Language and Society

Language Culture
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  SOCIOLINGUISTIC (Language and Society) Lectures: Drs. Fatchul Mu’in, M. Hum, Sirajudin Kamal, S.S , M.ED, and Asmi Rusmayanti, S.Pd, M.SC Members of Group 9: Ayu Putri Fiddina (A1B207005) Miftahul Jannah (A1B207017) Rusnani (A1B207043) Abednego (A1B207046) Karlina Aminurahmah Maulida (A1B207048) Elmiyah (A1B207251) Ismaya Wulansari (A1B207310) ENGLISH DEPARTMENT FACULTY OF TEACHERS TRAINING AND EDUCATION LAMBUNG MANGKURAT UNIVERSITY BANJARMASIN    Language and Society The meaning of society and language A society is any group of people who are drawn together for certain purpose. We may attempt an equally comprehensive definition of language: a language is what the members of a particular society speak. However, as we will see, speech in almost any society can take many different forms, and just what forms we should choose to discuss when we attempt to describe the language of a society may prove to be a contentious matter. Sometimes a society may be plurilingual; that is, many speakers may use more than one language. We should also note that our definition of language and society are not independent. The definition of language includes in it a reference to society. A society can be seen from its physical environment. Our view of physical environment may be conditioned by our language. The physical environment in which a society lives can be reflected in its languages. For example if English people have only one word for rice to refer what the Javanese people call as  padi, gabah, beras , and  sega . This is because both speaking communities have different interests. It is clear that the Javanese people are necessary to create different vocabularies for that. Another examples are Eskimo has three different words for snow, but English has only one word, that is  snow . Beside the physical environment, the social environment can also be reflected in language. For example, in western society, people are more respect to women in addressing them than ours. In a formal speech, for instance, we usually greet “  Bapak-bapak, ibu-ibu ….” It shows that men (Bapak) are addressed first than women (Ibu). On the other hand, in western they accustomed to address women first in greeting, such as “  Ladies and Gentlemen .”  A language in a society is not free from rules of using language by speech community. It is affected by the values and the other cultural aspects in a society. The most interesting way in which this happens is through the phenomenon known as taboo.  Relationship between Language and Society The relationship between language and the context is in which it is used (Janet Holmes,2001:1). It explains why people speak differently in different social contexts. It discusses of social function of language in the ways it is used to convey social meaning. All of topic provides a lot of information about the language works, as well as about the social relationships in a community, and the way people signals aspects of their social identity through their language. According to Ronald Wardhaugh (1986:10-11), there are some possible relationship between language and society. They are: 1.   Viewed from the participants, social structure may either influence or determine linguistic structure and/or behavior. For example, in relation to the age-grading phenomenon, whereby young children speak differently from older children, and children speak differently from mature adults. They must met with the particular ways of speaking, choices of words, or even rules for conversing according to their srcins, regional, social, or ethnics srcins. 2.   Linguistic structure and/or behavior may either influence or determine social structure. It is viewed according to whom the language is used. This relate to the finding of Bacillus Bernstein, a  professor of Educational Sociology at University of London, about the elaborated code and restricted code, which elaborated code is generally used in formal situation such as a formal debate or an academic discussion. While the restricted one is generally used in an informal situation. 3.   Language and society is that language and society may influence each other; this influence is dialectical in nature. This is to say that speech behavior and social behavior are in state of constant interaction and that material living conditions are an important factor in relationship. 4.   There is no relationship at all between linguistic structure and social structure and that each is independent of the other.  Effect of Change on Language   Social changes produce changes in language. This affects values in ways that have not been accurately understood. Language incorporates social values. However, social values are only the same as linguistic values when the society is a stable and unchanging one. Once society starts changing, then language change produces special effects.   The use of language forms a closed loop, since it is modelled on the loop of projection and introjection. The difference between the two loops is simply that the psychological one is based on individual meanings and the linguistic one on social values. This link between language and social values is one of identity, but only as long as society is static or is evolving slowly  .  In a static society, the language is the society. Society is its language. The two are one. Language and society are two different systems since the structure within language centers on the static signifier whilst the structure within consciousness orientates on the dynamic signified. In times of stability the dynamic structure of consciousness is put on hold, so linguistic values and social values are one. However, as society changes so the dynamic structure gradually comes into the foreground. Perhaps it is more accurate to put this effect the other way around: as the dynamic structure of consciousness  becomes accentuated, so society begins to change. As society changes, social values and linguistic values begin to diverge. Language contains traditional values  –   this is what is implied in the ideas of social conditioning and social learning. In a static society, traditional values are unquestioned. Hence social learning takes the form of social conditioning. Social conditioning is the unquestioned or confused adherence to social norms, and occurs when society is taken to be self-referential. Society is the judge of its own needs. For example, the nineteenth century saw the focus on art for art‟s sake, along with science for science's sake (neither art nor science were to be dependent of values external to themselves, such as social usefulness). Then the problem of grappling with the new possibilities of language produced the dense symbolism of Mallarmé. In twentieth-century literary theory the text has become autonomous and self-contained, and/or the reader has acquired total freedom in his interpretation of the text.
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