Chapter 7 Language, Culture & Society | Haleema Khalid - aviabilets.info
Language is basically a system of communication where sound or signs convey It is believed that "Man's relation with the society is so intimate and close that it is very . social being and thus he imbibes social norms, tradition and culture. paper introduces the concepts of language and culture, and explores the viability three possible relationships proposed by Wardhaugh (i.e. the structure of the. The relationship between language and culture is complex yet one is a part of the other. You learn the culture once you start learning a.
University of California Press. A framework for intervention. Harvard Educational Review, 56 1 Social cohesion and alienation: Minorities in the United States and Japan. Westview Press Fishman, J. An international sociological perspective.
Multiculturalism as the normal human experience. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 7 44 A qualitative study of the impact of the English language on the construction of the sociocultural identities of ESL speakers. Multiple Identities in a multicultural world: Journal of Language, Identity and Education, 2 3 Multiple discourses, multiple identities: Investment and agency in second-language learning among Chinese adolescent immigrant students.
Harvard Educational Review, 66 3 Creating strategic learning environments for students. Theory to practice, 2 Change as the goal of educational research. Anthropology and Education Quarterly, 4 Language, identity and the ownership of English.
For instance, Kaplan claims that the structural organization of a text tends to be culturally specific. Some interesting experimental studies have also been conducted to testify the sensitivity of the speakers to conditional clauses in a cross-linguistic context, though no consensus results have been observed yet Bloom A crosscultural study of the meaning of some idioms or metaphorical uses in a cultural context, however, will definitely provide an optimal opportunity to examine the issue.
Additionally, this observation also implies that there comes an important new force i. What is presented below forms only a small part of the collections obtained through our personal exposure to the American culture Yangbut it suffices to serve the purpose of our discussion here.
Professor Tulai, an American linguist, and Professor Yang, a visiting scholar from China, were talking about the relationship between teaching and doing research in the office. To do research means to get your hands dirty. So you think teaching is worthier than doing research? Does the phrase "to get your hands dirty" have some pejorative connotations? I didn't mean that. Yang's American landlord, and Mr.
Yang were cleaning up the apartment. Yang pointed to the dumbbells on the floors and asked Mr. Goodell if he would have any use of them for the time being. I guess I'd better put them in the garage. Can you do dumbbell practice in your office?
What I really meant is that there have been a lot of stupid guys in my office. Our Hopi, Dani, and case examples above partially provide a good answer to this question. Moreover, by introducing a study like this, we will have an opportunity to show how to "do linguistics" in a cultural context.Language & Culture
Ever since the early s, along with the disclosure of the notorious political scandal dubbed as the Watergate event, a bunch of derived words have been rushing into the English language. In this situation, it is felt that a sociolinguistic study of the combining form -gate and its derivations is necessary for us to examine the semantic, structural, and functional development concerning these nonce-words and know more about the correlation of these related factors in the study of word- formation Yang Based on these findings, we can draw some tentative conclusions: This combining form has become so generalized in its meaning that some -gate words have even gone out of the society and been used to refer to political scandals in other cultures as well.
To act or behave appropriately in another culture is a more demanding task.
relationship between culture and language | ELT Journal | Oxford Academic
Keeping this in mind and also realizing the facilitating role of cultural knowledge in language learning, we will briefly discuss the relationship between culture and language teaching here. The interested reader can find more examples in Gao Principally, there are at least three objectives for us to teach culture in our language class: In other words, a successful master of a given language has much to do with an understanding of that culture.
Because, as we have shown so far, language and culture are correlated with each other at different levels of linguistic structure. The relationship between language and society has long been recognized and examined. Strongly influenced by this dominant view of linguistic science, a separation of the structural study of language from its social context of usage was claimed, justified, and reinforced. For instance, even a simple interrogative sentence like "Are you going to eat rice and cassava now?
In this sense, the choice of one form over another is both stylistically and socially governed. This conceptualization of linguistic variation, in relation to what will be discussed below, is likely to provide an innovative and more comprehensive understanding of the issue in general.
There has been a maxim in sociolinguistics which claims that "You are what you say" Lakoff Following this claim, we may expand the scope of our observation by introducing some social factors that are believed to influence our language behavior in a social context. Among these factors, some major ones include 1 class; 2 gender; 3 age; 4 ethnic identity; 5 education background, 6 occupation, and 7 religious belief.
In our discussion below, we are going to focus on the first two factors and show their impact upon one's language use. In the middle of s, William Labov, a famous sociolinguist, conducted a rather meticulous survey at several departments in the City of New York. The results of this investigation were reported in The Social Stratification of English in New York Citywhich has now become a classical work in sociolinguistics. And it turned out that class and style were two major factors influencing the speakers' choice of one phonological variant over another.
Based on these findings, Labor explicitly delineated the patterns of stratification by class and style and, more importantly, successfully introduced class as an indispensable sociolinguistic variable. Ever since its publication in the middle of the s, this research paradigm has become the mainstream in sociolinguistics and alternatively termed as "the quantitative paradigm, sociolinguistics proper, variationist studies, urban dialectology and secular linguistics" Mesthrie Over the past decades, in addition to the study of linguistic variation produced by class, the investigation of gender effects upon one's linguistic behavior has also been proven to be a rich resource for examining the correlation of language and society, though the awareness of this issue seems to be an older story which can be traced back at least to over two millenniums ago.
For instance, many precious examples reflecting gender differences in speech have been documented in some Ancient Greek dramas Gregersen Inspired by this very seminal article, the following years have seen a lot of publications either to support or challenge the hypotheses Lakoff put forward concerning the linguistic behavior of females in the American society.
More importantly, it is argued that these differences in language use are brought about by nothing less than women's place in society. The underlying point for this argument is rather meaningful. Then, the first thing we need do is to try to change the society. Because, as Lakoff correctly suggests, it is not language itself but women' s place in society that makes people linguistically behave in that way.
Hence, the relationship between language and society can be further illustrated by studying questions like this: Is a certain linguistic form more likely to be used by females than by their male peers? If so, why should it be so? The natural connection of this type also explains why the study of gender differences has become an ever-lasting focus in sociolinguistics ever since the s.
Sociolinguistics, as an interdisciplinary study of language use, attempts to show the relationship between language and society. More specifically, in this discipline we have two important things to think about: Similarly, when we are conducting a sociolinguistic study of language use, we have two big issues to deal with. First, we want to show how these two factors are related to each other, and second, we attempt to know why it should be so.
Put another way, we want to look at structural things by paying attention to language use in a social context; on the other hand, we try to understand sociological things of society by examining linguistic phenomena of a speaking community. The pluralism and diversity of the field, on the other hand, makes it difficult to delineate the scope of this enterprise.
Over lapping with other types of scientific research is another striking property we can observe in a sociolinguistic study. Keeping this fact in mind, if we are prepared to examine the structure of the whole sociolinguistic edifice, we can either classify sociolinguistic studies by means of a hierarchical division, or alternatively, by means of an orientational categorization.
If we want to know more about a given society or community by examining the linguistic behavior of its members, we are doing a sociolinguistic study of society. That is, we are doing sociolinguistics at a macro level of investigation.
Bird songs are reported to differ somewhat from place to place within species, but there is little other evidence for areal divergence. In contrast to this unity of animal behaviour, human cultures are as divergent as are human languages over the world, and they can and do change all the time, sometimes with great rapidity, as among the industrialized countries of the 21st century. The processes of linguistic change and its consequences will be treated below.
Here, cultural change in general and its relation to language will be considered. By far the greatest part of learned behaviour, which is what culture involves, is transmitted by vocal instruction, not by imitation.
Some imitation is clearly involved, especially in infancy, in the learning process, but proportionately this is hardly significant. Spoken language alone would thus vastly extend the amount of usable information in any human community and speed up the acquisition of new skills and the adaptation of techniques to changed circumstances or new environments. With the invention and diffusion of writing, this process widened immediately, and the relative permanence of writing made the diffusion of information still easier.
Printing and the increase in literacy only further intensified this process. Modern techniques for broadcast or almost instantaneous transmission of communication all over the globe, together with the tools for rapidly translating between the languages of the world, have made it possible for usable knowledge of all sorts to be made accessible to people almost anywhere in the world.
This accounts for the great rapidity of scientific, technological, political, and social change in the contemporary world. All of this, whether ultimately for the good or ill of humankind, must be attributed to the dominant role of language in the transmission of culture.
Language and social differentiation and assimilation The part played by variations within a language in differentiating social and occupational groups in a society has already been referred to above. In language transmission this tends to be self-perpetuating unless deliberately interfered with. Children are in general brought up within the social group to which their parents and immediate family circle belong, and they learn the dialect and communication styles of that group along with the rest of the subculture and behavioral traits and attitudes that are characteristic of it.
This is a largely unconscious and involuntary process of acculturationbut the importance of the linguistic manifestations of social status and of social hierarchies is not lost on aspirants for personal advancement in stratified societies. Language changing is harder for the individual and is generally a rarer occurrence, but it is likely to be widespread in any mass immigration movement.
In the 19th and early 20th centuries, the eagerness with which immigrants and the children of immigrants from continental Europe living in the United States learned and insisted on speaking English is an illustration of their realization that English was the linguistic badge of full membership in their new homeland at the time when the country was proud to consider itself the melting pot in which people of diverse linguistic and cultural origins would become citizens of a unified community.
A reverse movement, typically by third-generation immigrants, manifests a concern to be in contact again with the ancestral language. The same sort of self-perpetuation, in the absence of deliberate rejection, operates in the special languages of sports and games and of trades and professions these are in the main concerned with special vocabularies. Game learners, apprentices, and professional students learn the locutions together with the rest of the game or the job.
The specific words and phrases occur in the teaching process and are observed in use, and novices are only too eager to display an easy competence with such phraseology as a mark of their full membership of the group. Languages and variations within languages play both a unifying and a diversifying role in human society as a whole. Language is a part of culture, but culture is a complex totality containing many different features, and the boundaries between cultural features are not clear-cut, nor do they all coincide.
Physical barriers such as oceans, high mountains, and wide rivers constitute impediments to human intercourse and to culture contacts, though modern technology in the fields of travel and communications makes such geographical factors of less and less account.
More potent for much of the 20th century were political restrictions on the movement of people and of ideas, such as divided western Europe from formerly communist eastern Europe; the frontiers between these two political blocs represented much more of a cultural dividing line than any other European frontiers. The distribution of the various components of cultures differs, and the distribution of languages may differ from that of nonlinguistic cultural features.
This results from the varying ease and rapidity with which changes may be acquired or enforced and from the historical circumstances responsible for these changes.
From the end of World War II untilfor example, the division between East and West Germany represented a major political and cultural split in an area of relative linguistic unity. It is significant that differences of vocabulary and usage were noticeable on each side of that division, overlying earlier differences attributed to regional dialects. The control of language for cultural ends Second-language learning Language, no less than other aspects of human behaviouris subject to purposive interference.
When people with different languages need to communicate, various expedients are open to them, the most obvious being second-language learning and teaching. This takes time, effort, and organization, and, when more than two languages are involved, the time and effort are that much greater. Other expedients may also be applied. Ad hoc pidgins for the restricted purposes of trade and administration are mentioned above. Tacit or deliberate agreements have been reached whereby one language is chosen for international purposes when users of several different languages are involved.
In the Roman Empire, broadly, the western half used Latin as a lingua francaand the eastern half used Greek. In western Europe during the Middle Ages, Latin continued as the international language of educated people, and Latin was the second language taught in schools. Later the cultural, diplomatic, and military reputation of France made French the language of European diplomacy. This use of French as the language of international relations persisted until the 20th century.
At important conferences among representatives of different nations, it is usually agreed which languages shall be officially recognized for registering the decisions reached, and the provisions of treaties are interpreted in the light of texts in a limited number of languages, those of the major participants. After World War II the dominant use of English in science and technology and in international commerce led to the recognition of that language as the major international language in the world of practical affairs, with more and more countries making English the first foreign language to be taught and thus producing a vast expansion of English-language-teaching programs all over the world.
Those whose native language is English do not sufficiently realize the amount of effort, by teacher and learner alike, that is put into the acquisition of a working knowledge of English by educated first speakers of other languages. As an alternative to the recognition of particular natural languages as international in status, attempts have been made to invent and propagate new and genuinely international languages, devised for the purpose.
Of these, Esperantoinvented by the Polish-Russian doctor L. Zamenhof in the 19th century, is the best known. Such languages are generally built up from parts of the vocabulary and grammatical apparatus of the better-known existing languages of the world. The relationship between the written letter and its pronunciation is more systematic than with many existing orthographies English spelling is notoriously unreliable as an indication of pronunciationand care is taken to avoid the grammatical irregularities to which all natural languages are subject and also to avoid sounds found difficult by many speakers e.
These artificial languages have not made much progress, though an international society of Esperanto speakers does exist. Nationalistic influences on language Deliberate interference with the natural course of linguistic changes and the distribution of languages is not confined to the facilitating of international intercourse and cooperation. Language as a cohesive force for nation-states and for linguistic groups within nation-states has for long been manipulated for political ends.
Multilingual states can exist and prosper; Switzerland is a good example. But linguistic rivalry and strife can be disruptive.
Language riots have occurred in Belgium between French and Flemish speakers and in parts of India between rival vernacular communities. A language can become or be made a focus of loyalty for a minority community that thinks itself suppressed, persecuted, or subjected to discrimination. The French language in Canada in the midth century is an example. A language may be a target for attack or suppression if the authorities associate it with what they consider a disaffected or rebellious group or a culturally inferior one.
There have been periods when American Indian children were forbidden to speak a language other than English at school and when pupils were not allowed to speak Welsh in British state schools in Wales.
Both these prohibitions have been abandoned. After the Spanish Civil War of the s, Basque speakers were discouraged from using their language in public as a consequence of the strong support given by the Basques to the republican forces.
Interestingly, on the other side of the Franco-Spanish frontier, French Basques were positively encouraged to keep their language in use, if only as an object of touristic interest and consequent economic benefit to the area. Translation So far, some of the relatively large-scale effects of culture contacts on languages and on dialects within languages have been surveyed.
A continuous concomitant of contact between two mutually incomprehensible languages and one that does not lead either to suppression or extension of either is translation. As soon as two users of different languages need to converse, translation is necessary, either through a third party or directly. Before the invention and diffusion of writing, translation was instantaneous and oral; persons professionally specializing in such work were called interpreters.
In predominantly or wholly literate communities, translation is thought of as the conversion of a written text in one language into a written text in another, though the modern emergence of the simultaneous translator or professional interpreter at international conferences keeps the oral side of translation very much alive.
The main problems have been recognized since antiquity and were expressed by St.
Semantically, these problems relate to the adjustment of the literal and the literary and to the conflicts that so often occur between an exact translation of each word, as far as this is possible, and the production of a whole sentence or even a whole text that conveys as much of the meaning of the original as can be managed. These problems and conflicts arise because of factors already noticed in the use and functioning of language: Even between the languages of communities whose cultures are fairly closely allied, there is by no means a one-to-one relation of exact lexical equivalence between the items of their vocabularies.
In their lexical meanings, words acquire various overtones and associations that are not shared by the nearest corresponding words in other languages; this may vitiate a literal translation. In modern times translators of the Bible into the languages of peoples culturally remote from Europe are well aware of the difficulties of finding a lexical equivalent for lamb when the intended readers, even if they have seen sheep and lambs, have no tradition of blood sacrifice for expiation or long-hallowed associations of lambs with lovableness, innocence, and apparent helplessness.
The English word uncle has, for various reasons, a cozy and slightly comic set of associations. This is because poetry is, in the first instance, carefully contrived to express exactly what the poet wants to say.