Manual Multilingualism and Nation Building (Multilingual Matters, No 91)

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Skutnabb-Kangas Saskatoon has added the following aspects to language function framework:. Fishman has warned about the possible merger of function and domain, proposed by him in , in the writings of some linguists, which should be kept apart. Researchers agree that there is a strong connection between status and function.

By defining the number and distribution of language functions within the jurisdiction of the state and the levels of use within its institutions the state can influence the uses of an official language, provided that there is sufficient competence and no immutable diglossic dichotomy.

The state can do this through the use of certain administrative tools at its disposal, such as the promotion of personnel by language, publication and aid to publications, use of the media, translation and interpretation, public notices and public documents, social promotion and social organisation. However, the activities of the state should correspond to actual power relations. Community determines the conditions for learning and use of languages.

Language is always a social instrument and may become a social symbol. Language dominance causes language acquistion, but also language loyalty and defensive isolation. Cluver 22 defines language contact as a situation in which two or more languages are used by groups living in very close geographical or social contact and elements of the one language are absorbed by the other language. One result of language contact is that speakers are frequently bi- or multilingual. Language contact may lead to language shift or to the development of a contact language or pidgin.

Reaction to the effects of language contact takes the form of language maintenance. Usually researchers have not been strict when using the terms denoting language contact cf. Abderrahman Due to the power structure within society the additional synergetical unit makes collective unequal to the sum of individual phenomena, therefore supposing different framework and, consequently, different terms. Outcome of a language contact has drawn attention of several researchers and produced several theories.

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Some, like Slobin note primacy of linguistic factors like highly regular and transparent grammar. Thomason and Kaufman , quoted in Abderrahman claim that linguistic considerations are relevant, but they are still secondary. According to Whinnom , quoted in Thomas four barriers control the transfer of elements from one language to another:. The ethological whether or not there is some emotional impediment.

The mechanical whether or not there are insuperable structural differences between the languages.

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The conceptual whether or not the conceptual world of one speech community is rejected by the other. Changes in language choice reflect an underlying change in social norms and frequently lead to language decline Cluver Language choice is frequently based on political factors which include the consolidation of power relations or the building of a nation Eastman Weinstein has shown that the reasons for the choice of a particular language for specific function can often be found in particular groups who benefit by this choice.

Khubchandani stipulates in this case the role of language as a symbol of status and progress. Usually language choice is directed by the following patterns: language identity patterns are in consonance with communication patterns, loyalties based on language identity have acquired political salience, and language caters to all the needs of the speaker. Thus, according to Khubchandani choice of language is determined by:. Concerning the language choice on individual level, Herman draws attention to the following factors: the freedom of language choice will be determined by the degree of language tolerance in the particular society.

This tolerance refers not only to permissiveness toward the use of other language but also to the attitude toward a faulty use of the national tongue.

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Language loyalty will cause a person to use the particular language in a wide variety of situations and he will be impervious to the requirements of the immediate situation or to his personal needs. When the situation provokes insecurity or high tension, one will be hesitant to use a language in which he is not proficient and will prefer the familiar tongue.

Persons with high sensitivity of criticism will not readily use a new language in which they are not proficient unless there are other compelling circumstances. The person who is not concerned about group identifications can act more freely in terms of the demands of the immediate situation. The more task-oriented the behaviour, the less likely are personal needs or group identifications to enter. When well-established patterns of behaviour characterize a relationship it is more resistant to background influences and changing personal needs.

Stewart observes that different languages are not competitive when they are used by different people for the same things, or by the same people for different things. He continues: :. Language conflicts can occur if this complementary relationship is upset, either by a natural historical process or by direct administrative intervention. Stavenhagen states that the causes leading to cultural conflicts are generally linked to historical reasons in societies where resources and power have been unequally distributed.

The reason for tension may be the situation when the supremacy of a given language goes counter to the needs and aspirations of large sections of populations Baetens Beardsmore, Wyllemyns , power balance is altered. Usually, power issues may be deducted from the views concerning the conflict.

Linguistic landscape

Very often language conflict carries symbolically the confict of another order, like economic conflict Nelde Thus, language conflict is a reflection of underlying social conflict, the basic force of which is felt to be inequality. Kelman , quoted in Cluver 21 identifies language policy as one of the causes of language conflict.

Because their language is not given due recognition, members of their group are denied equal opportunities and thus have limited socio-economic mobility. According to Kelman 36 instrumentally based grievances the idea that the minority language excludes its speakers from full participation in the political and economic systems are a primary impetus for major language conflict. Obstructing access to jobs, education, economic and social advancement by introducing language requirements may give rise to conflict. When language differences coincide with other significant differences, the risk of alienation and conflict is increased.

McRae points out that when these conditions are accompanied by the exclusion of certain groups and their languages from the centres of political decision making, the risks of language conflict are enhanced. The claims presented above accord with the study by Allardt , who shows that ethnic or linguistic militancy is related to some form of relative deprivation, historical memories of persecution, and to unfulfilled aspirations. Ethnic mobilization seems to be positively correlated with the availability of resources, according to Allardt ibid.

Thes tend to be linked to language policy models discussed below.

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Consequently, language conflicts emerge from the collision of language policy models, especially during the transformation of one model to another. Thus, in general, the generator of conflicts seems to be various set of constraints in the transformation of one kind of power into another, in order to create a new level of balance within society. If in this process, language is connected with one of the kinds of power, the process turns into linguistic conflict.

Thus, solutions are based either on strengthening the constraints on power transformation, or eliminating these all. Language shift denotes the loss of linguistic skills between generations, while language attrition refers to loss of skills in individuals over time. In our framework native language loss in the second language environment L1 in L2 is considered. Gonzo and Saltarelli , referred to in Kees de Bot have shown that in society both language attrition and language shift occur usually jointly.

Language shift takes place in multilingual societies among the community in a dominated position, resulting usually in bilingualism. Thus, language shift denotes the resulting reallocation of languages and sometimes the death of one of the languages. As Paulston shows, the power pushing a community of speakers towards language shift should not necessarily come from numerical strength, but through the control of institutions, like education and judicial system.

Thus it may be viewed as a process or as a result. Dorian, depicting the result , is on the opinion that language shift occurs when a language used in a community is replaced by another. During this process, the dominant language takes over functions that were assumed by the dominated language. This gradual displacement of one language by another is what defines language shift, according to Abderrahman Willemyns has defined language shift as assimilation of members of linguistic community A to linguistic community B, motivated by a want for upward social mobility.

Thus the shift always occurs from a less prestigious to a more prestigious community. The shift can be stopped only if the prestige language ceases to be the prestige language. De Vries has shown that bilingualism, besides being a necessary condition for language shift, may also be a sufficient condition of language shift.

According to this model language shift takes place proceeding from monolingualism in the minority language over phases of bilingualism in the two languages to monolingualism in the majority language. The model shows the threat to maintenance as soon as there are no monolinguals left in the minority community. Fishman has suggested a strict domain separation, i.

The has been modified to the concrete situations, and, taking into account the dynamics of the process, the middle phase is usually left out, like the model proposed by Denison For the convenience of according the symbols with those used by Fishman , like Xmen, Yish we have changed original A and B for X and Y. There are several factors that strengthen language shift.

Usually these factors divide the community into several sub-units and thus hamper communication. Moelleken names here different religions or confessions practiced and different writing systems. One should also add geographical and political splits. However, the result is same: introduction of hierarchical systems based on power, hierarchy of languages, connected with economic hierarchy. In the present work, the term language shift will be used to refer to a gradual takeover of functions of one language by another within a community.

The term language attrition denotes, first, phenomena reflecting any decline in language skills at the level of individuals general term , and second, any change of language habits at the level of a community of speakers, a deviation of a language feature from a certain norm Abderrahman Being individual counterpart to community-level language shift, its main development line corresponds to that of language shift cf. According to Major , first language attrition refers to the diminishing competence in a language, varying in degree from complete loss, like language death, to loss of proficiency, to change in language contact situations.

In most cases L1 loss includes concomitant learning of an L2 and integration into L2 culture. Thus, second language acquisition and first language loss seem to be inextricably linked. In general, it is reasonable to assume that the better one does at L2 language and culture the more likely that person will undergo L1 loss. A number of social and affective factors have been linked to second language acquisition such as cultural identity, attitude, motivation, accommodation, ego permeability, the affective filter, and risk-taking.

Seliger and Vago 3 point out that the primary concern is the disintegration or attrition of the structure of the first language in contact situations with a second language. Bilingualism is a natural setting for the unraveling of native language abilities. Attrition phenomena develop in bilingual individuals as well as bilingual societies, in both indigenous and immigrant communities.

At its extreme, attrition leads to what has come to be known as language death. The language of the bilingual develop patterns of dominance or strength, usually in relation to the domains in which the languages are used Fishman The domain relationships of the languages can change such that the host or first language is weakened by the increasing frequency of use and function of the second language.

Language death is sometimes included under the notion of language shift. According to Abderrahman the main difference between language shift and language death is that in the former case, a language continues to exist, usually somewhere else than where it has lost its spe, whereas in the latter case a language simply ceases to be used. Thus, Herman Batibo defines language death as sudden and radical death of a language by dying or extermination or threat of it, provided the continuation of the use of a language concerned.

As a motor of the developments he recognizes External Setting extralinguistic factors causing pressure that influences Speech Behaviour use of domains, attitudes that correspondingly influences Structural Consequences changes in language. Bereznak and Campbell , cf. Campbell and Muntzel distinguish several kinds of language death, each of which is characterised by certain linguistic attributes:. Skutnabb-Kangas has turned attention to the fact that language death does not necessarily imply a causal agent, it is usually seen beyond the control of any agents, regarded as inevitable concomitants of social change.


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However, language death has structural and ideological causes, which can be identified and analysed. Linguicide linguistic genocide implies that there is an agent involved in causing the death of languages. Skutnabb-Kangas 86 has observed: Crude biologically argued racism has, as official state ideology, largely been superseded by ethnicism and linguicism. Instead of superior races, certain ethnic groups or cultures and languages are now presented as fitter to rule and expand.

Others are expected to adopt these cultures and learn the languages for the sake of modernization, development, democracy, and the technology and values associated with dominant market forces, and to do it at the expense of developing their own languages and cultures, not in addition to them. Linguicism is defined here Skutnabb-Kangas 13 as ideologies, structures and practices which are used to legitimate, effectuate and reproduce an unequal division of power and resources both material and immaterial between groups which are defined on the basis of language.

Series Critical Concepts in Language Studies. David Crystal, Edwards J. Sociopolitical aspects of language maintenance and loss. In Fase W. Maintenance and loss of minority languages. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. What has happened to the languages in your country during the last years? Multilingualism in society: language environments 3. Languages in multilingual states: functions and status 3. Language conflict and language planning.

Language policies and multilingualism in terms of population Video Language policies and multilingualism in terms of population easier introductory text! Inequality due to the knowledge of language - how to diminish the inequality? In Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland the concept immigrants is defined by combining two generations those born abroad and those born in the new country by parents who were born abroad.

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In a society the national language usually has three aspects of significance concurrently: cognitive - being cognitively crucial for further learning within and beyond school; affective - symbolizing national identity, associated with national culture and iconic texts, and behavioural - a skill needed to acquire work and economic independence within the national society Byram, Could education be the key for building new better societies? References: Baker, C. Families as primary socialization agents.

One real-life story. Reading According to the social identity theory, language is one of the most important means by which people identify themselves and others. I wish you great language immersion! Video Language environments. Video Now, watch a short video lecture about the language security in the society. Language functions and status The issue of language functions and status seems to be an aspect of language with no major common understanding emerging.

Bialystok Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Psychology and Aging, 19, Revised from Edition. New York: Holt. Jessner Eds. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Cenoz, B. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Why Investigate the Multilingual Lexicon? International Review of Applied Linguistics, 11, Syntactic Structures. The Hague: Mouton. Some of the Things Trilinguals Do.

The International Journal of Bilingualism, 1, Dynamics of Language Contact. Language, Culture and Curriculum, 8, Evidence for Multicompetence. Language Learning, 42, Multicompetence: Black Hole or Worm Hole? The Significance of Learner Errors. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 5, Typology and Universals 2nd ed. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics 4th ed. Working Papers on Bilingualism No. Language Learning and Bilingualism.

Sophia Linguistica, 29, Third or Additional Language Acquisition. Applied Linguistics, 13, The Psycholinguistics of Multilingualism. Metakognition und Zweitspracherwerb. Zimmermann Eds.

Applied Linguistics, 19, Activation or Inhibition? New York: Routledge. Markedness and the Contrastive Analysis Hypothesis. Language Learning, 27, International Association of Applied Linguistics Review, 11, Second Language Acquisition.


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  7. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Cognitive Dimensions of Language Transfer. Sharwood Smith Eds. New York: Pergamon Press. International Journal of Multilingualism, 1, Teaching and Learning English as a Foreign Language. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Brain and Language, 27, Neurolinguists, Beware! Brain and Language, 36, Nicol Ed. Chapter 5 presents an analysis of the resulting sociolinguistic situation in contemporary West African countries.

    Chapter 6 discusses the impact of linguistic diversity on internal conflict in West African nations, while chapter 7 focuses on the two basic options available to multilingual nation, assimilation or pluralism. Chapter 8 examines the language policies of African leaders, the majority of whom have decided to maintain the ex-colonial language as the official language.