SOCIAL CONSIDERATION of the
pidgin/creole is in a way hindered by this fact.

Siegel tells us that speakers of creoles and pidgins generally DO NOT do


well in the FORMAL education system.
Why?
-

Sometimes this is because of socio-economic factors.


Sometimes LANGUAGE plays a ROLE.
26

How?
Very often, these speakers are in disadvantage because the language
of formal education is actually a standard variety that they do not
speak as a mother tongue (like the African American Vernacular
English).
EDUCATORS and POLICY MAKERS introduce many arguments AGAINST
the application of a non-standard variety in the educational system.
What are some of these arguments?

a. That instruction time should be spent on learning the standard.

They consider that any effort to teach the non-standard is a WASTE


OF TIME.
b. They believe that using and teaching a non-standard variety of
speech in the classroom DERPIVES children of a CHANCE TO
BENEFIT FROM the socio-economic ADVANTAGES that speakers
of standard varieties have, condemning them, thus, to an
UNCHANGING UNDERCLASS status.
c. Using a NON-standard variety in education may CAUSE
CONFUSION and INTERFERENCE with the standard variety, which
will result in additional difficulties for the children.
NEVERTHELESS, some progress is being made over the years and pidgins
and creoles are gaining social and political recognition.
IN THE LAST DECADES, there has been a global attempt TO LEGITIMIZE
THE USE OF PIDGINS AND CREOLES and MINORITY DIALECTS in formal
education claiming that the speakers of these languages have a right to
express their own linguistic and sociocultural identity in their own
languages.

OBSTACLES
In USING pidgins, creoles and minority dialects
in FORMAL EDUCATION:
(Siegel)
1. Negative attitudes and ignorance on the part of the teachers who
may mistake language problems of creole-speaking children for
cognitive problems and eventually lower the childrens expectations.
2. Negative attitudes and self-image of the students themselves
because of DENIGRATION of their speech and culture.
3. Repression of self-expression because of the need to use an
unfamiliar form of language.

27

4. Difficulty in acquiring literacy in a second language or dialect.


In this case, children may be repressed if they are not allowed to
express themselves in their familiar language variety.

INSTRUMENTAL,
ACCOMMODATION &
AWARENESS PROGRAMMES
All three of them are EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES in which pidgins,
creoles and minority dialects have been used, aiming at ADDITIVE
BILINGUALISM or BIDIALECTISM = that is, helping the students to acquire
the STANDARD LANGUAGE while maintaining THEIR OWN PIDGIN,
CREOLE or MINORITY LANGUAGE.

A.The INSTRUMENTAL Programme

Education begins with the use of the HOME VARIETY as the MEDIUM OF
INSTRUCTION. The STANDARD language is introduced AT A LATER
STAGE and it gradually becomes the LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION for
SOME SUBJECTS.
Instrumental programmes have been implemented in places such as

Mauritius (Mauritian Creole) or Papua New Guinea

(Tok Pisin).

B.The ACCOMMODATION Programme

In this programme, the USE of the HOME LANGUAGE is ALLOWED and


NOT PENALIZED, but it is NOT EMPLOYED as the language of instruction
for ANY subject, NOR it is studied as a language in itself. At HIGHER
LEVELS, as students ACCOMMODATE to the standard variety, their home
language and culture CAN BE PRESERVED by means of the study of
LITERATURE OF MUSIC of THEIR OWN communities.
We have examples
Hawaii and Australia.

of accommodation programmes

in

C.The AWARENESS Programme

It includes SOME TEACHING on basic SOCIOLINGUISTIC and


SOCIOPRAGMATIC principles of different language varieties, and their
GRAMMATICAL rule and PRAGMATICS are COMPARED with those of the
standard variety.
Examples: Some awareness programmes have been created for CREOLESPEAKING CARIBBEAN immigrants in the United Kingdom and speakers of
KRIOL and ABORIGINAL English in Australia.

28

Unit 4
Bilingualism
Introduction

Although we can find many countries, especially in the Western world,


which can be considered as monolingual societies, overall, there are many
more bilingual speakers than monolingual.
In many places of the world, people use more than one language in
everyday life, because bilingualism is not restricted to some countries
only. Sometimes, the second language has been learned not in a formal
way, at school, for instance, but because of constant exposure to that
language.
It is NOT EASY to define bilingualism, because there can be MANY
DEGREES of proficiency and sociolinguistic factors to determine the
use and knowledge of one language or the other.
Range of bilingualism:
one

language

only

from just A FUNCTIONAL ABILITY to use


in CERTAIN DOMAINS, to BALANCED

BILINGUALISM,

which entails
CAPACITY in 2 or more languages.

an

EQUAL

AND

HIGH-LEVEL

ASPECTS OF BILINGUALISM
1. It is important to take into account THE MEANS

ACQUISITION,

OF

that is, whether each of the languages was


acquired as a MOTHER TONGUE, or A SECOND LANGUAGE or A
FOREIGN LANGUAGE. The means of acquisition affects the level of
proficiency.

2. The bilingual speaker can have DIFFERENT COMMANDS

OF THE VARIOUS SKILLS of a language,

that is,
reading, writing, speaking and listening comprehension. THE
DEGREE OF DEVELOPMENT in each one of these skills will depend,
at least in part, on the MEANS OF ACQUISITION.
For example, someone acquiring the language in a NATURAL
CONTEXT will be able

language better

to speak and understand the

than read it and write it. In any case,


receptive skills are more often more easily developed than productive
skills.

29

3. There are CERTAIN

FUNCTIONS that bilinguals


prefer to perform in one language than in the other.
Why?
a. They may have not developed a specific skill in that language (so
they use the other), or
b. It seems MORE NATURAL to them to do it in a certain language.

4. The DOMAIN often INFLUENCES LANGUAGE CHOICE in bilingual

speakers because the ACQUISITION or learning was DOMAINDEPENDENT or because one language is PREFERRED IN SOME
CONTEXTS.

language

is

SUBJECTED

to

the

effect

of

3 main

FACTORS:

a. LOCATION (home, school, office, etc)


b. ROLE RELATIONSHIPS among the interlocutors (sibling, father,
mother, boss etc).
c. The TOPICS involved in the conversation (domestic, weather,
social greetings, academic etc).

Bilingualism
DEFINITIONS & DIMENSIONS

A.

Definitions

SOCIAL bilingualism (or MULTIlingualism):

It is an area of research dedicated to the study of its SOCIAL DIMENSION


in societies where MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE are commonly used by a
SPEECH COMMUNITY or SOCIAL GROUP.
NOT ALL members of that speech community or social group need to speak
more than one language.

INDIVIDUAL bilingualism (or bilinguality):

It refers to the individual part of the phenomenon, that is, AN INDIVIDUAL


who has some knowledge of two or more languages.

Nevertheless, it is NOT POSSIBLE to make a CLEAR SEPARATION between


bilingualism as an individual
and
a social phenomenon.
Some

questions for reflection


30

are:

a. To what extent does the bilingual speaker NEED TO BE


PROFICIENT in both languages so that they can qualify as
bilingual?
b. Does a bilingual speaker need to show equal proficiency (?) in both
languages?
c. Does the bilingual proficiency of the language entail a spoken or
written command (?) of both languages?
d. What language components should be considered as criteria for
assigning the label of bilingual: vocabulary, pronunciation, syntax,
fluency, etc?

B.

st

DIMENSIONS

1 Dimension
SORTS OF BILINGUALISM

WEINREICH first classified different sorts of bilingualism (in 1953),


according to the WAY THE CONCEPTS AND MEANINGS ARE ENCODED IN
THE BRAIN.
It is very important to have in mind that the following 3 divisions stem
from THE WAY IN WHICH THE LANGUAGES WERE LEARNED.

I. COMPOUND bilingualism

When a child learns 2 languages AT THE SAME TIME, for example, one
from the father and the other from the mother. So, both languages are
learned in:
THE SAME CONTEXT.
THE SAME CONDITIONS.
Both (meanings) are FUSED in the brain.
The 2 languages are INTERDEPENDENT.

II.

COORDINATE bilingualism

When a person first learns their mother tongue and a foreign language at
school. So, the two languages are learned in:
DIFFERENT CONDITIONS and
DIFFERENT CONTEXTS and
They are kept APART in the mind.

III. SUB-COORDINATE bilingualism

When a child first learns one language and another one later on, for
example, a child who learns both languages at home at the same time but
one of them is more dominant, probably because they spend more time
with one of the parents.
31

In this case, the meaning of the first language comes first and then
the meaning of the second one.

2nd Dimension

It is what distinguishes between the BALANCED bilingual and the


DOMINANT bilingual.

BALANCED

bilingual

(person) is the one who has


EQUIVALENT COMPETENCE in both languages.
***A very IMPORTANT point:
Balanced bilingualism does not necessarily entail MONOLINGUAL
competence in both languages.
A balanced bilingual should not be
conceived as the addition of two monolingual speakers. Balanced speakers
hardly ever show EQUAL SPEAKING and WRITING abilities in their
languages. They are RARELY FLUENT about all topics in all contexts.

DOMINANT bilingual (person) is the one who knows their


MOTHER
Dominant bilingualism is actually the norm as it is rather difficult
for a bilingual speaker to reach absolutely even competence in two codes.
3rd Dimension

Another dimension to distinguish VARIOUS TYPES of bilingualism is


related to THE AGE OF ACQUISITION. A useful distinction can
be drawn between: 1. Childhood bilingualism, 2. Adolescent bilingualism
and 3. Adult bilingualism

Difference between
Childhood
Bilingualism

Adolescent or Adult
Bilingualism

And

In CHILDREN

In ADOLESCENTS OR ADULTS

Bilingualism
+
COMPLETED
Cognitive Development
Are developed
AT THE SAME TIME

COGNITIVE representation
of a WORD is
and there is mainly a
RELABELING
of
PREVIOUS CONCEPTS

Divisions of

Childhood bilingualism
1.

SIMULTANEOUS infant bilingualism.

When the child acquires a SECOND language early in infancy, but


after some development of the mother tongue has been attained.
32

2.

CONSECUTIVE

childhood bilingualism.
When a basic linguistic ability is acquired early in infancy in the
mother tongue and a second language is acquired right after.

4th Dimension
Sociocultural Environment

That is, the SOCIAL STATUS that the languages have in the speech
community.

ADDITIVE bilingualism

takes place when BOTH languages are


SOCIALLY VALUED. In this case, the child uses both of them and
enhances both of them equally in order to gain COGNITIVE FLEXIBILITY.
In this case, the acquisition of the SECOND language does not have
adverse effects on the language already known.
In SUBTRACTIVE bilingualism the MOTHER TONGUE is
detracted and, as a consequence, the childs cognitive development may
be HINDERED because the development of the second language interferes
with the development of the first language.

5th Dimension
(by Hamers and Blanc)
Cultural Identity
BICULTURAL,

if the adolescent or adult identifies himself with both


cultures associated to each one of the languages he knows. A HIGH
PROFICIENCY in both languages does not necessarily involve a bicultural
individual.

MONOCULTURAL,

if the adolescent or adult identifies himself with

just one group.

ACCULTURATED BILINGUAL

is a member of a given speech


community who can GIVE UP or even DENY the culture of THEIR
MOTHER TONGUE GROUP and FOSTER that of the SECOND language
group.
This process is not infrequent at all, as immigrants often wish to BLEND
INTO the new society and culture where they will live from now on.

BILINGUALS and their MENTAL LEXICONS


Do bilinguals own 1 or 2 mental lexicons?

ONE-lexicon advocates

consider that semantic information is


stored IN A SINGLE SEMANTIC SYSTEM were words in BOTH languages
COEXIST but are LABELED as belonging to one language or the other.
33

TWO-lexicon advocates

assert that lexicon is DIVIDED into


2 SETS, ONE FOR EACH LANGUAGE, and that interrelation between the
2 is only possible through translation.

OTHER THEORIES
There are those who believe that BILINGUAL SPEAKERS have
1. A CONCEPTUAL one for their knowledge of the world.
2. A LANGUAGE STORE for language A.
3. A LANGUAGE STORE for language B.

3 stores:

CODE CHOICE
CODE:

any kind of
COMMUNICATION.

SYSTEM

that 2 or more people use

for

A USEFUL CRITERION to distinguish between BIDIALECTAL and


BILINGUAL speakers could be MUTUAL INTELLIGIBILITY, that is, if the
speakers can understand each other WHEN USING THEIR OWN CODE.
It would be interesting to know:
a. The FACTORS that rule CODE CHOICE on every single situation
and,
b. WHY certain speakers sometimes SHIFT from one code to another.
(Explanation of the above issues)
Whenever a person engages in a conversation, they have previously
decided what code they will use, but sometimes, according to each

switch code, if they understand, for example, that


the other person does not understand them and they want to be polite
or express solidarity.
situation they may

LANGUAGE CHOICE can be used to resist some kind of power in places


where two or more languages coexist and have equal sociopolitical status,
as in CANADA. An English-speaking Canadian who is in Quebec may
insist on speaking English to an employee of the French-speaking
government there, as an expression of their political rights.

(This is like a conclusion)


The underlying and most important ISSUE is that
MOTIVATION is a DETERMINING COMPONENT in
code-choice and code-switching, as there are
NUMEROUS FACTORS that affect this motivation:
34

- Solidarity with the listener.


- Solidarity with the topic.
- Solidarity
with
the
contents
communicative process.

of

the

THE ALTERNANCE OF CODE OFTEN ENCODES


PERSONAL AND SOCIAL VALUES THAT ADD
INTERPRESONAL CLOSENESS OR DISTANCE.
Code-Switching

A lot of code-switching takes place in Hispanic communities of the United


States. Sometimes this change expresses SOLIDARITY to the people of
their own community.

Excerpt:

OYE, when I was a freshman I had a term paper to do


[]
And all of a sudden, I started acting real CURIOSA, you know. I
started going like this. Y LUEGO DECA, look at the smoke coming out
of my fingers, like that. And then ME DIJO, stop acting like silly. Y
LUEGO DECA YO, MIRA cant you see. Y LUEGO STE, I started
seeing like Little stars all over the place. Y VOLTEABA YO ASINA Y LE
DECA look at the the NO S ERA COMO BRILLOSITO AS like
stars.

3 kinds of CODE-SWITCHING here:


1. TAG-SWITCHING.

The use of EXCLAMATIONS OR TAGS from one language when the


other language is being used, such as OYE.
This change can take place when:
a. The speaker lacks the necessary vocabulary in English, or
b. Simply because it comes up more easily and spontaneously, since
tags are subjected to few syntactic restrictions and can be inserted
without interfering with the syntactic organization of the other
language.
Some tags from English are: you know and I mean.

2. INTERSENTENTIAL SWITCH.
For instance, in the sentences Y LUEGO DECA, look at the
smoke coming out of my fingers, like that and Y LUEGO
STE, I started seeing like little stars all over the place.
35

This type of SWITCH is found BETWEEN SENTENCES and


often arises in SENTENCE BOUNDARIES, marked with a SHORT
PAUSE and between SPEAKER TURNS.

3. INTRASENTENTIAL SWITCH.
When BOTH CODES are mixed within THE SAME
SENTENCE. For example, in the above excerpt, an example of
this switch is: I started acting real CURIOSA. This switching
contains the HIGHEST SYNTACTIC RISK and it typically referred to
as CODE-MIXING.

CODE-MIXING

Sometimes the terms CODE-MIXING and CODE-SWITCHING are used


interchangeably, as the concepts they describe often OVERLAP.

CODE-MIXING

OCCURS WHEN the interlocutors change FROM ONE


LANGUAGE TO ANOTHER in the course of a SINGLE CONVERSATION

AND EVEN MORE PRECISELY


occurs WITHIN A CLAUSE.

WHEN switching back and forth

The speakers dont even need to be aware of this mixing.

CODE-MIXING

highlights HYBRIDIZATION.

CODE-SWITCHING stresses the existence of movement from one


language into the other.

CODE-MIXING

typically presumes a MASTERY OF THE CODES

BEING MIXED.

CODE-MIXING

is very typical of bilinguals. (In Gibraltar, where


Spanish and English are in such a close contact, people may start a
sentence in one of these two languages and finish it in the other, or INSERT
certain words or phrases from one language into the other.)
If CODE-MIXING occurs because of not knowing some words in one of
the languages, it is a MEANINGFUL DISCOURSE STRATEGY.

CODE-MIXING

is

also

relatively

IMMIGRANTS.

36

COMMON

in

the

speech

of

Why? Because
a. they can be referring

to an object or concept not known to them


before coming into the new culture, or

b. they were not familiar with it, or


c. simply because of easy access to the word.
This process occasionally results in LEXICAL BORROWING.
For example, Hispanic immigrants use words such as:
Backyard
Basement
Coupons
Mall
Take it easy
VCR
Etc
THE RESULT of this mixing is that FUNCTIONAL BILINGUALS (full
command of one language and functional command over the other) often

develop a MIXED CODE

which is BASED ON the OLD language,


but INCLUDES features from the NEW language.

***The

use of ALTERNATING CODES should be distinguished from


the development of a MIXED variety as occurs with PIDGINS.
The INCIDENTAL borrowing can finally lead to PERMANENT lexical
borrowing.

CODE-SWITCHING IN BILINGUAL CHILDREN

NOT ALWAYS does a bilingual or multilingual speaker choose their code.


Sometimes there are UNINTENTIONAL INTERFERENCES between
the two codes. This can be seen very clearly in CHILDREN who receive a
BILINGUAL EDUCATION.
BILINGUAL CHILDREN:
- Usually mix both languages and
- Transfer
i. Words,
ii. Syntactic constructions or
iii. Phonological features
From one language to another.

37

The professor gives the examples of ten-year old Nicols (Spanish mother
and brought up in Spain, English father) who said estoy pensando
los pobres having been influenced by the English structure think
According to De Bot, it is absolutely

switch codes

normal

DE

of.

that bilingual speakers

and use more than one language.

The ANALYSIS of HOW languages INTERACT and ARE USED by bilingual


speakers can CAST SOME LIGHT on the issue of COGNITIVE

PROCESSING by bilinguals.
Some issues which have LONG PUZZLED psycholinguists and language
educators are:
a. How do bilingual speakers process their languages?
b. Does the bilingual child develop a unique language system where
both languages are intertwined, or does he have two different
linguistic systems? Do they make use of one or the other depending
on the context?
c. If there is more than one system, are they located in the same part of
the brain?
d. Does the bilingual brain contain one or two different lexicons?
These questions are NOT ALWAYS easy to answer.

DIGLOSSIA
(HIGH-LOW VARIETIES)
The CO-EXISTENCE of 2 OR MORE CODES, used in the
SAME SETTING, BUT under DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES.
That is, EACH OF the codes is used with CONTRASTING FUNCTIONAL
PURPOSES.

So, given the existence of


VARIETIES,
st
The 1 one is more PRESTIGIOUS and CULTIVATED than the other =
The most prestigious = HIGH variety
The less prestigious =

LOW

variety

One language is used to express a SET OF BEHAVIOURS,


ATTITUDES and VALUES.
38

ANOTHER LANGUAGE is used to put into words


CONTRASTING SET OF BEHAVIOURS, ATTITUDES AND VALUES.
And

Sermon in church

Instructions to servants, waiters, workmen, clerks


Personal letter
Speech in parliament, political speech
University lecture
Conversation with family, friends and colleagues
News broadcast
Radio soap opera
Newspaper editorial, news story, caption or picture
Caption on political cartoon
Poetry*4
Folk literature*5

High
Low
Variety Variety
H
L
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+
+

HIGH variety

More prestigious
More appealing
More appropriate
Even when inferior command than the low variety
Literary tradition makes use of it
Long tradition of grammar
Established rules for orthography, pronunciation, vocabulary and
grammar.

Differences between HIGH and LOW varieties

Sometimes differences between H and L are notorious


Lexicon is SHARED to a large extent, but differences in form, use and
meaning.
Sometimes the LOW variety is acquired as a mother tongue and the
HIGH variety is learned at school, like in the case of HAITIAN
CREOLE.
PHONOLOGY of H and L varieties: sometimes similar, sometimes
quite different, depending on what languages we are talking about.

+5* In relation to these functions it should be mentioned that the High variety, the Low
variety or both can be used, depending on the languages involved.

39

2 examples of HISTORIC DIGLOSSIC situations:

1.
It took place after the Norman conquest in 1066.
Norman French and English became to coexist in a DIGLOSSIC situation.

NORMAN FRENCH

was considered to be the HIGH variety,


used by the FEUDAL ARISTOCRACY and together with English in
MONASTERIES.
Norman French was also used in POLITICS,
GOVERNMENT and LOCAL ADMINISTRATION.

***Chaucers literary work

around 300 years later, used the Low


variety AND WAS THE CULMINATION OF A LONG PROCESS IN WHICH
THE Low variety gradually assumed functions that had been restricted to
the High variety in the past.

ENGLISH

was the LOW


artisans in everyday situations.

variety

being used by peasants and

THIS PROCESS WAS REINFORCED BY THE STEADY ASSIMILATION OF


THE FRENCH SPEAKING ARISTOCRACY INTO THE ENGLISH CULTURE.

HAITIAN CREOLE was


of a PIDGIN FRENCH.
The

2.
the result of the

CREOLIZATION

Then, STANDARD FRENCH became the High variety


whereas the HAITIAN CREOLE kept the status of Low
variety.
The SPELLING of the Haitian Creole is NOT ALWAYS standardized.
The HIGH VARIETY (STANDARD FRENCH) uses the standard language
orthography.

DIGLOSSIA & BILINGUALISM


Introductory observations:
Diglossia exists NOT ONLY in multilingual societies, BUT ALSO in
traditionally called MONOLINGUAL societies, where various dialects,
registers or styles are employed.

40

In reality, there is absolutely no monolingual society in the


strict sense of the word.

Diglossia-Bilingualism
4 POSSIBILITIES
(Fishmans theory 2003)
1st Possibility
Diglossia YES - Bilingualism
It is the case of:

GERMAN
Switzerland.

and

YES.

(Both)
SWISS GERMAN

spoken in some cantons in

It is a BILINGUAL SITUATION because BOTH CODES are used


alternatively from school age, in different functions and different contexts.
It is a DIGLOSSIC SITUATION because German happens to be
the HIGH variety, whereas SWISS GERMAN is considered as the LOW
variety.
Other instances of 1st possibility:
a. Spanish (H) and Guarani (L) in Paraguay.
b. The status of Arabic in many Arab countries, where businessmen
and the scientific community use classical, Koranic Arabic (H) AND
Vernacular Arabic (Algerian, Maroccan, etc (L) ) in specific
situations, BUT former colonial languages, such as French, is used
as HIGH variety, in professional circumstances.
c. In societies where a Creole and a standard language or acrolect coexist.

2nd Possibility
Diglossia NO Bilingualism
(Only Bilingualism)

YES

This case relates to TRANSITORY SITUATIONS where RAPID SOCIAL


CHANGES affect a speech community and, for a relatively BRIEF PERIOD
OF TIME, the languages involved LACK WELL-DEFINED SEPARATE
FUNCTIONS.
This sociolinguistic situation can take place where ONE SPEECH
COMMUNITY provides the means (capital and organization), and a
DIFFERENT SPEECH COMMUNITY provides the MANPOWER for the
PRODUCTION.
41

DEMOGRAPHIC MOVEMENT of the


manpower (MIGRATION) AND, therefore, the ADOPTION OF A
NEW LANGUAGE, as well as a set of CULTURAL VALUES AND NORMS,
THIS example entails a

that are rapidly taken over and often INTERTWINED with the previous
ones.

For a period of time, the language of work or schooling and the language of
home may intertwine, but WITHOUT A DEFINITE SEPARATION of functions
and locations.

3rd Possibility
Diglossia YES Bilingualism NO
(Only Diglossia)
It happens in societies where 2 or more languages SHARE A
GEOGRAPHIC AREA, but they are NOT INEXORABLY USED by
the speakers living in that area.

WHICH MEANS THAT:


There are at least 2 speech communities BUT they DO NOT
SHARE A CONTACT LANGUAGE. Communication is attained
by means of, for instance, INTERPRETERS.

This happens when 2 or more communities are united for FUNCTIONAL


PURPOSES because of RELIGIOUS, POLITICAL and ECONOMIC reasons,
BUT they are different SOCIALLY and CULTURALLY.
This may sound like a bilingual situation, but it is NOT; it is DIGLOSSIA.
Why?

Because LANGUAGE REPERTOIRES


are,
in
some
way,
RESTRICTED
SPECIALIZATION.

in one of both groups


due

to

ROLE

It is also characteristic that in this type of societies that most of the ELITE
and most of the MASSES lead lives DISTINGUISHED by SPECIFIC ROLE
REPERTOIRES.

An INSTANCE OF diglossia without bilingualism can be


found in India between people belonging to LOWER CASTES (Hindus)
and the HIGHER CASTES (Brahmins.)

42

4th Possibility
Disglossia NO Bilingualism
(None)

NO

It is VERY DIFFICULT TO FIND this case. Maybe it can occur in VERY


SMALL and SET APART societies. It would be the case of speech

NO DIFFERENTIATION in registers or
varieties is found, which is RATHER IMPROBABLE, given the social
communities where

dimension of language.

An INSTANCE OF this speech community could be A BAND or CLAN


with a closed number of members and with restricted social relations.

MULTILINGUALISM
A short definition:

The co-existence of more than two languages or sufficiently distant


dialects within a speech community.
Most countries in the world are multilingual (only Iceland and Portugal
are reported to be monolingual countries in Europe). There are about
5,000 living languages in the world today whereas there are about
200 countries. That gives us an idea of the complexity of the issue.
Sometimes languages EMBODY SOCIAL IDENTITIES at a supra-state level
(e.g.: the Swedish language in Finland), which can cause SOCIOPOLITICAL CONFICTS as is the case of language minorities (Welsh in
Great Britain).
The Romantic Movement in the 19th century supported nationalism and
the general conception of one nation, one language.

(MIGRATION & MULTILINGUALISM)


Migration is ANOTHER FACTOR that characterizes the CURRENT
LANGUAGE SITUATION in many parts of the world.
Example 1 (forced migration):
The African slave trade brought many speakers of African languages

into the EAST and WEST Indies and it was the reason many
PIDGINS and CREOLES were created, which had not existed
before.

43

Example 2 (forced migration):


The Soviet policy forced the migration of the Russian population
into other Soviet republics. Those rulers like, for example, in the
Baltic States, need to learn new languages, such as Estonian,
Latvian and Lithuanian.

(VOLUNTARY Migration)
Voluntary migration has determined THE LINGUISTIC
SHAPE of modern countries like the USA and to a lesser extent,
AUSTRALIA.
When,

in the 19th and 20th centuries

many people from all

nations in the world entered the US, they acquired ENGLISH and

MANY

ABANDONED
their
OWN
languages.
This
MONOLINGUAL TREND, however, has CHANGED later in the
19th century, as IMMIGRATION from SOUTH AMERICA and ASIA has
DISRUPTED the MONOLINGUAL tendency and has given
way to the development of new ethnic identities in this officially
monolingual country.

Language Contact
This chapter discusses

1. What LANGUAGE CONTACT REALLY IS,


2. Some OUTCOMES of it, that is, what

kind of situations can be

created by it, but also


3. PROBLEMS that can derive when language contact takes place.

1. Description/definition of language contact


Language contact occurs in places:
a. Where 2 or MORE languages share
a COMMON
GEOGRAPHIC CONTEXT (Brussels, for instance) or simply
b. Where one language stops being used by speakers and a
different language is used (e.g. because of the existence of
an international border).

2. Various Outcomes Of Language Contact


Possible outcome 1:
Close to INTERNATIONAL BORDERS, speakers of each of the different
languages often speak DIALECTS OF THEIR OWN LANGUAGES which are
CLOSE enough to the OTHER LANGUAGE to permit successful
44

communication. For example, people who live on the two sides of the
border between Portugal and Spain normally understand each other
without any problem. But a person who would live further away in
Portugal might not be able to understand a Spanish person who would live
away from the Spanish-Portuguese border.

Possible Outcome 2:
From a DIACHRONIC

PERSPECTIVE, a contact situation between

languages could result in THE

LOSS OF ONE

of the languages (if

they are in a power relationship), or in the MERGING of


BOTH, if both are considered to have EQUAL STATUS and
SOCIAL CONSIDERATION.
Without doubt,

LANGUAGE CONTACT
MAIN SOURCE
of

Language Evolution

And

Language Change

Over time

Possible Outcome 3:
Language contact can cause

POLITICAL CONFLICTS.

Belgium is an example of this situation. It is a BILINGUAL state,


but it contains a. WALOONS speakers of FRENCH
DIALECTS, b. FLEMISH speakers of DUTCH DIALECTS and c.
speakers of GERMAN DIALECTS.
The FRENCH GROUP, which is the predominant one, controls
ADMINISTRATION, POLITICS and ECONOMY. Presumably when it comes

prefer those who know the


predominant language, that is, French. HOWEVER, in
to

give

employment,

they

45

WEAKENED groups,
or groups REDUCED IN NUMBER, might move towards
ASSIMILATION of the dominant language and culture.
some cases, SOCIALLY or PSYCHOLOGICALLY

WHEN THOSE GROUPS ARE NUMEROUS OR, IF THEY


HAVE A SOUND CULTURAL TRADITION, THE MOST LIKELY
OUTCOME IS OPPOSITION AND RESISTANCE TO THE
DOMINANT GROUP, RESULTING IN LANGUAGE CONFLICT.
(Language Conficts)
1. NATURAL conflicts.

They have been caused by POLITICAL DECISIONS regarding MAJORITY or


MINORITY social groups.

from OPPOSITION of the


AGAINST the MAJORITY social group.
Language conflict arises

MINORITY group

Examples of NATURAL language conflicts:


CANADA, with the French-speaking community.
SPAIN, with the Basque-speaking community.

LANGUAGE conflicts are MORE INTENSE when


a. Ideological,
b. Political or
c. Religious arguments (like between Belfast - Northern Ireland - and
Connemara, to the North of Galway in Ireland),
intertwine with linguistic ones.

2. ARTIFICIAL conflicts.
These conflicts arise when a COMPROMISE is
LANGUAGE IS DISFAVORED.

attained and a

the European Union faces the problem of what


should be OFFICIAL within the EU. Until 2005, there

For example,

languages
are 25 countries in the EU and 20 languages are spoken.

decision to adopt ENGLISH, FRENCH and GERMAN


as the official working languages in the EU has RAISED
CONFLICTS with countries that also feel they deserve consideration of
The

language for international communication.


46

Unit 5
BILINGUAL EDUCATION
Bilingual education:
1. Involves BOTH a given LANGUAGE POLICY and a PEDAGOGIC
REALIZATION in a particular classroom.
2. Deals with NATIONAL or REGIONAL MATTERS.
3. Tries to ASSIMILATE MINORITIES.
4. INTEGRATE MINORITY groups.
5. Spread INTERCULTURAL UNDERSTANDING.
6. POLITICS ARE ALWAYS PRESENT IN IT, as in Canada, for
instance.

The Example of Canada


In Canada, the AIM of FRENCH IMMERSION is to give students
the OPPORTUNITY to achieve a level of bilingualism
sufficient to function well in a French-speaking
community, accept a job using French as the working language, or
take university or college education in French.

BUT ALSO, Canadian immersion programs help to PROMOTE


UNDERSTANDING between 2 main language groups and SOLVE
SOCIOPOLITICAL problems that have existed for decades and
that might otherwise bring about more serious social problems.

CONDITIONS
So that MINORITY LANGUAGES can

survive

(Baker 2002)
1. Minority languages NEED TO BE USED AT HOME and
therefore become MOTHER TONGUES of the NEW MEMBERS of the
family (Welsh, Basque).
2. They have to be PRESENT in FORMAL schooling. In
this way, the students will have WIDER LINGUISTIC TOOLS which
they will be able to use OUTSIDE their home. In Catalonia and in the
Basque country bilingual education has been successful, but not in
Ireland, where the NUMBER OF GAELIC speakers has decreased in
favor of English.

3. They

have to be PRESENT IN ECONOMIC CIRCLES,


because this guarantees that speakers will MAINTAIN THEM or
LEARN THEM for

EMPLOYMENT purposes.
47

This can explain why the number of Gaelic speakers has


decreased: because the economy of Ireland depends on Englishspeaking countries to a large extent.

4. The minority languages have


CULTURALLY valued.

to

be

SOCIALLY

and

One of the main REASONS for the DECREASE in numbers of


AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL LANGUAGES speakers was THE LACK
OF SOCIAL VALUE associated with these languages. Young people
dont find many advantages in learning the language OF THEIR OWN
ANCESTORS as they often saw that their progenitors REPRESENTED
A SOCIALLY and ECONOMICALLY DEPRIVED GROUP.

The BOTTOMLINE and the main TEACHING from all


this is the VERY GREAT IMPORTANCE OF
BILINGUAL EDUCATION AND LANGUAGE POLICY
MAKING:
The DECISIONS made regarding these issues can
eventually:

1. CAUSE LANGUAGE DEATH,


2. THE PREEMINENCE OF ONE LANGUAGE OVER ANOTHER, or
3. THE DEVELOPMENT OF BILINGUAL-BICULTURAL SOCIETIES =
which is the MOST ADVANTAGEOUS OUTCOME.

3 DIFFICULTIES
In the IMPLEMENTATION of
a well-founded LANGUAGE PLANNING POLICY
in BILINGUAL EDUCATION

(Baker 2002)
1. There is a TEMPTATION on the part of the language planner TO
GIVE PROMINENCE TO THE LANGUAGE rather than to the child.
2. Language planning for bilingual education has A LIMITED VIEW of
the FUNCTIONS and PURPOSES of education, as it often FOCUSES
ON the BENEFITS and NEEDS for the ACQUISITION of a DUALLINGUISTIC system, sometimes setting aside other social and
psychological considerations.
3. There is often UNFOUNDED OPTIMISM and TOO HIGH
EXPECTATIONS on bilingual education in revitalizing a language.
There is a RECENT TENDENCY to perceive bilingual education as very
ADVANTAGEOUS.
WHY?

48

Because of the
Because of the
Because of the
more than one

general reawakening of cultural identities.


subsequent revival of minority languages.
globalization process which creates the need to know
language.

(8) Advantages of
Bilingual Education in Modern Societies
(Baker & Jones 1993)

1. It allows the full development of the languages involved.


2. It promotes among children deeper insights into the cultures each
language represents.
3. It often results in biliteracy = more possibilities for enjoying
literature,
more
employment
opportunities
and
deeper
understanding of heritage and traditions.
4. Children are favored with some cognitive benefits when they can
speak 2 well-developed languages.
5. It may raise the childrens self-esteem, especially when the
language of home is a minority one but is studied at school.
6. Curriculum achievement is connected to bilingual education
(Canadian immersion studies suggest that.)
7. It establishes a secure identity within a particular community,
especially in minority languages.
8. It brings economic advantages as it can secure employment both in
public and private companies.

(3) DRAWBACKS
of Bilingual Education

1. Bilingual education does not guarantee effective schooling.


2. The language register used in formal education does not necessarily
correspond with the colloquial register.
3. Productive skills (speaking and writing) are sometimes not fully
developed, if the language of education is not present beyond the
school.

Language POLICY

LANGUAGE is RARELY a casual factor.

Languages DECISIONS are based on POLITICAL and ECONOMIC reasons.


Language USE and EVOLUTION often mirrors WHAT HAPPENS in society.
Language PLANNING is actually part of a LANGUAGE POLICY that a given
government adopts (example of Catalan in Francos time).

49

Language PLANNING

What does language planning CONSIST OF?

It consists of a DELIBERATE and institutionally ORGANIZED attempt:


- To change the development of a language variety, or
- To change the language itself, or
- To alter its functions in society.

need
multilingual country to IMPLEMENT a language POLICY.
Sometimes language planning can RESULT FROM the

of a

According to WARDHAUGH (2002), LANGUAGE PLANNING is a


DELIBERATE ATTEMPT to INTEFERE with the natural development of a
language. It involves HUMAN INTERVENTION in the natural process of
languages or varieties to change, spread or erode.

(History of Language Planning)


It began SEVERAL CENTURIES AGO, but the PURPOSES of
these interventions to change the NATURAL EVOLUTION of a language
WERE

NOT always HONORABLE.

In theory, language planning can be used to avoid the disappearance of a


language. BUT, sometimes it is used to

a cultural ethnic minority

REPRESS and DIMINISH

that found in their language A SIGN

OF IDENTITY.

A FEW DECADES AGO, language planning was characteristic


of DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, which often needed to make
decisions on whether to use the FORMER COLONIAL CODE or OTHER
national languages as a unifying code.

MORE RECENTLY, language planning has become


WESTERN SOCIETIES for 2 main reasons:

AN

ISSUE IN

1. In order to preserve minority languages (e.g. Irish, Welsh, Catalan,


etc.), or
2. To promote intercultural communication (e.g. English, French and
German in the EU.)
What

FACTORS can affect language planning?

Various:
a. Economic
b. Educational
c. Historical
50

d.
e.
f.
g.

Judicial
Political
Religious and
Social

THAT IS WHY language planning is

To what extent

can man
DELIBERATE manipulation?

complex.

alter

the COURSE OF A LANGUAGE by

There is NO CLEAR answer to this question, because in some


occasions political maneuvering was successful in having some languages
disappear (many Amerindian languages in North and South America) AND
YET, in other occasions political repression was UNSUCCESSFUL in
restricting language maintenance, as in the case of Catalan in Spain during
Francos regime.
Behind language planning there is a FULLY-DEVELOPED LANGUAGE
POLICY.

4 MAIN TYPES of Ideology

Behind Decisions Regarding Language Planning


1.
LINGUISTIC ASSIMILATION
anyone forming part of a society SHOULD
LEARN THE DOMINANT LANGUAGE of that society,
It considers that

regardless of their origin.

Advantage of this ideology:


It is good for the integration of minority groups.

Disadvantage:
It raises the problem of conservation and respect for minority
group identities and cultural heritage.
Examples of the disadvantage:
a. Russification in the former Soviet Union)b. Aboriginal language death in AUSTRALIA, because of the linguistic
ASSIMILATION POLICY until the 1970s to only have ENGLISH at
schools.
It was only in 1972 that a LABOR GOVERNMENT
recognized the RIGHT OF ABORIGINAL CHILDREN to become literate
in their own language before they learn English. This government
51

introduced BILINGUAL SCHOOLS which are still open today, mainly


in the Northern Territories where Aboriginal languages are mostly
spoken.

2.
LINGUISTIC PLURALISM
It implies the acceptance of various languages or varieties. It
can be centered on individual or geographical criteria.

2 examples:

An individual may be stimulated to maintain their language in the case


of a multilingual environment, where their language represents a
minority that does not identify with a specific geographical area (such as a
group of immigrants in a big city).
In the case of a multilingual state that adopts various official languages
as they are spoken in different geographical areas (French and Englishspeaking Canada; English and Afrikaans-speaking South Africa).

3.
VERNACULARIZATION
It entails the

reconstruction or renewal of a language

that

NOT USED by a wide group of speakers, but after some


changes in its linguistic features it becomes widespread and
adopted as official language.
is

Example:

Tok Pisin

in Papua New Guinea

4.
INTERNATIONALISM
PURPOSE of language planning is to adopt a
non-vernacular language for wider interethnic
communication as a political solution to an internal problem often
It is reached when the

arising from equally powerful minorities, one of them aiming at imposing


their language as the official one, or the language of education and trade for
all.
52

Example:
English in India and Singapore.

FACTORS
Affecting Language Planning
1. SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC FACTORS

The NUMBER OF LANGUAGES spoken and the NUMBER OF


SPEAKERS.
These two factors may favor of one language of the other.

2. LINGUISTIC FACTORS
For example, the DEGREE OF DEVELOPMENT of one language as
well as the existence of a LITERARY TRADITION.

3. SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS

These factors affect peoples ATTITUDE TOWARDS ONE LANGUAGE


or the other and their acceptance in a speech community.

4. POLITICAL FACTORS

They can influence the ADOPTION of a specific ALPHABET. For


example, the case of the CYRILLIC alphabet introduced in middlecentral Asia by the Russians. Also, the adoption of the Latin
alphabet in Turkey.

5. RELIGIOUS FACTORS
They are also important. An example of this is that Sudan, as a
former colony, had ENGLISH AS OFFICIAL LANGUAGE (SPOKEN BY
A MINORITY). This was CHANGED TO ARABIC, a language spoken
BY HALF OF the population, because of the stronger position of
Islam in the country. The Bible has also been translated into many
different languages.

ACTIONS
In Language Planning

What follows is 4 STARTING POINTS/STEPS language planners


traditionally follow when they do their language PLANNING.

1. SELECTION OF A NORM.
MULTILINGUAL countries NEED to DECIDE what languages will
become OFFICIAL. Sometimes, this decision is VERY DIFFICULT
53

and COMPLICATED, because RIVALRY among different language groups


may cause CONFLICTS.
Because

of

this,

sometimes

INTRODUCE a language as a
ENGLISH in GHANA and INDIA.

it

is

ABSOLUTELY

LINGUA FRANCA,

NECESSARY

to

as is the case of

ALL THESE DECISIONS ARE OBVIOUSLY BASED ON


GROUNDS.

POLITICAL

2. CODIFICATION.

IF an INDIGENOUS language is chosen as the STANDARD ONE, it may be


NECESSARY to make some CHANGES so that it can be used
for WIDER COMMUNICATION within a multilingual country.
These changes may include vocabulary, new alphabet or simply to
standardize that language which could only be found in the spoken form.

3. MODERNIZATION.

The language or languages chosen may have to be MODERNIZED WITH


SPECIFIC VOCABULARY because of technological and scientific
developments. In this case, a DECISION needs to be made whether to
ADOPT LOAN WORDS or to COIN NEW TERMS.
Many times, technology is developed so fast that there is not even time,
really, to coin terms, so loan words are adopted.

4. IMPLEMENTATION.

The chosen language needs to be OFFICIALLY IMPLEMENTED and USED


in:
EDUCATION
PARLIAMENT
MEDIA, etc.
This is the way this language will become
used in LITERARY and ACADEMIC circles.

PRESTIGIOUS,

also

As it becomes more and more prestigious and acknowledged, IT


WILL SPREAD AS THE NORM. Finally, its presence in DICTIONARIES,
GRAMMARS and LITERARY WORKS will consolidate its status as the norm.

54

AIMS
In Language Planning
What follows is

NAHIRS (2003) 11 language planning

GOALS

which can be combined to handle the language-related problems


and needs of speech communities.
His classification describes the FUNCTIONS OR GOALS they have sought
UNTIL NOW in response to their LANGUAGE-RELATED NEEDS
(communicative, political, social, economic, religious etc).
These needs and aspirations ARE LIKELY TO CHANGE in the course of
time.

1. LANGUAGE PURIFICATION
2 types:
1.a. EXTERNAL Purification
There are

This consists of the development of PRESCRIPTIONS of USAGE in order to


PROTECT the language from unwanted foreign influence by means, for
example, of a LANGUAGE ACADEMY.

Some of the ACTIONS


purification are:
-

TAKEN

for

EXTERNAL

The creation of prescriptive grammars and dictionaries,


because they contain the normalized use of the language following
the criteria set out by the Academy.
Particularly notorious in this respect is the CONTROL over FOREIGN
LEXICAL BORROWINGS. If there is an indigenous word for the same
concept, a PURIST POINT of view is adopted.

1.b. INTERNAL Purification

It is the acceptance of the CODE as it exists at a certain point in history,


PROTECTING it from undesirable developments which are considered as
non-normative (incorrect) or simply as deviations from the standard.
The generation of these NORMATIVE POLICIES and their enforcement are
tasks actively undertaken by LANGUAGE ACADEMIES.

55

LANGUAGE REVIVAL

2.
It is an

ATTEMPT to revitalize a language

with a small

number of speakers (e.g. Irish and Welsh), or EVEN a COMPLETELY


DEAD language (e.g. Hebrew and Cornish), and turn it INTO a means of
communication for a speech community.
Some instances of this phenomenon has been since the MIDDLE OF THE
19TH CENTURY. They go together with general support for NATIONAL
IDENTITY which entails the ADOPTION and STANDARDIZATION of a
national language.

3.

LANGUAGE REFORM

Incorporation of SPECIFIC CHANGES in the language


(e.g. spelling, grammar, etc) as an attempt to FACILITATE ITS USE or
to INTERNATIONALIZE the language. However, it also depends on
POLITICAL, IDEOLOGICAL, RELIGIOUS or ECONOMICAL factors.

INSTANCES

OF LANGUAGE REFORM can be found in many


languages since the beginning of the 19th century (e.g. Icelandic, German,
Greek, Spanish etc), but THE MOST representative is

4.

TURKISH.

LANGUAGE STANDARDIZATION

To ADOPT a language or variety of language AS THE MAJOR


LANGUAGE of a region or nation for
WIDER
COMMUNICATION with official, educational, commercial or other
functions.

5.

LANGUAGE SPREAD

to INCREASE THE NUMBER OF


SPEAKERS of a particular language, normally at the expense
It involves an attempt

of another language or languages.

Language SHIFT is often done for POLITICAL


REASONS, like in FORMER COLONIAL TERRITORIES that became
independent states during the 19th century.
56

6.

LANGUAGE MODERNIZATION

The adaptation of existing vocabulary or the creation of a new one to


assist standard languages that may have borrowed foreign
vocabulary too fast to accommodate it to their orthography,
pronunciation etc.
NAHIR dinstinguishes 2 trends in terminological work:
1. As part of either the process of codification

or
implementation of languages seeking revival (Hebrew)
or reform (Turkish) that involves developing previously unwritten
languages and aims at bridging the gap between them and modern
knowledge and technology.

2. As part of
have

a process of modernization of standard languages that

borrowed

concepts

and

terms

having a

UNPREPARED FOR THOSE CHANGES.


LEXICAL MODERNIZATION

LEXICON

is applied in MANY countries

around the world (Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Israel,


Hungary, France, Vietnam, India etc.) and is an EFFECT OF

GLOBALIZATION

with the resulting INCREASE in CONCEPT


borrowing from leading international languages such as English.

7.

TERMINOLOGY UNIFICATION

It takes place when it is necessary to ESTABLISH UNIFIED


TERMINOLOGIES, mainly technological and scientific ones, in order to
diminish AMBIGUITY.

8.

STYLISTIC SIMPLIFICATION

to be simpler in order to
reduce COMMUNICATION AMBIGUITY between 2 groups, for
It is found when a language use needs

instance, professionals and bureaucrats on the one hand, and ORDINARY


PEOPLE on the other.

57

9. INTERLINGUAL COMMUNICATION
ADOPTION of the language of WIDER
COMMUNICATION with the intention of FACILITATING
It implies the

communication between members of different speech communities.

This lingua franca can take the form of an AUXILIARY or ARTIFICIAL


language, such as Esperanto. English is frequently used these days as a
lingua franca in different parts of the world.
What is another way in which interlingual communication can be
achieved? Its by improving MUTUAL INTELLIGIBILITY between speakers
of cognate languages. This can be accomplished by STANDARDIZING the
various linguistic codes in order to minimize differences.

10.

LANGUAGE MAINTENANCE

in the PRESERVATION of a groups NATIVE


LANGUAGE when political, social, economic, educational or any other
It consists

pressures threaten its further existence by causing a decline in status or


in the number of speakers.
Language maintenance can be done at

2 LEVELS:

a. With the AIM of preserving a widely


unwanted foreign influence.

spoken language

from

b. As a protection of a minority ethnic language whose


acquisition and use needs to be encouraged by means of social,
educational and political arrangements.
For example, in New Zealand, speakers of Aboriginal languages look
down on their own language comparing it with English, which
discourages them from taking their ANCESTORS AS MODELS and
from maintaining the use of their own languages.

11.

AUXILIARY-CODE STANDARDIZATION

This entails the MODIFICATION of AUXILIARY


ASPECTS of the language (signs for the deaf, place names, rules
of transcription, etc) to LESSEN AMBIGUITY or to SATISFY
changing SOCIAL, POLITICAL or other recent needs.
58

Changing place names can serve the functions of terminology unification or


stylistic simplification, but most often they just take place when a given
political party is in power.

INDIVIDUAL

LANGUAGE PLANNING
On some occasions language planning DOES NOT NEED to be a
GOVERNMENT initiative.

INDIVIDUALS.

It can be THE VENTURE OF

A good example of INDIVIDUAL LANGUAGE PLANNING is the case of

Norway.
TODAY, there are

2 OFFICIAL FORMS of Norwegian:

Bokml (BOOK LANGUAGE) and


Nynorsk (NEW NORWEGIAN).

Bokml
Riksml (NATIONAL LANGUAGE) and Danowas influenced by Danish which was the dominant

It is also called

Norwegian. It
language while Norway was under Danish rule (1397-1814).

Nynorsk
Landsml (COUNTRY LANGUAGE).
on RURAL DIALECTS uninfluenced by Danish.
Also known as

It is based

By the middle of the 19th century, some attempts were made to create a

purely Norwegian language.

ON THE ONE HAND, Knud Knudsen undertook a REVISION


of WRITTEN DANISH with the aim of INCORPORATING
colloquial oral forms coming from NORWEGIAN DIALECTS.
ON THE OTHER HAND,

another group of specialists led by the

Norwegian philologist and lexicographer

Norwegian language

Ivar Aasen,

tried to

forge a

conceived from A COMPREHENSIVE STUDY


59

THE DIALECTS SPOKEN ALL OVER THE COUNTRY


and which were at times very dissimilar due to geographic
OF

ISOLATION.
The

result of the efforts of Aasens group

was A LANGUAGE

CALLED Landsml (the language of the country), currently known


as NYNORSK.

FOR SOME TIME, NYNORSK WAS


NORWEGIANS AS RUSTIC AND VULGAR.
This situation has changed, as

recognition in 1885

PERCEIVED

BY

Nynorsk received official

by the Parliament itself.

1930 A LAW was passed in the Parliament which stated that official
documents had to use BOTH varieties.
In

NOWADAYS, from the 8th level of primary onwards, BOTH


VARIETIES ARE COMPULSORY, one as the main language and

another as secondary language, ACCORDING TO THE STUDENTS

CHOICE.
Both varieties are employed by the government, the schools
and the mass media, ALTHOUGH BOKML IS STILL THE
MOST WIDELY USED.
Also, BOKML is more used in URBAN AREAS, whereas
NYNORSK is mainly used in WESTERN RURAL AREAS and
cities in THE WEST, like BERGEN.
These two varieties are PERFECTLY INTELLIGIBLE, so they
dont need to be used exclusively within a minority group.

MINORITY LANGUAGES
IMPORTANT DECISIONS

policy makers in multilingual nations

need to make:

1. Choice of an OFFICIAL LANGUAGE, which can be problematic if


there are different ethnic groups in the same country.
60

2. Decisions regarding INSTRUCTION IN SCHOOLS.

This will not


only determine the general ATTITUDE towards a language, but also the
point of view of COMING generations.
3. There is a NEED to decide on the STANDARDIZATION
PROCEDURES, such as the choice of an alphabet or a given variety,
ESPECIALLY IN THE CASE OF languages having SCRIPTS different to
the ones of currently internationalized languages.

IMPLEMENTATION of multilingual policies in


multilingual states is a RESULT OF the SOCIOLINGUISTICS
DEMANDS of modern societies and can have 3 POSSIBLE
OUTCOMES, which determine the DEGREE OF SUCCESS or FAILURE
The

of a specific language policy:

A.

LANGUAGE MAINTENANCE

Political decisions may determine


language.

B.

the SURVIVAL

of a specific

BILINGUALISM

One of the MOST DESIRABLE OUTCOMES in a PROLONGED CONTACT of


LANGUAGE GROUPS. It guarantees the SURVIVAL of the languages and
seems to be the best way for multicultural and/or multiethnic societies to
reach a COMMON GROUND on linguistic and sociopolitical fields.

LANGUAGE SHIFT

would NOT entail


one of the more desirable outcomes, BECAUSE it can give
This is another POSSIBLE DEVELOPMENT and it
way to LANGUAGE LOSS.

HOWEVER, IT IS ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY TO UNDERSTAND


THAT LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT DOES NOT DEPEND ONLY ON
LANGUAGE

POLICY

DECISIONS

SOCIOCULTURAL FORCES.

BUT

ALSO

ON

MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, THE SPREAD OF A LANGUAGE IN


TERMS OF NUMBERS OF SPEAKERS TAKES PLACE AT THE

EXPENSE
OF
LANGUAGES.

ANOTHER

61

OR

OTHER

PAULSON (1994-1999) asserts that ethnic groups within a modern nationstate usually shift to the language spoken by the pre-eminent group.

LANGUAGE SHIFT
IN

Minority Languages
small group migration
in a QUICK LANGUAGE SHIFT.
Voluntary individuals OR

typically results

Large group migration tends to help in maintaining SOCIAL


and LINGUISTIC HALLMARKS. This is the case of SWEDISH
IN FINLAND and of FRENCH in CANADA. In these countries, a MINORITY
ETHNIC GROUP in demographic decay USES ITS LANGUAGE as a SIGN OF
cultural and social identity. This happens because these ethnic groups
have a very STRONG SENSE OF IDENTITY.

In any case, as years go by, the minority languages TEND TO


DECREASE in numbers of speakers. Speakers eventually SHIFT TO THE
DOMINANT LANGUAGE, although this process may take generations. An

example of this shift can be observed in AUSTRALIA,

where Aboriginal speech communities SHRINK and new generations follow


the DOMINANT LANGUAGE AND CULTURE because they know that in this
way they have many SOCIAL, EDUCATIONAL AND ECONOMIC
ADVANTAGES.
After that, the professor gives us the example of the language shift in the

why
the Greeks in Pittsburg SHIFT OVER A FOUR
GENERATION SPAN, compared with the three generation shift of
U.S.A. among the Greeks and the Italians and has Paulston explain

the Italians.

Sometimes LANGUAGES CAN BE MAINTAINED due to:


a.
b.
c.

SELF-IMPOSED BARRIERS, (because of IDEOLOGICAL


or RELIGIOUS constraints),
EXTERNALLY IMPOSED BARRIERS (because of some kind
of GEOGRAPHIC ISOLATION), or
A DIGLOSSIC SITUATION where 2 or more languages are
used for different FUNCTIONAL PURPOSES.

62

Language planning does not only attempt to solve language-related


problems. Language planning is also a systematic setting of

goals regarding social and linguistic aspects in modern


societies, and the pursuing of goals and means that will determine the
future of national and foreign languages in a given country.

Some Particular
SOCIOLINGUISTIC SITUATIONS

India
1947:

India gains its independence from the English colonial rule.


The FEDERAL GOVERNMENT establishes a LANGUAGE POLICY.
English would be SUBSTITUTED by HINDI as the official language .
REGIONAL languages in each state would gain OFFICIAL
recognition. All this was acknowledged in the nations constitution.

1950:

India recognized

15 MAJOR languages:

4
11

LITERARY

languages belonging to the DRAVIDIAN group, and


LITERARY
languages from the INDO-ARYAN group (in 1992, 3 more languages were
added to this list.)
In order to implement this language policy, a NUMBER OF ACTIONS were
undertaken: translations, new dictionaries, encyclopaedias, new typewriters

But this language planning did NOT succeed and 2


DECADES LATER ENGLISH was reintroduced and adopted as the
SECOND OFFICIAL language in India (it was actually called
etc.

ASSOCIATE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE.)

1956:

LINGUISTIC STATES were formed. MOST OF THEM chose the


MAJORITY LANGUAGE as official language in the state. The
exception was the region of the NORTHEASTERN HILL STATES where
there seems NOT TO BE a DOMINANT language.

NOWADAYS: MULTILINGUALISM

is encouraged in India.

Many

children learn:
- English (at school)
- Hindi (at school too, in the DEVANAGARI script in school, which is
the OFFICIAL LANGUAGE of the country)
- Their mother tongue (spoken at home), and
63

The STATE official language.

TODAY:

there are SERIOUS PROBLEMS regarding the spread of


Hindi throughout the country BECAUSE OF the LITERARY
NATURE OF HINDI and its DIFFERENCES FROM other local and regional
varieties.

ALL THIS RESULTS IN MULTILINGUALISM.


AT THE MOMENT

The CENTRAL GOVERNMENT in India (New Delhi) deal with all types
of issues related to INTERNATIONAL POLICY and the common
interests of Indian people.
The STATE GOVERNMENT looks after LOCAL and REGIONAL

CONCERNS and especially in the SOUTH, the language used in


NEITHER HINDI NOR ENGLISH, BUT a

local language.

FOR YEARS

there has been an attempt to introduce A THREE


LANGUAGE FORMULA in schools aiming at providing every high-

2 modern Indian languages


(one of them being Hindi) and English, BUT THIS
ENDEAVOR HAS PROVED UNSUCCESSFUL. English has
spread everywhere and is the language preferred in UNIVERSITIES,
school student with a command of

IN PUBLICATION IN LEARNED JOURNALS, IN HIGHER COURTS,


PARLIAMENTARY DEBATE, INDUSTRY, ECONOMIC TRANSACTIONS AND
INTERNATIONAL TRADE.

New Zealand
(The Case of Maori)
Almost all Maoris in New Zealand speak ENGLISH and a large
proportion of the young people are BILINGUAL.
HOWEVER, many
youngsters, especially in cities, DO NOT SPEAK MAORI

ANYMORE.
Maori is ENDANGERED for several reasons:
1. English is the language of EDUCATION.
2. Maori is spoken more in RURAL AREAS and people prefer to live in
cities.

64

1999:

in that year the population of FLUENT MAORI SPEAKERS


was about 35.000, which is around 8% of the total Maori
population in New Zealand.

From the LATE 1960s

measures were taken with the aim of


reintroducing Maori in primary schools as well as in universities.
These measures had LITTLE SUCCESS BECAUSE OF the LOW
STATUS given to their language and the LACK OF RECOGNITION of
Maori as a national official language.

LATE 1990s:

the BILINGUAL Maori and English-speaking


population consisted MAINLY of an age group OVER 60 whose
descendants DID NOT SPEAK MAORI as a mother tongue.
The
generation bearing children did not speak, by and large, Maori
as a mother tongue and that is why they could not teach it to their
children.

THE MAORI LANGUAGE SEEMED TO DISAPPEAR IN


NEW ZEALAND.
The situation started to change thanks to an
INNOVATIVE EDUCATION MOVEMENT which began at
PRE-SCHOOL LEVEL in the EARLY 1980s with an imaginative

involved grandparents as a fundamental component in


the education of their grandchildren. In 1999, over 700 KOHANGA
(preschool language nests) instructed MORE THAN 12.000 children
in the language of their ancestors passing on the LANGUAGE,
THE CULTURE and the TRADITIONS of the Maoris
directly from their GRANDPARENTS, using Maor as the
idea which

only language of teaching and conversation.

NOWADAYS,

THE LANGUAGE AND CUSTOMS OF THE NEW

ZEALAND ABORIGINES

SEEM TO HAVE A FUTURE.

THE
LACK OF government SUPPORT or BILINGUAL
PROGRAMS meant that children coming from Kohanga were NOT
able to maintain their Maori language. Finally, a Maori-speaking
In spite of these efforts to maintain the Maori culture and language,

assistant was included in schools, but this was NOT sufficient to guarantee
CONTINUED MAORI LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT.
65

Kura Kaupapa Maori (KMM)

A self-determined group of parents took the INITIATIVE and established the


KKM, an IMMERSION MOVEMENT that settled some

immersion schools

independent

in order to let their children develop their

KKM has CLAIMED both


governmental recognition and funding, but has only gained partial
support.
language skills AFTER THE KOHANGA.

KKM ONLY employs and trains FLUENT SPEAKERS of


Maori and ONLY accepts children coming from the
Kohanga and also DEMANDS ACTIVE PARENTAL
INVOLVEMENT to speak Maori at home. In this way, very few Maori
speaking children can have access to this type of education without further
governmental support.

Canada
1982: It was the year in which Canada became a
CONSTITUTIONALLY BILINGUAL COUNTRY. By this
constitution, the ENGLISH RIGHTS in QUEBEC were PROTECTED as
much as the French rights outside Quebec.

However, the FRENCH RIGHTS WERE REVOKED in the new province of


Manitoba and the French-speaking population saw themselves
circumscribed to the province of Quebec, which is ruled by the Englishspeaking Montreal.
THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION gave way to FREQUENT

political tensions

social and

in that part of Canada and language is perceived

as a sign of identity and cultural heritage that unifies

Canadians

French

which represent approximately a 30% of the total


Canadian population, around 80% of them living in Quebec.

BILINGUALISM

in the 2 official languages is mainly found in the


population of French origin in the East of the country such as

MONTREAL, SHERBROOKE and OTTAWA.

66

NOWADAYS, the actions to RESTRAIN the use of English in Quebec


have been BANNED. At the same time, some legislation in Manitoba
that denied francophone rights has been MOFIDIED.
IN SPITE OF ALL THIS, THE FRENCH-ENGLISH
DIVISION AND DEBATE IS STILL PRESENT.
2 things to be taken into account in the case of
Canada:
1. Canada has some Aboriginal communities with their
indigenous languages.

Canada is a country of immigrants, especially in big


cities, with a considerable number of people speaking Spanish,
Italian, German, Portuguese etc., as their mother tongue.

2.

The French-English controversy is becoming territorially based, but at the


same time, actions are being undertaken to HELP SOLVE THE PROBLEM.

EXAMPLES
bilingual education programs

Of
bilingual and bicultural society in Canada.

that aim at developing a

FRENCH IMMERSION
It began 45 years ago in 1965 with an experiment carried
out in Montreal. A group of English-speaking parents
initiated a bilingual immersion programme with their children
in kindergarten (FRENCH AS A SECOND LANGUAGE). The final objective
was

to attain HIGH PROFICIENCY in FRENCH.

In this programme, monolingual English-speaking children were instructed


in French from the very first day in kindergarten and later, in grade 2,
they would start to develop L1 literacy skills.
Later on, by grade 6, half of the curriculum would be taught in English and
half in French.
A bit later, MID-IMMERSION and LATE-IMMERSION
programmes were also developed. The aim of these is for children to
reach a level of bilingualism and eventually of biculturalism by secondary
school education so they can work in a French-speaking community or/and
to attend university.
67

FRENCH IMMERSION is a general term. It is a programme in which


FRENCH is used as a MEANS OF COMMUNICATION within the classroom
with THE AIM of acquiring a HIGH LEVEL of proficiency in speaking,
listening and literacy skills.

1.

3 TYPES of immersion programmes:


EARLY immersion. It is offered from

2.

DELAYED or INTERMEDIATE

There are

the earliest years of


schooling (kindergarden, grades 1 or 2) and represents THE MOST
FREQUENT type of immersion.
immersion. It is offered

LATER, in grade 4.

3.

LATE

immersion, offered in grades 6, 7 or later.

There is another classification:


1.

TOTAL immersion, when ALL SUBJECTS are taught in the second


language.

2.

PARTIAL

immersion, when the second language is used only half


the school day.

In Canada no English immersion programmes have been made.

Characteristics
of Prototypical IMMERSION PROGRAMMES
(Swain and Johson 1997)
1. The L2 is used as a medium of instruction.
2. The immersion curriculum is analogous to

the one used with


students not included in an immersion programme.

3. The L1 receives obvious support as an essential component of


the curriculum.
4.

Additive bilingualism constitutes the chief aim of the


programme. This principle entails that at the end of the programme
students L1 proficiency should be comparable to those who have
studied through their L1.

5. L2

exposure is by and large restricted to the classroom

context.

6.

All students join the programme with similar levels of L2


proficiency.

7. Teachers are bilingual in the students L1 and the L2 medium


of instruction.
68

8.

The classroom culture of a prototypical immersion


programme is that of the local L1 community instead of that of
the culture of the L1, i.eg., where that language is used as an L1.

European Union
Language Policy & Planning
EU there are many languages and many cultures and this
can normally be a BARRIER OF COMMUNICATION. Therefore, there is
a NEED to convert this rich European HERITAGE in a source of
MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING.
In the

A better knowledge of European modern languages will facilitate


communication and interaction among Europeans and will promote
ability and mutual understanding.

THE AIM of a particular language planning


UNIFY MILLIONS OF EUROPEANS
economical administration.

within the EU

is TO

under a political and


For this, it is necessary to find a COMMON

GROUND for interaction

without losing either cultural and

linguistic identity.

25 countries in
the EU with 22 different official languages out of which only 3
were considered WORKING LANGUAGES: English, French
and German.
At the time the Professor wrote the manual, there were

Only Portugal can be considered officially monolingual.


At the time the manual was being written, there was a plan to broaden EU
with new countries, and therefore new languages and cultures. THIS
EXHIBITS THE NEED to develop a common EU language policy.
Trimm mentions that a MAJOR PROBLEM regarding LANGUAGE
LEARNING and LANGUAGE PLANNING is the lack of an organic unit to
take responsibility for it.
He adds that there is NO longitudinal unity as responsibilities change with
the transfer of children from elementary school to high school and the
university and DIFFERENT AGENCIES may be involved in the setting of
curricular guidelines, teaching materials and assessment.
69

Policy makers have established SOME GUIDELINES


promote the use
communication.

of

international

They have also undertaken


maintenance of minority languages.

languages

for

to
intercultural

SOME ACTIONS

for

the

Important DOCUMENTS:

The European Charter for Minority or Regional Languages.


The CE Framework Convention for the Protection of National
Minorities.
The Oslo Recommendations regarding the Linguistic Rights of
National Minorities within the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
The Hague Recommendations Regarding the Education Rights of
National Minorities.

The EU has taken some ACTION regarding the


SECOND/FOREIGN language teaching and learning
within the member states. In a White Paper published in 1995 it is stated

GENERAL OBJECTIVE is that everyone should


gain proficiency in 2 languages apart from their mother
that a

tongue.

PROGRAMMES

developed for the


STUDENTS and TEACHERS in order to:
-

EXCHANGE

OF

Favor the learning of other EU languages,


To aid teacher training,
To encourage awareness-raising, and
To promote the cultural exchange among different educational
systems,

ARE:
-

Socrates (including Erasmus, Lingua and Socrates)


Leonardo (exchange programs in the vocational field) and
Tempus (for the development of higher educational systems.)

Common European Framework of Reference for


Languages is a document that provides a practical tool for establishing
The

certain standards at successive stages of learning and evaluating language


knowledge. It aims at providing the basis for setting common
standards within the EU at an international level and provides the
basis for the mutual recognition of language qualifications within the EU,
therefore facilitating educational and occupational mobility.
70

The Framework describes:


The completeness necessary for communication.
The related knowledge and skills.
The situations and domains of communication.

The Role of English


English has SPREAD widely ALL OVER THE WORLD,
a. Because of the influence of the British Empire, and
b. Due to the preeminence of North American culture in the world.

English has advanced as an international language

especially after the WWII, leaving behind other preeminent languages such
as French.

English is now used by MILLIONS of speakers


number of communicative functions across Europe.

for a

Hoffmann (2000) has talked about BILINGUALISM WITH ENGLISH,


because of the always increasing popularity of English across the globe.
Hoffmann also refers to the many purposes to the use of English INSIDE
and OUTSIDE the EU:
- It has become one of the preferred languages in
a. International business,
b. EU institutions.
- It is the language chosen for academic discussion
- Most scholars face the need to read and publish in English for
international diffusion.
- It influences other European languages, mostly in technical terms
(lexical borrowings).

English seems to have been adopted as the language


of globalization these days, therefore, proficiency in English is

seen as a desirable goal for youngsters and elderly people in all EU


countries and in many parts of the world.

The Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights


It is a document made and approved in 1996 by a world-wide
representation of non-governmental organizations with the support of
UNESCO in Barcelona, Spain.
71

Its MAIN AIM:


-

To turn the worlds attention to the problems arising

globalized world
-

To preserve everyones

from a

with greater movements of people.

right to a language identity.

52 articles and what follows is some of


GENERAL PRINCIPLES the document tries to establish:
It contains

its the

1. It

safeguards the PERSONAL RIGHTS to adhere to a linguistic


identity and to develop ones own culture.
2. It considers that all language communities are EQUAL and merit
OFFICIAL RECOGNITION in all kinds of social, political and
economic respects.
3. It is ESPECIALLY CONCERNED about the role that EDUCATION
plays in the maintenance and spread of a language and
accordingly it states that education must help maintain and develop
the language spoken by the language community. In addition to this,

it encourages the most extensive possible command of


any other language they may wish to know.

4. IT

CLAIMS THE RIGHT TO USE PROPER NAMES AND PLACE


NAMES IN THE LANGUAGE SPECIFIC TO THE TERRITORY, BOTH
ORALLY AND IN WRITING.
5. It supports the right to decide the extent to which a minority
language should be present in the media in a given territory, and
to receive a thorough knowledge of its cultural heritage through it.
6. It declares the right to preserve their linguistic and cultural
heritage.
7. It watches over the right to use the language in all socioeconomic
activities and to have full legal validity.

Brumfits CRITISISM of UDLR:


a. That little account is taken of the language rights of individuals.
b. The definition of language community is restrictive.
c. Lack of references in the document to the situation in countries
where a language is used to avoid giving one language a priority
over the others, which could eventually give rise to a number of
conflicts.

72

Unit 6
Sociolinguistics
&

Language Teaching/Learning
Common CONCERNS
1.
2.
3.
4.

The
The
The
The

of language teaching & language learning:


role of English in the world (as L1, L2 or foreign language).
contexts in which English is acquired.
way it interacts with other languages.
norms that determine the use of English.

What does COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE do?


It shapes the ability to interact successfully in any speech community.
Acquiring or learning

SOCIOLINGUISTIC RULES when we acquire


is extremely important and is part of our

or learn a language
communicative competence.

MOTHER TONGUE
sociolinguistic rules NATURALLY, from his CHILDHOOD.
The

language

learner

of

acquires

The language learner of a SECOND LANGUAGE will have


innumerable occasions to acquire/learn the sociolinguistic rules

THROUGH INTERACTION AND CLOSE CONTACT

with

native speakers of the language.

However, in case of learning a FOREIGN LANGUAGE, there


come the ISSUES of:
Whether sociolinguistic rules can or should be taught in a
classroom or whether the learner will find out about them in
due course.
The motivation and purpose of learning the language, that is, if
as a Language of Wider Communication it is to be learned for
use in an English-speaking community or with other non-native
speakers of that language.

How much attention has been given to supplying learners with


sociolinguistic information when they learn a foreign language?
73

For many years NO ATTENTION was given to this issue.


In the last few decades there is A GROWING CONCERN
to give sociolinguistic information to learners of a foreign language.

Nowadays,

it is
language instruction.

MORE OFTEN INCLUDED

in classroom

The inclusion of sociolinguistic information in teaching materials is good


but cannot be trusted 100%. Because, for example, in the case of English,
there are many countries and speech communities and each one of them
has its own sociolinguistic rules not to mention the individual rules each
native speaker of a language has. So, we have to bear this in mind when
we read about social conventions in language teaching materials.

2 ASPECTS to be taken into account:

a. Whose rules of speaking we want to include in the teaching


materials.
b. To what extent we can generalize them to the point of using
them in L2 instruction.

Conclusions

The best way to learn sociolinguistic rules in order to be


communicatively competent is to INTERACT with NATIVE
SPEAKERS or PROFICIENT SPEAKERS of the language.
Especially in case of autonomous learners, it must be taken into
consideration that nowadays, the extensive development of new
technologies in language learning (PC programs, on-line learning
etc) and technological development (cable TV, DVDs with original
soundtrack
etc)
PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN

SOCIOCULTURAL DEVELOPMENT.

COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE
In Language Teaching/Learning
Communicative Competence:
Comprises VARIOUS types of knowledge and skills, such as:
Linguistic
Sociolinguistic
Pragmatic.
Is needed for successful interaction among members of the same
speech community.
In this unit it is analyzed FROM THE POINT OF VIEW OF
FOREIGN/SECOND language learning.
74

Linguistic Competence
Sociolinguistic
Competence

LINGUISTIC COMPETENCES:
Refer to the knowledge of lexical, phonological and syntactical
elements and other dimensions of language, such as sociolinguistic
and pragmatic knowledge.
Comprise the knowledge of vocabulary, pronunciation rules, syntactic
patterns and the cognitive organization and storage of this knowledge
in the brain of the language learner.
Vary from one learner to another, depending on various factors such
as the:
The number of years spent learning the language,
The rate of learning,
The age when contact with the second language,
The learners motivation,
The learning context
Etc

BUT language is a SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR

and is more than

just a knowledge of the linguistic system.

SOCIOLINGUISTIC COMPETENCES:
Are concerned with the SOCIAL and CULTURAL conditions for the
use of language and the SOCIAL CONVENTIONS that rule language
use in a specific speech community, such as norms regarding:
Politeness
Relations between sexes
Relations between different social classes
Social groups
Generations
Different registers
Etc
Are normally acquired AFTER some degree of linguistic competence
has been attained.
Are not always present in the case of foreign language curriculum
and if they are, they not considered important.
Normally, LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF SOCIOLINGUISTIC RULES and
behavior may result in communication breakdown.

75

HIGHER the linguistic COMPETENCE, the MORE will


be EXPECTED.
Also, the

PRAGMATIC COMPETENCES:
Refer to the functional use of linguistic resources, such as:
Language functions
Speech acts in interaction
Also concern themselves with the language learners mastery of
discourse markers,
cohesion and
coherence and
the recognition of text types
the presence of irony and
politeness
etc.

Sociolinguistic Behavior:
Rules of Speaking
1. Address of Behavior
The way people address each other is

sociolinguistic research

a recurrent topic in

because they are common in discourse


and very easily observed. When one person speaks to another, they have
many options they can use to refer to the addressee. These forms
vary depending on the social conventions.

WOLFSON and MANES studied the


maam in the United States and found

use of the address form

out that it has different


meanings in the South of the United States than it has in other parts of
the country. They observed that the term maam was used instead of

the formulas I beg your pardon? or Pardon, that is, to


indicate that you had not heard what your female intercolutor had just said
or to request further explanation.

Yes, maam is used as a response


Thank you, with the meaning of You are welcome.
Also, the expression

to

In the same study they also noticed that the form maam not only had
different meanings in the South of the United States, but it was also used
in different contexts.
76

IN THE NORTH, it tended to be used BETWEEN STRANGERS, whereas IN


THE SOUTH it was used not only to strangers but
ACQUAINTANCES and FRIENDS.

ALSO

to

Different languages offer different possibilities and different degrees of


formality and social distance. This is, actually, a frequent mistake made
by language learners, that is, they violate sociolinguistic rules of how to
address the interlocutor.
The Professor mentions the

t and Usted

Sie and du

German case, and the

in Spanish, but he also indicates that Asian


languages are more elaborate in how to keep social distance when they
address the interlocutor.

2. Calling on the Phone


The way people ANSWER THE PHONE or start a telephone conversation is
different from language to language and from culture to culture.

Examples:

IN THE STATES, a phone call will probably begin with the caller
apologizing to the person answering the phone, especially if it is a time of
the day when the caller may be busy or may be disturbed.
IN FRANCE, it is the same and even more probable for the person calling to
apologize. Also, in France, callers are very likely to identify themselves and
to check that they are calling to the right number.
IN ENGLAND, this apology takes place amongst some groups and social
classes.
IN GERMANY, the first thing the person who answers the phone says is
their first and last name, although they are not asked to do so.
All these rules may be changing because of the mobile phone technology,
for instance, which lets the one who answers know who is calling them.

77

Sociolinguistic Perspectives
On Language Use
In Immersion Classrooms
Most of the time, bilingual education and immersion programs do help in
developing proficiency in the second language for students that will need it
for one reason or the other, BUT the DEGREE OF SUCCESS depends on a
NUMBER OF EXTERNAL FACTORS, such as:
The special sociopolitical situation,
A variation in the teaching resources,
The extent of immersion,
The status of the L2 outside the classroom,
Etc.
Extensive research has been done on CANADIAN IMMERSION in the last
decades to find out about the SHORTCOMINGS in their implementation, as
well as the level of proficiency attained by the students when they graduate.

PROBLEMS Of Immersion Classrooms


A DIGLOSSIC situation can easily develop. Which
means that the LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION or
SUPERordinate language ACTS AS THE FORMAL
LANGUAGE VARIETY used with the teacher and for
academic purposes and THE L1 is used for INFORMAL
SPEECH AND SOCIAL INTERACTION with other classmates and
acts as the SUBordinate language or vernacular, used for peer
interaction.

MAIN DIFFERENCE

between Diglossia in immersion classrooms


and Diglossia in a speech community:

The former is NOT STABLE.

These special speech


communities in classroom immersion CHANGE OVER TIME due to aspects
such as COGNITIVE, SOCIAL or PERSONAL factors affecting this peculiar
speech community. For example, they change as they become grownups
and their social and cognitive resources become mature.
DIFFICULTY when a person learns a LANGUAGE WIDELY SPOKEN IN THE
WORLD, for example, English or Spanish: sociolinguistic rules MAY VARY
from one place to the other. This changes when a language is used
as a LINGUA FRANCA or LWC because a language for
78

INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION is not the native language for any of


the speakers and therefore NOT culturally BOUND.

ANOTHER ASPECT

of

language

learning

closely

related

to

sociolinguistics is that of DIALECT. In English, for instance, there


are many dialects and varieties spoken in the world. Needless to say that
SOME VARIETIES have MORE PRESTIGE THAN OTHERS and this can
determine the variety or varieties that a given institution tries to teach
or a language learner wants to learn = which leads us to the

conclusion

that when a language is taught, explicitly or implicitly


some decisions are made regarding, for example, the variety of the language
which is going to be taught.

Analysis of the EFL*


Classroom Language
*English as a Foreign Language
Classroom language is organized and purposive in
constrast to casual conversation. In classroom language TURNTAKING is organized.
Classroom language is an

interaction

UNUSUAL form of spoken

that often has nothing to do with REAL or GENERAL


ENGLISH. Which means that:
IDIOMATIC language or COMPLEX SYNTAX or SPECIFIC
VOCABULARY such as

classroom.
Classroom

language

SLANG
is

also

is

not always part of the

part

ENCOUNTER. One of the


direction of the dialogue
TEACHER TALK.

ASYMMETRIC
participants controls the
of

an

and therefore makes use of

Teacher Talk is a VARIETY OF LANGUAGE sometimes used by


teachers when they are in the process of teaching, which differs in
some ways such as:
HIGHER PITCH,
more careful INTONATION
more careful ENUNCIATION,
SHORTER SENTENCES,
more frequent REPETITIONS and
more QUESTIONS
79

than usual in colloquial speech.


The teacher is the ADDRESSEE, the knowledge transmitter and that is
why, traditionally, ALL DESKS FACE THE TEACHER.
A number of FACTORS need to be taken into account about the learning
situation and the classroom context.
Language learners are in a way hindered in their speech abilities in the
sense that they are making use of a linguistic system that they do not
control completely and therefore, they cannot always communicate fully.

Most usual pattern

of classroom language learning:

1
Teacher Initiation

3
Teacher Evaluation

2
Student Response

SUMMARY

OF the above

classroom:

3 COMMON MOVES

in the

(I)nitiation (by the teacher)


(R)esponse (by the student)
(F)ollow up (by the teacher)
Another IMPORTANT ASPECT of a language classroom is that in
the classroom a language is used to talk about ANOTHER LANGUAGE
(METAlanguage) rather than other subjects.

Implications for
Language Teaching
What this section basically talks about are the PROBLEMS or I should say,
the setbacks of learning a language in a classroom (learning it as a foreign
language, or learning it in an immersion program that is, when this
language is used as a means to teach other subjects.)

80

spoken interaction
may fit them for their COMMUNICATION NEEDS INSIDE the
classroom, BUT it does nothing or not enough to help them in
real situations.
This is called TASK-BASED
INSTRUCTION and is organized around tasks rather
than grammar or vocabulary.
He says that the practice the students get in

IMMERSION PROGRAMS entail CONTENT-BASED instruction and is, in a

Students are expected to


learn a second language THROUGH ITS USE IN
TEACHING OTHER SUBJECTS, BUT recent research has
way, similar to ask-based instruction.

shown that this sort of restricted sociolinguistic context LIMITS the


possibilities of learners to interact and they develop RECEPTIVE SKILLS,
but their

PRODUCTIVE SKILLS are LIMITED.

So,

What can be done to correct or improve these shortbacks of learning the


language in a classroom or in an immersion program?
Greater use of STUDENT-STUDENT
including tasks and pair and group work.

interaction,

Pragmatics in
Language Teaching
It is in RECENT YEARS that curricula and teaching materials have begun
to include STRONG PRAGMATIC COMPONENTS.
MANY PROPOSALS for instruction in various aspects of PRAGMATIC
COMPETENCE are based on analysis of NATIVE SPEAKER DISCOURSE or
on the COMPARISON of INTERLANGUAGE DATA, as well as CONTRASTING
L1 and L2.
NEVERTHELESS, most recommendations for instructions in pragmatics
HAVE NOT been examined in action in the classroom, so we dont know
how effective they are.
MUCH RESEARCH IS NEEDED IN THIS
RESPECT.
KASPER and ROSE put forward that LANGUAGE LEARNERS CAN
BENEFIT FROM POSITIVE TRANSFER OF COMMUNICATIVE ACTS that
have been found CONSTANT across ethnolinguistically distant speech
81

communities as it is the case of the

apologies.

speech act set for

THIS SPEECH ACT comprises:

A. As Chief Semantic formulas:

An explicit apology
An explanation
The admission or denial of responsibility

B. As Minor Strategies:

Offer of repair
A promise of forbearance
An expression of concern for the hearer.

These strategies can be found in:

English
French
German
Hebrew
Thai and
Japanese

Another Way of Getting


PRAGMALINGUISTIC Knowledge

Learners can ALSO get pragmalinguistic knowledge without any sort of

an analogous FORMFUNCTION MAPPING between L1 and L2.


EXPLICIT

INFORMATION,

if

there

is

An example:

The English modal past COULD and WOULD have formal functional and
distributional equivalents in other Germanic languages such as DANISH
AND GERMAN. According to Faerch and Kasper (1989), Danish and
German learners of English WILL transfer ability questions
from their L1.
However evident this transfer of pragmalinguistic knowledge may be, it
should not be assumed that language learners will in fact make the
transfer, because:
a. Sometimes the LINK between the strategy in the L1 and L2 may
not be so evident and,
b. Language learning involves a complex PSYCHOLINGUISTIC
process and positive transfer does not always occur in the way
that was expected.
There is, then, a NEED for description of pragmalinguistic
knowledge and its use in the classroom.
82

Language in the Law


The study of LANGUAGE in the LEGAL context is a
FIELD of study.

relatively NEW

SOCIOLINGUISTICS AND THE LAW


is also known as FORENSIC LINGUISTICS.
Forensic
linguistics centers on the STUDY OF DISCOURSE IN
LEGAL SETTINGS and TEXTS, from the courtroom to police or
The INTERFACE between

lawyer interviews.

is NOT essentially different


from any other communicative situation, ALTHOUGH the way
language is used in legal settings can have enormous
REPERCUSSIONS for the well being of individuals and communities.
Language use in legal contexts

EARLY STUDIES in courtoom discourse examined the INFLUENCE of


language factors on LEGAL DECISION-MAKING. They found out that

WITNESSES generally make use of 2 STYLES:


1. A POWERLESS style, incorporating a high frequency of
intensifiers (e.g. really, great, much more, etc) and many
hedges (e.g. kind of, like, in a way, etc); or
2. A POWERFUL style that LACKS the aforementioned
features
and
therefore
sounds
more exact and
confident.

The RESULTS OF THIS EARLY RESEARCH


SHOWED THAT JURORS WERE INCLINED TO
FIND WITNESSES MAKING USE OF A
POWERFUL STYLE MORE CONVINCING
AND
TRUSTWORTHY
THAN
THOSE
EMPLOYING A POWERLESS STYLE.
THIS INDICATED THAT
WAS PRESENTED AND

THE
THE

83

WAY

INFORMATION
WITNESS EXPRESSED
THE

THEMSELVES DID HAVE


OUTCOME OF THE CASE.

AN EFFECT

ON THE FINAL

Another FEATURE of the COURTROOM


It is the CLEAR power IMBALANCE between the LAWYER and
the WITNESS. The lawyer controls the discourse by longwinded questioning that require MINIMAL RESPONSE or simply NOT
LETTING the witness tell his/her own story except in the way the LAWYER
wants it to be told.
An example of THE WAY THIS CAN BE ATTAINED is by using

questions with a TAG,

YES-NO

which markedly CONTROL THE ANSWER

(e.g. You rang her later on, didnt you?) in opposition to

broad WH

questions

that let the witness say something in their own words (e.g.
how, why, what, etc)
List of some other linguistic strategies used by lawyers to control witnesses:
Interruptions.
Reformulation of witnesss descriptions of event or people (e.g. from
my friends to a group of louts).
Manipulation of lawyer silence, for example, with the use of strategic
pauses.
Nonrecognition of some witnesses need to use silence as part of the
anwer; which can be particularly important, for example, for
Australian Aboriginal witnesses.
Incorporation of damaging presuppositions in questions (such as Did
you all laugh while the care was being trashed?)
Metalinguistic directives given to the witness (such as You must
answer this question), and
Management of topics in order to convey a particular impression to
the jury.
The amount of work in

forensic linguistics is increasing and THE

EFFECT this branch


PARAMOUNT.
That is why

language

STUDIES

of

linguistics

has

on

peoples

in applied sociolinguistics regarding

lives

is

LEGAL

have undertaken
main areas:
1. The communicative difficulties that occur from the INTERACTION
between LAWYERS JUDGES VICTIMS WITNESSES
ASPECTS etc
84

2. Problems deriving FROM UNDERSTANDING LEGAL TEXTS, because


of the specific jargon as well as syntax used in them.
3. Communicative PROBLEMS FACED BY NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS
WHO ARE WITNESSES, SUSPECTS AND DEFENDANTS IN THE
LEGAL PROCESS, due to globalization, colonization and migration.
This situation REQUIRES WELL-TRAINED INTEPRETERS who, apart
from the knowledge of the language, they need to know the subtleties
of pragmatics.

Standard English & World Englishes


STANDARD ENGLISH: the variety of English used by the
SOCIAL ELITE who are part of a socially, economically and politically
dominant group in English-speaking countries. It is the
one preferred in the media and taught at schools. It is considered to be

PRESTIGIOUS.
In every language there is a standard variety. It is related to those groups
of people that can be said to be literate and school-oriented. The
standard is also associated with a geographic variation ,
in the regions where institutional and economic power is located or more
developed.
Defining and delimiting a standard is not always easy or even possible
as different varieties can be considered a standard in
distant countries or regions. For example, the Received Pronunciation
which is generally considered as the standard in England is not the same
as the English Standard in Ireland, Australia or the USA.
There has also been a demand for other local standards, such as
Indian, South African, Nigerian, Jamaican etc. In some occasions it is not
clear whether a variety of English is to be considered as standard or not.

NON-STANDARD ENGLISH:

those varieties that do not conform


to the standard spoken by formally educated native speakers in terms of
pronunciation, grammar, idiomatic usage or choice of words.

Dispersal or Diaspora of English


It can be divided in 2 phases:
1. THE FIRST DIASPORA = the migration of around 25,000
people from England, Scotland and Ireland to North America,
85

Australia and New Zealand.

The varieties of English used


nowadays in these places are not identical with those spoken by the early
colonizers, but they share some features. These varieties have incorporated
vocabulary from the indigenous languages they came into contact with.

2.

THE

SECOND DIASPORA =
th

it tooks place in different

th

18 and 19 centuries WITH DIFFERENT


RESULTS from the first one.
moments in the

The Spread of English in Africa


THE SPREAD OF ENGLISH IN AFRICA took place differently for
WEST Africa and EAST Africa.
English in

WEST Africa

slave trade
development of pidgin and creole languages.
ENGLISH IN WEST AFRICA in linked to the

and the

Since the 15th century, British traders traveled to and from the
west coast of Africa but there was not settlement in the areas

now comprising Gambia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon. This
situation favored the use of English as lingua franca among
the hundreds of indigenous languages and the English-speaking traders.
Some of these pidgins and creoles are now widely used, mostly as a
second language, for example,

Pidgin

Krio

in Sierra Leone and

Cameroon

in Cameroon.

English in EAST Africa


In East Africa the situation of English was different
because English colonizers did settle there from
1850 on in places like Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and

Zimbabwe. English there was used in government, education and the


law.

In the second half of the 20th century, these countries


gained independence and English was kept as an official
language in some of them (Uganda, Zimbabwe and Malawi) and
as a second language in others.
An English-based
creole, Swahili, is also used as a lingua franca in Uganda,
Kenya and Tanzania.
86

English in Asia and The Pacific


English was extensively introduced in South Asia (India,
Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sir Lanka, Nepal, etc) during the second
half of the 18th century due to British trade interests in the area.
At the SAME time, British influence extended to South-East
Asia and the South Pacific due to the seafaring expeditions of
Cook and other expeditions, expanding to Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong,
the Philippines and the Pacific Islands like Papua New Guinea where a new
pidgin, called Tok Pisin, was developed.

MODEL
For the spread of English
Developed in 1992 by Y. Kachru.
field of sociolinguistics.

It has been most influential in the

WORLD ENGLISHES
which stand for:
He divided

into

3 concentric CIRCLES

The types of spread


The patterns of acquisition
The position of English in different cultural contexts.

These 3 circles/areas are:

1. The INNER Circle

United States
Australia
New Zealand
That is, the FIRST DIASPORA
The English spoken in the INNER CIRCLE is considered as
NORM-PROVIDING and shows clear patterns of variation both in terms
of geographical and social differences.

2. The OUTER Circle

Zambia
Pakistan
India
West Africa
East Africa
etc
That is, the SECOND DIASPORA
The English spoken in the OUTER CIRLCE is considered as
NORM-DEVELOPING.

87

The varieties spoken in the OUTER CIRCLE countries have been called

NEW ENGLISHES.

New Englishes
the
Englishes of India, Nigeria, Singapore and Tanzania,
together with many other outer-circle countries
SHARE some superficial linguistic characteristics that make it
convenient to describe them as a group DIFFERENT from the
varieties in British, American, Australian, New Zealand,
etc.
Although not all specialists agree with this term, it is certain that

These New Englishes are not the only languages spoken in the OUTER
circle countries and they may be spoken in different circumstances
(mother tongue, first language, lingua franca etc). There can also be
registers, domains and styles not covered by the speaker of English as
a Second Language in the Outer Circle or even variation in terms of
proficiency among the speakers.

PHONOLOGY of New Englishes

It is simplified.
Example:
In the case of vowels the quality of vowels normally approximates to that of
the other languages spoken by the speakers. The same happens with some
consonants.

SYNTAX of New Englishes

Some features are shared by languages in the Outer Circle but not in the
Inner Circle.
Example:
Tag questions, which are very simplified in New Englishes. In India, its
no? or isnt it on all occasions, or not so? in East and West Africa.

LEXIS of New Englishes

Singular words referring to plural concepts tend to be simplified and


treated as ordinary singulars with a general sense.
Example:
Luggage, furniture, software, etc

3. The EXPANDING Circle


Spain
France
Japan

88

Germany
Etc
That is, countries in which English is learned and used as a Foreign
Language.
The English spoken in the EXPANDING CIRCLE is considered as
NORM-DEPENDENT.
In the EXPANDING CIRCLE, there is a marked tendency to USE a
standardized variety like
There are

2 stages

British or American.

in the use of English in the Expanding Circle:

1. In the first one,

the clear influence exerted by one

variety

favours the use of that variety.

2.

the

the INTERCHANGEABLE
INFLUENCE of these two varieties gives way to what is
often called MID-ATLANTIC ENGLISH, that is, when
In

second

one,

features from British AND American usage are MIXED because learners
are exposed to BOTH VARIETIES.

THIRD possibility:
(3). Students who receive the influence of British English
through their FORMAL education, but the influence of
American English through the music and the media.

There is a

At the PRONUNCIATION level, if we add the influence of the


mother tongue to this possible mixture of American and British
pronunciation, it is rather difficult and unlikely to achieve
standardization.

In terms of LEXIS, there is a CLEAR RISK of false friends. This


phenomenon results either in miscommunication OR in the use of
words that acquire a new meaning in local English.
Another interesting phenomenon is the increasing presence of

BORROWINGS

from English and how they influence other modern

languages.

89

Glossary
ABORIGINAL LANGUAGES
The languages spoken by Aboriginal Australians before the arrival of
English colonizers. Aboriginal English is the technical name given to a
continuum of varieties of English ranging between standard Australian
English and creoles used by Aboriginal Australians.

ACROLECT

When Decreolization takes place, i.e., a creole language coexists with a


standard language and the latter exerts some influence on the former, a
range of varieties develop. In such a situation a continuum appears in the
language and speakers in that speech community show a range of different
pronunciation features, which are usually associated with social
stratification. The acrolect is the top and educated variety which is
closer to the standard and further away from the creole. The acrolect
can evolve into a New English.

AFRICAN AMERICAN VERNACULAR ENGLISH (AAVE):

(See Black English Vernacular)


Sometimes called Black English Vernacular; Black English, or Ebonics, it
refers to the language spoken in black communities in the United
States. Some linguists consider it a significantly different linguistic system
from the standard dialect since it does not conform to its pronunciation,
grammatical structure, idiomatic usage, vocabulary etc.
In the 1960s the issue of AAVE became a source of concern in the
education system as it was perceived that black students performed below
average in schools and the reason was thought to lie in their language
skills. It was considered that Black English speakers had to face the
double load of having to deal with linguistic differences in the classroom as
well as in the course content. This issue has been a source of concern ever
since.

ANALYTIC LANGUAGE

Languages can be classified into typological categories based on how words


are formed. An analytic language is one in which words tend to be one
syllable long with no affixes, as in Chinese or Vietnamese. The function
of words in a sentence is shown primarily by word order. Analytic
languages are also known as isolating languages. (See synthetic language.)

AUXILIARY LANGUAGE

It is a language that is used for a special purpose and has, among


others, a specific functional goal. Pidgins are auxiliary languages but
there are also instances of artificial auxiliary languages such as Esperanto,
Business English, Maritime English and Air-Traffic Control English.
90

These languages sometimes have a specialized jargon and that tends to be


the most difficult part as they are not very complex from a syntactic point
of view.

BASILECT

When Decreolization takes place, i.e., a creole language coexists with a


standard language and the latter exerts some influence on the former, a
range of varieties develop. In such a situation a continuum appears in the
language and speakers in that speech community show a range of different
pronunciation features, which are usually associated with social
stratification. The basilect is the bottom variety which is closer to the
creole and further away from the standard.

BIDIALECTAL

This term is closely related to bilingualism. In the same way that someone
speaking two languages would be considered bilingual, someone who can
use two dialects can be considered bidialectal (see Dialect). It all
depends, of course, on what is considered a dialect, but the ground
definition would be a variant of a language due to geographical differences.
Nevertheless, being bidialectal implies that the differences between the
concerned codes is not so great as to prevent mutual intelligibility.

BLACK ENGLISH VERNACULAR

(See also African American Vernacular English)


This term refers to the non-standard English spoken by lower-class
African Americans in US urban communities. This term substituted
Black English which assumed that all black people used the same variety.
It has been demonstrated that the differences that distinguish Black
English from Standard English are paralleled in varieties of Black language
spoken in other parts of the world such as the Caribbean and West Africa.
In the UK, Black English is the result of the linguistic change from creole
languages spoken by Afro-Caribbean immigrants which were influenced by
English as a dominant language in the UK. This language has also become
more English-like for the UK-born descendants of these former immigrants.

BORROWING

This term is used in comparative and historical linguistics to refer to words


or phrases which have spread from one language or dialect and are
used in another. Although less evidently and less frequently, borrowings
can also occur at a different linguistic level such as syntactic. The
borrowing language may have various ways of incorporating the foreign
form into the recipient languages phonology, morphology and syntax.
Borrowing can be originated by a wide range of different causes including:
a.

Close contact between two or more language codes in multilingual


situations which favors the transfer of elements.
91

b. The domination of some languages by others due to cultural, economic,


political, religious or other reasons.
c. A sense of need because technology or culture advances more rapidly in
countries speaking certain languages.
d. A sense of prestige associated with words or expressions coming from
other languages.
The difference between code-switching and borrowing is not always clear.
There is no doubt in the case of historically transferred forms which have
settled in the target language (e.g. words like castle, forest and tempest,
come from French; and, words like call, egg, and law, come from Norse.)
Code-switching, however, is spontaneous, affects all levels of linguistic
structure simultaneously and in unstable as it depends on the context and
the relationship between the speakers (e.g., the Spanglish that is often
heard in places such as Gibraltar or Texas.) On some other occasions,
borrowings may resemble code-switches because they maintain a foreign
status and retain another languages syntax. (e.g., Fixed phrases from
Latin: ad hoc, sine qua non, etc.)

CO-ORDINATE BILINGUAL
This term applies to someone who has learnt two languages and both
languages have been learnt in different contexts, and they are kept
distinct. It probably entails the existence of two meaning systems with
two different words. This raises the question whether both languages
develop together or separately in the brain. Neurolinguistic findings
suggest that words are stored together in the case of early bilingualism,
from childhood, but keep in separate places if bilingualism was developed
later.

COMMUNICATIVE COMPETENCE

This term was first introduced by the American anthropological linguist


Dell Hymes in opposition to the chomskian conception of native speakers
linguistic competence which referred to the linguistic intuitions of an
idealized native speaker.
Dell Hymes considered that the linguistic
knowledge of grammar, pronunciation and lexicon is not enough as
speakers also have other types of linguistic knowledge about how to use
that language properly in society.
This additional knowledge allows speakers to be sensitive to some
determining factors such as the context, the type of intercolutor, and the
register, for example. Coomunicative competence is acquired by native
speakers of the language but it also needs to be acquired by non-native
speakers, together with linguistic competence. The ethnography of
speaking studies what is necessary to be communicatively competent in
different speech communities.

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COMPOUND BILINGUAL

This term describes a situation in which one language has been learnt
after the other and, therefore, through the first one. Both languages
are closely connected as they are composed of a single meaning system
with two words or labels for a single meaning. This raises the question
whether both languages develop together or separately in the brain.
Neurolingustic findings suggest that words are stored together in the case
of early bilingualism, from childhood, but kep in separate places if
bilingualism was developed later.

CORPUS PLANNING

This term refers to the actions undertaken in order to partially modify


the nature or characteristics of a language in some way, for instance,
decisions regarding what pronunciation to adopt from those available;
decisions regarding what syntactic or morphological patterns to use; or,
even what regional forms adopt as the standard. Corpus planning may also
control the incorporation of new vocabulary. Corpus planning is closely
related to status planning which refers to whether the status of a language
could or should be raised or lowered.

DIALECT

Geographical variation affects languages in the form of dialects. This


refers to how locality correlates with differences in the way people speak the
language.
People who speak a dialect often use different words or
pronunciations for the same word. This type of variation may also affect
syntactic and intonation patterns. Nowadays, dialect variation tends to
diminish due to the fact that the media and the communication
infrastructures have a homogenizing effect on languages. Sometimes the
distinction between dialects and languages is not quite clear as
sociopolitical factors may play an important role in the decision. It must be
added that not even dialectologists agree on a single definition of dialect.

DIALECTOLOGY

It is the study and search for idiosyncratic features in language use


within a geographical area. Dialectologists usually analyze the typical
vocabulary, pronunciation, intonation patterns, and other characteristics,
and try to match these with specific geographic areas.

DISCOURSE ANALYSIS

This field of research refers to the analysis of linguistic units above


the sentence level, i.e., texts or conversations. By analyzing written or
aural texts, discourse analysts explore the different functions of language
in social interaction.

DISCOURSE MARKER

These are words, phrases or sounds that have no content meaning but,
however, play an important role in marking conversational structure,
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signaling conversational intentions and assuring cooperation on the part of


listeners. Some discourse markers in English are: actually, really, Oh,
Yeah, etc. Notice that the types of discourse markers and their uses
frequently change across languages.

DOMAIN

This term refers to the combination of social and situational factors


that generally influence the choice of code by speakers: code, dialect,
location, register; style, topic, etc. For example, the language of home
will definitely be different to the language used at a formal meeting at work.
The same speaker will use different styles, an informal one for the former
situation and a formal one for the latter. This concept is frequently used in
studies of code-switching in multilingual contexts where various languages,
dialects or styles are employed in different social settings.

DORMANT BILINGUAL

Bilinguals who do no longer use their languages but who acquired


them in the past and reached a comprehensive knowledge and
command.

ENDANGERED LANGUAGE

Languages normally develop, merge or die, and whenever a language is at


risk because the number of speakers decreases we can say that that
language is endangered. This can be the result of many factors but bad or
adverse language planning is generally behind the progressive
disappearance of a language. Economics, or rather the lack of importance
of a language for business, can cause its death. Many Amerindian
languages are in this situation at the moment.

ENGLISH-LEXIFIER CREOLE

(See Lexifier)
This term refers to any creole which is English-based and therefore
has received borrowings from English. Due to the post-creole continuum,
that language may still be receiving words from English.

ETHNOGRAPHY OF COMMUNICATION

A term that in addition to the definition of the ethnography of speaking


includes nonverbal aspects of communication, for instance, distance
between speaker and hearer, eye contact, etc.

ETHNOGRAPHY OF SPEAKING

This branch of sociolinguistics studies the norms and rules for using
language in social situations in different cultures. This is the reason
why it is so important for cross-cultural communication and that also
accounts for its relation to communicative competence. The ethnography of
speaking deals with aspects such as the different types of language to be
used under different circumstances; how to make requests; grant
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permission, or ask a favor; the degree of indirectness desired in certain


situations; how to express your opinion or interrupt your interlocutor; how
and when to use formulaic language (greetings, thanking, etc.), etc.

ETHNOMETHODOLOGY

This branch of sociology deals with the content of what is being said
rather than the way it is being said. Ethnomethodologists do not study
speech or language but the content of what is being said and, what is more,
what is not being said because of shared knowledge or common-sense
knowledge.

HERITAGE LANGUAGE

This is a language spoken by an immigrant group or individual in


another country. For example, in Canada, a country largely composed of
immigrants, there are close to 200 languages spoken by these types of
groups. This term is to be distinguished from Indigenous Language
which also refers to a minority language but in this case alludes to the
natives of that land. In Canada, for instance, about 50 indigenous
languages are spoken some of which are only spoken in that country, and
none of which is considered an official language of Canada.

HYPERCORRECTION

A manifestation of linguistic insecurity, for instance, in a social group.


It can manifest itself by the overuse of the socially desired forms in careful
speech or reading, especially in an attempt to speak or write in an educated
manner. For instance, a speaker of a non-standard variety of English may
practice more self-correction when speaking formally and make use of more
sophisticated vocabulary or a more clear pronunciation.

INFORMANT

In empirical research this term refers to any person who provides


information to be analyzed and is consequently a source of data for
the researcher. A native speaker providing insights of his/her use of
language is an informant, but also a student who attends a class that is
being observed to gather information about the students progress.

INTERFERENCE

In language teaching and learning this term is used to refer to any


negative influence (e.g., lexical, syntactic, phonological, etc.) that one
language exerts over the other, either the L1 on the L2 or vice versa.
Interference usually hinders the learning process and causes a problem to
the language learner whereas positive interlinguistic influence helps or
favors the language learner.

LANGUAGE ACADEMY

In some countries like Spain (The Royal Academy), France (The French
Academy), Ireland (The Irish Language Commission), Norway (The
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Norwegian Language Council), etc., there are institutions which play a


role in safeguarding standards, so they try to regulate the evolution of the
language by means of protecting the language from foreign unwanted
influences and in a way, by trying to control the evolution of language.
This sort of control is more likely to be successful in written language than
in spoken language and the task is rather difficult these days when the
media exerts considerable influence on languages all over the world and
globalization threatens the preservation of minority languages and the
integrity of others.

LANGUAGE ATTRITION

Gradual language loss. This term can refer to the loss of a mother tongue
that has been acquired and due to lack of use probably because it is not
the language of the community it is gradually forgotten. This happens
quite frequently among the second and the third generation of
immigrants. In second language learning, it can refer to the loss of a
language that was learnt through formal instruction but gradually forgotten
after a period of time.

LANGUAGE CONFLICT

In multilingual situations languages are frequently in some sort of conflict


caused by ideological, political or economical reasons. Some issues
typically generate problems in multilingual settings such as decisions
regarding the election of an official language, the choice of a given language
for formal education, or the selection of a language to be used in courts,
among others. Another typical situation of language conflict occurs when
two or more languages compete for status in society. Many current
language conflicts result from different social status and governements
preferential treatment of the domain language.

LANGUAGE ELECTION/SELECTION

Some developing countries, at some point, need to make decisions


with regards to their sociopolitical evolution and their international
recognition. For instance, Mozambique adopted Portuguese, the former
colonial language, as its official language. Something similar happened to
India, which in spite of an initial desire to detach from their former colony,
later assumed English as an additional official language. These decisions
are normally made for practical purposes either because the nation-state
needs a agglutinative language to overcome a wide linguistic variety and/or
because some advantages are seen in the possibility of having a LWC as an
official language.

LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS (or functions of language)

Language is frequently described as having THREE MAIN FUNCTIONS:


descriptive, expressive, and social. The descriptive function of language
is to carry factual information. The expressive function of language is to
provide information about the speakers personal feelings, preferences, etc.
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And the social function of language serves the purpose of maintaining


social relations between people.

LANGUAGE LOSS
This term refers to a situation where language shift in a speech
community ends in the total shift to another language. For instance,
imagine a group of immigrants that go to a new country and, gradually, in
one or two generations blend into the new speech community as their
language becomes eventually extinct (e.g., the language loss of Dutch
immigrants in Australia). This phenomenon would be referred as language
death if a language shift ends with the total loss of a language from the
world, i.e., all speakers shift to a different one (e.g., Manx on the Isle of
Man).

LANGUAGE POLICY DIVISION

This department of the EU is located in Strasburg and has


responsibility for actions concerning the progress of language
education policies within the EU member states. This Division is in
charge of the elaboration of guidelines and policies related to language
learning and the development of policy planning regarding linguistic
diversity. Among other responsibilities, they a) assist member states with
policy evaluation and depiction (at national and local levels); b) elaborate
instruments for policy analysis; c) provide assistance regarding linguistic
minorities language education; etc.

LANGUAGE REVITALIZATION (or Language revival)

Language planning efforts made in order to revive a language that


because of social or economic reasons has decreased in number of
speakers or which was even lost (see Language death). A language shift
can lead to the spread of a dominant language and the loss of the minority
language. The reasons underlying Language Revitalization can vary but
they are often caused by a groups search for cultural and/or ethnic
identity of a group.
The best example of a successful Language
Revitalization is Hebrew which was a classical liturgical language for
centuries and is now a living language. An instance of a not so successful
program to revitalize a language is Irish in Ireland where government efforts
and programs have tried to reintroduce the use of Irish in schools without
much success.

LANGUAGE SPREAD

It consists of an increase in the use of a language or language variety


for a given communicative function by a specific social or ethnic
group. Language spread can either refer to a traditional language within a
speech community or a language that is adopted as lingua franca or
Language of Wider Communication, as has been the case of English during
the 20th century. Languages also spread within a nation as a new mother
tongue instead of as an additional language and in that case we would
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rather talk about language shift. Extreme cases can even lead to language
death as has happened with the spread of Spanish and English in America
resulting in the loss of many Amerindian languages.

LEXIFIER

(See English-lexifier creole)


This term refers to the language from which most of the vocabulary
has been taken to form a pidgin or creole. English, French, Spanish
and Portuguese have been lexifier languages as a consequence of the
former colonial past of countries speaking native languages. The contact
between one or more of these European languages and a native language
favored the development of pidgins and creoles in different parts of the
world.

LINGUA FRANCA

It is a language which is usually used by speakers who have different


mother tongues and, therefore, need a common language to
communicate among them. Lingua francas have existed since ancient
times (e.g. Greek koine, Arabic, Mandarin, etc.) but the most remarkable
example nowadays is English, which is spoken by some people as a mother
tongue, many other use it as a second language, and still others as a
foreign language, but, as a rule, it serves as a lingua franca for
international and intercultural communication. In spite of being widely
used, the knowledge of different speakers may vary considerably
depending, quite often, on the domains where the language is to be used
and the fuctions it is meant to accomplish.

LINGUISTIC COMPETENCE

It refers to lexical, phonological, syntactical knowledge and skills and


other dimensions of language as system, independently of the
sociolinguistic value of its variations and the pragmatic functions of its
realizations. This component relates to the range and quality of knowledge
(e.g. in terms of phonetic distinctions made or the extent and precision of
vocabulary) but also to cognitive organization and the way this knowledge is
stored (activation, recall, etc.)

LANGUAGE OF WIDER COMMUNICATION (LWC)

This term is equivalent to lingua franca. Two instances of LWC in the


times of the Roman Empire are Latin in the west and koine Greek in the
east. After World War II, English became a LWC. (See lingua franca). It is a
language used by speakers of different languages to communicate with
each other.

MACRO-SOCIOLINGUSTICS

This term refers to the study of sociolinguistic aspects in large groups


of speakers as opposed to micro-sociolinguistics that studies areas related
to small groups. Macro-sociolinguistics deals with the relationship between
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sociological factors and language as, for example, language planning,


language shift and multilingual matters.

MESOLECT
When Decreolization takes place, i.e., a creole language coexists with a
standard language and the latter exerts some influence on the former, a
range of varieties develop. In such a situation a continuum appears in the
language and speakers in that speech community show a range of different
pronunciation features, which are usually associated with social
stratification. The mesolect is the intermediate variety, or varieties,
which is between the creole and the standard.

MICRO-SOCIOLINGUISTICS

The study of sociolinguistics in relation to small groups of speakers,


speech communities or the speech of individuals. This branch of
sociolinguistics deals, for example, with the analysis of face-to-face
interaction and discourse analysis. This term is used in opposition to
macro-sociolinguistics which refers to larger scale study of language in
society.

MINORITY LANGUAGE

These are languages that live in the shadow of a culturally dominant


language which puts the minority language at risk. As a result of political
or social factors, these languages are very often not the languages of all
areas of activity by native speakers as they can be excluded from certain
spheres as administration, education,, or mass media (e.g., Scottish Gaelic
is widely used in church but marginally in other social gatherings). These
factors often require speakers of minority languages to be bilingual as they
will need to operate in at least two languages. Minority languages may be
or may have been at some point in their history at risk either by political
decisions affecting their maintenance or by the lack of vocabulary to cover
certain topics. Some actions can be undertaken to promote minority
languages by means of language planning and language policies. Some
instances of minority languages are Irish, Welsh and Scottish Gaelic which
exist in the shadow of English, or Breton in the shadow of French.

NATIVE SPEAKER

A person who has spoken a language since early childhood. This term is
rather controversial in linguistics because it assumes the existence of a
speaker that can be appealed in questions or correct usage because she/he
is reported to represent the authority that can determine correct or deviant
usage. Native and non-native are not clear cut homogeneous categories as
variation depending on individual factors (origin, education, etc) is
enormous and all speakers are, in turn, native speakers of a given language
or dialect. In second language learning, they have traditionally represented
the model to follow in the process of learning but this has proven to be
inefficient approach as the processes of first and second language learning
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are naturally and necessarily different. Moreover, recent studies have


shown that, contrary to popular belief, native speaker introspection is an
unreliable guide to actual usage.

NEW ENGLISHES

This term refers to any of the varieties of English that have emerged
as a consequence of the ample spread of this language during the
colonial period. Examples of New Englishes are the English spoken in
India, Kenya, Singapore or Jamaica, among others. Also known as World
English, it does not emphasize the dichotomy between native and nonnative use but embodies the recognition of English as an international
language that shows formal and functional variation in different contexts,
as a result of its use in multilingual and multicultural contexts.

OBSERVERS PARADOX

A term developed by William Labov to refer to a phenomenon that takes


place when doing sociolinguistic research. The issue is raised when the
sociolinguist needs to gather data from a single speaker or a group of
speakers in a speech community. The problem is that observing and
gathering (for instance, recording) that speech is difficult because as soon
as the informants realize that they are being observed they can and
consciously or unconsciously they generally do change their speech
and make use of less natural talk (e.g., more careful pronunciation, less
idiomatic expressions, a variety further away from the vernacular, etc)
What really interests sociolinguists is the way people speak when they do
not know that they are being observed.

PRAGMATIC COMPETENCE

This term is concerned with the functional use of linguistic resources


(production of language functions, speech acts, etc.) used on aural
communication or scripts of interactional exchanges. It also concerns
the mastery of discourse, cohesion and coherence, the identification of text
types and forms, irony, parody, etc.

PRAGMATICS

It is a branch of linguistics that studies the use of language in


communication, i.e., the relationship between utterances and the contexts
and situations in which they are used. Within pragmatics, discourse
analysis studies language in discourse.

PROFICIENCY

It is someones skill in using a language, generally as a second


language. This term describes the degree of skill that someone has attained
in a language and his/her ability over the four basic skills: speaking,
reading, writing and listening.

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(PROTO)-INDO-EUROPEAN

Languages can be classified genetically.


This classification involves
comparing the structure of different languages in order to show common
parentage. Indo-European is the best-known language family. The
major Indo-European subgroups are: Indo-Iranian, Armenian, Albanian,
Anatolian, Hellenic, Italic, Celtic, Baltic, Slavic, and Germanic. English
belongs to the Anglo-Frisian group of the West German branch of the
Germanic subfamily. An unattested (reconstructed) language is indicated
by the term proto-.

SABIR

This was a lingua franca used in the Mediterranean area from the
Middle Ages to the twentieth century. It is interesting to know that this
language has been kept stable for centuries in spite of not having native
speakers and being just a contact language used by speakers that do not
share a common language. The origin of pidgins is not clear and there is
an ongoing debate about it, but some specialists, the monogeneticists,
suggest that all pidgins based on a European language derive from this
lingua franca.

SOCIOLINGUSTIC COMPETENCE

This term refers to the sociocultural conditions of language use.


Through its sensitivity to social conventions (rules of politeness, norms
governing relations between generations, sexes, classes and social groups,
linguistic codification of certain fundamental rituals, etc), the
sociolinguistic component strictly affects all language communication
between representatives of different cultures, even though participants may
often be unaware of its influence.

SOCIOLINGUISTIC INTERVIEW

It is a technique to collect speech samples to gather information about


a given speakers, or group of speakers, in a speech community. This
qualitative method of research is of prime importance for the sociolinguist s
it provides face-to-face interaction with the informant with a technique that
allows recording for later analysis.

SOCIOLINGUISTIC RELATIVITY

When people coming from different social and linguistic backgrounds


interact, quite naturally they tend to analyse and judge each others
system and taking their own system as a reference.
The more
interaction with different cultures, dialects, registers, etc, the more
referents speakers will have and, therefore, the more capable they will be of
perceiving their culture and way of thinking as just one of many. This way,
speakers may be able to understand and shape their own perception of
cultural and sociolinguistic identities. Sociolinguistic relativity entails the
acknowledgement of sociolinguistic diversity.
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SOCIOLOGY OF LANGUAGE

This term refers to a branch of sociolinguistics that studies large scale


processes of interaction between language and its use in society. Also
referred to as macro-sociolinguistics, it deals with the relationship between
sociological factors and language, especially language choice. Some of the
issues studied by the sociology of language are language planning,
multilingualism, and language shift.

SPEECH ACT

It is an utterance that represents a functional unit in interaction.


Utterances can have a locutionary meaning or an illocutionary meaning.
The former refers to the basic literal meaning of the utterance which is
conveyed by the particular words and structures used. The latter refers to
the effect the utterance has on the listener, or the text on the reader.

STATUS PLANNING

This term refers to actions aiming at raising or lowering the status of a


language or dialect and which basically refers to decisions regarding the
selection of particular varieties for particular purposes or communicative
functions.
Status planning is closely related to corpus planning as
language planning policies can never be solely corpus-oriented or statusoriented.

SYNCHRONIC VARIATION

This term refers to the instances and characteristics of variation


which occur at the present time in language. That is, they way variation
affects language at a given time in history, for instance: gender, register,
style, etc.
Diachronic variation, however, looks at language from a
historical point of view and considers linguistic change through time.

SYNTHETIC LANGUAGE

In inflectional languages words have a number of suffixes which vary


their shape according to the word they are added to. A single suffix can
express a number of different grammatical concepts, as in Latin. Synthetic
languages are also known as inflectional. (See analytic languages).

TURN-TAKING

In conversation analysis this term describes the fundamental


mechanisms on which conversation is based, that is, the right and/or
obligation to speak with the interlocutor. General conversation patterns
are arranged in a way that only one speaker speaks at a time but the way
turn-taking is organized depends on cultural specific factors. Conversation
needs to be two-way. Otherwise it turns into a monologue.

VARIETY

This term is used to refer to a sort of language that is considered as a


separate entity for some reason but which generally shares a great
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deal of common features with a standard or other varieties. Therefore,


it is not considered a different language. A given dialect, accent, style or
register can be considered a variety, which is a term preferred by linguists
as it is less loaded. Language varieties can be very wide spread and
standardized such as Australian English or American English but they can
also be very localized such as Cockney (in London) and Scouse (in
Liverpool).

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