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bilingualism culture and language change
Bilingualism: Culture and Language Change
  • Cultures and languages do not exist in isolation, nor are they unchanging. Cultures and languages are constantly in flux, sometimes due to internal forces, i.e. conflicts of interest among groups, and sometimes from contact with other languages (Foley 2001: 381).
no society is homogeneous
No society is homogeneous
  • Internal divisions
  • Different beliefs and practices
  • Hierarchy of languages
language contact
Language contact:
  • Language transformation
  • Changes in attitudes and practices
  • Adjusting to other languages
  • Overtime: language shifts
  • Reasons: historical, economic and political
  • Higher status versus lower status
power struggles and language death
Power struggles and language death
  • Equally in multicultural as well as in small-scale societies (Australia versus Yimas village)
  • Example one: Hungarian language in Austria

---positive versus negative social meanings

---peasant life versus modern life

strategies utilized by bilinguals
Strategies utilized by Bilinguals
  • Code switching and code mixing
  • Code switching:When bilinguals integrate linguistic resources from two languages within the same discourse segment, this strategy has a number of linguistic and interactional functions
code switching linguistic and interactional functions
Code Switching: linguistic and interactional functions
  • to express a more precise meaning


“Then I woke up Sunday Morning.”

“She turned sixty-five in July.”

  • to compensate for memory lapses

Necesito un string para la kite

I need a string for the kite

code switching linguistic and interactional functions 2
Code Switching: linguistic and interactional functions, 2
  • As an attention-getting device

Now let me do it. Put your feet down. Mira

  • To express social value

Society hii aisii hai

“The society is like that.”

code mixing
Code Mixing
  • Is a linguistic process that incorporates material from a second language in a base language: morphological markers.

To watch: Watchando

language death
Language Death
  • Typically based on economic and political imperatives
  • Historical reasons: overwhelming forces
  • Central american Case: colonialism
  • Assimilative policies: North america and Australia
language death among the arapaho
Language death among the Arapaho
  • English associated with power
  • Bilingualism becomes an asset
  • Bilingualism gives way to monolingualism
  • Indigenous language loses prestige
other reasons for language death
Other reasons for language death
  • Being outnumbered: Normandy, Hungarian speakers of Austria
  • Negative attitudes towards local languages

Tiwa opposite example

  • Immigration
  • Cultural imperialism; mass media, Hollywood
discussion question
Discussion Question
  • What do you think is the future of most languages in the world? What can we do to prevent the death of these languages.