Language and CultureProf. R. Hickey SS 2006Sociolinguistics, Language and Culture Nadine Bieniek (Hauptstudium LN)Alina Biesenbaum (Grundstudium LN)Maike Ebert (Grundstudium TN)Katharina Kraatz (Grundstudium TN)Lukas Rott Magdalena Szuber (ECTS Punkte)Anna Zagermann (Grundstudium TN)Jessica Zeltner (Hauptstudium LN)
Content 1. Standard Languages and Linguistic Engineering 2. Building National Identities 3. Language and Social Position: Social Inequality 4. Social Deixis 5. Social Markers 6. Non-verbal communication 7. Expressive movements between cultures 8. Human Rituals
1. Standard Languages and Linguistic EngineeringThe Concept of the Nation-State and the National Language Magdalena Szuber
The notion of a ‘nation –state’ A result of economic and political developments in the 19th century, particularly the French and industrial revolutions, and from these via education of elites diffused throughout the world.
The notion of a ‘nation –state’ Shift of political communities from Gemeinschaft “community” signifying relationships based on likeness, shared properties of kinship and descent or locality, e.g. home, farm, village to Gesellschaft “association” people of different backgrounds engaging in contracts of association and exchange, e.g. larger cities or industrial units as is clearly modern nation-state. (Toennis, 1955) In this sense the nation-state is an “imagined community”, basis of which (or a powerful force for its forming) is a shared, mostly standard, national language.
The notion of a ‘nation –state’ Forces producing and molding standard national languages are various, but revolve mainly around politics and economy. Standard national language is likely to reflect the speech of nation’s elite.
The Development of Standard English • The idea of a standard English emerged in the London area, center of trade and commerce, around the 14th century; English spoken in 4 main dialect groupings: • Northern, above the Humber River • Midland, north of the Thames and Avon rivers, south of Humber • Southern, south of the Avon and Thames rivers, west of London • Kentish, south of the Thames River, mainly east of London
The Development of Standard English The Dialect of English spoken in London has always been gradually seen as prestigious throughout the whole country: • 14th century - the Southern dialect • 15th century - the East Midland dialect (The Black Death, William Caxton) • 16th century - the Northern dialect (wool trade & manufacture) • 16th/17th century literacy solidifies position of the prestigious London dialect, • late 18th century - the rise of a nation-state ideology mounts full-scale attack on the minority languages of the British Isles
The Development of Standard English Late 18th century - the rise of a nation-state ideology mounts full-scale attack on the minority languages of the British Isles • Unified British nation and people required acceptance of all of a standard British language • Spelling standardized, stigmatizing certain variant forms (development of prescriptive grammars and dictionaries) • The end result – Standard English we know today
Language standardization • Country’s economic and political power centralized • ‘Standard’ likely to be based on speech of the higher social strata, ‘the elite’ • Literate forms and cultural activities
Dutch as a Standard Language Two different stories - Belgium and the Netherlands
Standard Dutch of Belgium and the Netherlands In Belgium Dutch is one of the two official languages. Originally modern Belgium and the Netherlands spoke regional dialects of Dutch. 17th century revolt against Habsburg rule produce a new standard of the independent northern provinces (The Netherlands), based on the language of Amsterdam. Amsterdam – cultural and scientific center The developments in Belgium differ.
Standard Dutch of Belgium and the Netherlands Habsburg hegemony in Belgium continued until the 19th century, when the Kingdom of Belgium emerged. French was than an prestigious language of courts from Paris to Moscow, also bulk of elite in Belgium. Farmers and laboring classes continued to speak regional Dutch dialects. Dutch received an official status in Belgium only in 1938. Belgian Dutch has never been officially recognized. Real economic power lies in the hands of French speakers (Brussels and the European Union).
Standard Languages in Norway • Story reflects the Romantic idea that nation’s unique identity and distinctive national language are closely intertwined. From 15th century until 1814, Norway was ruled by Denmark; official language – Danish. When Norway regained its independence in 1814, there was no Standard Norwegian. Two Standard languages emerge.
Standard Languages in Norway Bokmal, the ‘book language’, developed on the basis of speech of the urban elite, but influenced by the language of the enemy – Danish. Nynorsk, the new Norwegian A school teacher Ivar Aasen introduces new standard, based on the rural western Norwegian dialects, which have had least Danish influence.
Conclusion Language Standardization is primarily a political and economic process Significant role of ideologies of statehood and nationalism
2. Building National Identities Alina Biesenbaum
Building National Identities The concepts of nation and state: State: any region governed under a central administration with its own legal and political institutions, and seperated by the administration from surrounding regions. Nation: community of people who see themselves as an ethnic and cultural unit, and contrast with other communities of people surrounding them.
Asia and Africa • are multiethnic and multilingual • problems of developing a standart language • constructing a standart language is seen as an intrinsic part of building a modern nation-state • „one nation, one people, one language“
Asia and Africa • citizens are often divided by tribe, race, region, custom, religion and language • therefore struggles may arise ( conflict between Bantu and Nilotic tribes in 1970s and 1980s) • conflicts can lead to a collapse of the nation-state
Asia and Africa • according to Geertz conflicts are a result of integrative failure • important to bind people together into a state • centralization of a national media, national school curricula, national governmental bureaucracy
Asia and Africa • one of the major conflicts today is the struggle of communities (nations) to become states (Kurds) • ex colonies: they are states struggling to be nations
Standard language and Elite Hegemony • common identity of citizens = same national language • official languages are necessary for the functioning of the state and its central institutions • many ex-colonies have chosen English or French to be their national language
2 main reasons for this situation 1. countries are highly multilingual 2. prior to independence, the political and economic elite were educated in the colonial languages • good and active control of these languages is essential to gaining access to power and prestige
Forging a Standard language- the case of Indonesian • not all ex-colonies have adopted French or English • Indonesia and Tanzania have raised regional languages to the status of official national languages • Indonesia: multiethnic, multilingual (over 300 languages)
The Malay language • Malay: language of trade, also used by the Dutch • in 1928 Malay was claimed as official national language
The Malay language • colloquial: aku tanam sayur di kabun I plant vegetables in garden • standart: saya men-(t) anam-i kebun dengun I plant garden with sayur vegetables • prefix men- indicates active voice • suffix –i indicates that direct object is a location
The Malay language • the colloquial varities employ word order to signal grammatical functions and are morphologically unelaborated • Standart Indonesian makes use of derivational morphology
Modernization in Language Standardization • standard Indonesian is under pressure to „modernize“ • lack of words for concepts and practices connected with the modern world of technology, bureaucracy, economy
Modernization in Language Standardization • In coining new words for modern concepts, language planners look 1.for sources in Indonesian languages, 2. Sanskrit, 3. Indic languages, 4. European languages (English)
Modernization in Language Standardization • antropologi – anthropology • kwalitet - quality • rasionalisasi – rationalization • politik - politics • demokrasi - democracy In the field of politics, economies, technology the words are borrowed from the English language
3. Language and Social Position: Social Inequality Jessica Zeltner
Contents: Language and Social Position • Social Inequality: Class, Power, and Prestige • Social Roles • Other Types of Social Structure • Conclusion • References
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and Prestige Sociolinguistics: “deals with the inter-relationships between language and society. It has strong connections […] to sociology, through the crucial role that language plays in the organization of social groups and institutions.” (Yule 1996: 239)
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and Prestige Social Stratification: “the arrangement of any social group or society into a hierarchy of positions that are unequal with regard to power, property, social evaluation […]” (Tumin 1967: 12) Power: The ability to realize one’s wants and interests even against resistance (according to Max Weber 1972)
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and Prestige Class: • defined by occupation and educational level • people behave in ways appropriate to their class position Class System: positions people so that access to “scarce goods” is either given or denied
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and Prestige Conflicts of interests: higher vs. lower class Social Classes: “aggregates of people who have similar overall positions in the economic system” (Foley 1997: 308) • indicators: occupation, educational level
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and Prestige Status: “the hierarchical ranking of individuals along a dimension of social prestige, which leads to differentials in power and access to scarce goods” (according to Weber)
Social Inequality: Class, Power, and Prestige Criteria of Status: • inferior / superior • Status entitlements are not fixed • determined by occupation and educational background • deference / avoidance • hierarchy
Social Roles Criteria of Roles: • particular attitudes and practices • Influenced by class position and education • different contexts - different behavior
Social Roles Criteria of Roles: • actors take on roles • different roles – differing status entitlements • asymmetrical power
Social Roles Criteria of Roles: • expectations • asymmetry of power - strictness of roles • specific code of behavior: “styles of language” • highly pervasive roles
Social Roles Society: “network of fields of conventionalized interactive relationships of differential power, reward, and prestige” (Foley 1997: 311)
Other Types of Societies Caste Society: • indicator: birth • no alteration • multidimensional • hierarchical
Other Types of Societies Age Set Society: • biological features • hierarchy structured by age: age grades • political power: the eldest • younger must defer to older • alteration by aging
Conclusion • Societies are structured in various ways • Most common way in Western Societies: class system • Social roles are linked to concept of class and status • Languages have various ways to indicate social class, status and roles
4. Social Deixis Maike Ebert