Sociolinguistics is a term including the aspects of linguistics applied toward the connections between language and society, and the way we use it in different social situations.
4 components which influence social factors:
· Participants, who is speaking and who are they speaking to?
· Setting or social context of the interaction, where are they speaking?
· Topic, what is being talking about?
· Function, why are they speaking?
5 different dimensions which contribute to the appropriate choice:
· A social distance scale, concerned with participants relationship, useful in emphasizing that how well we know someone
Intimate = high solidarity
Distant = low solidarity
· A status scale, concerned with participants relationship, points to the relevance of relative status in some linguistic choice
Superior = high status
Subordinate = low status
· A social role, importsnt and often a factor contributing to status differences between people. Typical role relationship are teacher – pupil, doctor – patient, soldier – civilian, official – citizen. The same person maybe spoken to in a different code depending on whether they are acting as teacher, as father or as a customer in the market place
· A formality scale relating to the setting or type of interaction, useful in assessing of the social setting or type interaction on language choice
Formal = high formality
Informal = low formality
· Two functional scales relating to the purposes or topic of interaction
II. Language Choice in Multilingual Communities
Domain: involves typical interactions between typical participants in typical setting
Domain / Addressee / Setting / Topic / Language
Family / Parent / Home / planning a family party /
Friendship / Friend / Classroom / planning to go to swim /
Planning a party
Choosing the Sunday liturgy
Telling a story
Solving math problem
Getting an important license
Language Repertoire: bahasa yang dipakai sehari – hari atau perbendaharaan bahasa yg kita kuasai, contohnya: diluar pake bahasa
Diglossia: In a bilingual community, in which two languages or dialects are used differently according to different social situations.
diglossia have three crucial features:
- In the same language, used in the same community, there are two distinct varieties. One is regarded as high (H) and the other low (L).
- Each is used for distinct functions.
- No one uses the high (H) in everyday conversation.
Diglossia: a characteristic of speech communities rather than individuals. Individuals may be bilingual, societies or communities are diglossic. The term diglossia describes societal or institutionalized bilingualism where 2 varieties are required to cover all the community’s domain.
No one uses the H varieties in everyday conversation
Polyglosia: useful term for describing situation where more than 2 distinct codes or varieties are used for clearly distinct purposes or in clearly distinguishable situation
Polyglosia: use for situation where a community regularly uses more than 2 language
Code Switching or Code Mixing, when there is some important change in the situation, such as the arrival of a new person. Ex: John is Chinese, when he comes to the class when the other speak English, her friend switch their language to Chinese in orde to greet her
Switch motivate by the identity and relationship between participant often express a move along the solidarity or social distance dimension and also reflect a change in the other dimension, such as the status relation between people or the formality of their interaction
Change of topic can symbolize a change in the relationship between two participants. Ex: 2 person switch from their roles as neighbors to their roles as bureaucrat and member of public
Methaporical Switching: each of the codes represents a set of social meaning and the speaker draws on association of each, just as people use metaphors to represent complex meaning
III. Language Maintenance and Shift
Language Death, when all people who speak language die, then also language died with them. Ex: Aboriginal language when the Europeans arrived
Factors Contributing to Language Shift: Economic, social and political factors, people learn English to get good jobs, to increase their social status or grade etc
Demographic factor: resistance to language shift tends to last longer in rural than in urban areas, rural groups tend to be isolated from the centres of political power for longer
- shift tends to occur faster in some groups than in others, the size of groups sometimes a critical factors, Ex: In Australia, areas with the largest group of the maltese speakers had the lowest rates of shift toward English
Attitudes and Values: language shift tend to be slower among communities where the minority language is highly valued, when language be an important symbol of ethnic identity, it is generally maintained longer, pride in their ethnic identity and their language can be important factors which contribute to language maintenance
Factors a minority language can be maintained:
· Where language is considered an important symbol of minority groups identity
· If families from minority group live near each other and see each other frequently
· The degree and frequency of contact with homeland
Ethnolinguistic Vitality, three components which involved:
· The status of the languages as reflects in attitudes toward it
· The sizes of the group who uses the language and their distribution
· The extent to which the language enjoys institutional support
· When language is rated as high in status by its users, and also regarded as a language of solidarity to be used between minority group member
· When it is regarded as appropriate for expressing referential as well as affective or social meaning
· When it is able to used in a wide range of context both formal and informal
IV. Linguistic Varieties and Multilingual Nations
Vernacular Language: used in number of ways, generally refer to language which has not been standardized and which does not have official status. Ex; in multilingual speech community, the many different ethnic or tribal language used by different groups are referred to as vernacular language (ragam bahasa yang tidak resmi/lambing solidaritas)
Vernacular language: uncodified or unstandardised variety, the way it is acquired- in the home as the first variety, used for relatively circumscribed function (fungsi terbatas)
Standard Language: generally one which is written and have some degree of regularization, recognized as a prestigious variety or code by a community
Lingua Franca: is a language used for communication between people whose first languages differ. In some countries the most useful and widely used lingua franca is an official language or the national language
A simplified language derived from two or more languages is called a pidgin. It is a contact language developed and used by people who do not share a common language in a given geographical area. It is used in a limited way and the structure is very simplistic. Since they serve a single simplistic purpose, they usually die out. However, if the pidgin is used long enough, it begins to evolve into a more rich language with a more complex structure and richer vocabulary. Once the pidgin has evolved and has acquired native speakers ( the children learn the pidgin as their first language), it is then called a Creole. An example of this is the Creole above from
Reasons for the development of Pidgins
In the nineteenth century, when slaves from Africa were brought over to
There is always a dominant language which contributes most of the vocabulary of the pidgin, this is called the superstrate language. The superstrate language from the Papua New Guinea Creole example above is English. The other minority languages that contribute to the pidgin are called the substrate languages.
V. National Languages and Language Planning
National language: language of a political, cultural, and social unit and developed and used as a symbol of national unity, the function is to identify the nation and unite its people
Official Language: simply language which may used for government business, the function is primarily utilitarian rather than symbolic
In multilingual countries, government often declares a particular language to be the national language for political reasons. The declaration may be a step in the process of asserting the nationhood of a newly independent or established nation. Ex: Swahili in
Official Status and Minority Language: because of its colonial history, English is an official language in many countries throughout the world, such as Pakistan Fiji Jamaica and
Price of National Language: “one nation, one language” has been a popular and effective slogan, in
Javanese has a complex linguistically marked politeness system based on assessments of relative status
Planning For a National Official Language: 4 steps in developing language
· Selection: choosing the variety or code to be developed
· Codification: standardising its structural or linguistic features (corpus planning)
· Elaboration: extending its function for use in new domains. This involves developing the necessary linguistic resources for handling new concepts and contexts
· Securing its Acceptance; status of new variety is important and also people attitudes to the variety being developed must be considered. Steps may be needed to enhance its prestige, to encourage people to develop pride in the language or loyalty towards it