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Diglossia and Bilingualism

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Presentation on theme: "Diglossia and Bilingualism"— Presentation transcript:

1 Diglossia and Bilingualism

2 Language Contact Reviewed
Pidgins Language Shift Lingua Franca Both Languages survive: Code-mixing, Diglossia and Bilingualism

3 Language Choice Frederick the Great of Prussia (Germany)
“I speak _____________ to my ambassadors _________ to my accountant _________ to God _________ to my mistress and German to my ___________

4 continued Many people have an extensive linguistic repertoire
Zuleikha is a 40 year Malay housewife who uses Terengganu Malay (?) , Standard Malay (?), Standard Malaysian English (?), Cantonese and Classical Arabic

5 continued What language does she use when talking to God, spouse, relatives in Selangor or TGU, children, spouse (American), vegetable seller, doctor, office staff (private or govt.), friends ? Why?

6 Domains Many people speak several languages, dialects or accents
Different varieties used in different situations (domains) School, business, work, crime, worship, family Often strictly segregated

7 Diglossia (languages, dialects, accents)
Paraguay Spanish for higher education, official business, religion – 60% Guarani (or another indigenous language) for family activities, humour, fighting – 90% Many people speak both – 50% The elite and the poor and remote are monolingual

8 continued But 2 codes are not mixed
Guarani has official status but largely symbolic Communicative competence requires knowing when to use the right code Not to know one could be a serious disadvantage

9 Continued Nigeria (south) – English used in school and for ceremonial occasions – even if everyone understands Igbo or another language London – exaggerated local accent + taboo words for football chants/songs – not used in other domains England and Europe - local dialects in writing/drama/song nearly always humorous or literary

10 Theory of Diglossia Ferguson 1960s
Everybody speaks two languages or dialects Used in different situations Not mixed Codes may be distinct languages (South America,) or related (Indonesia) or dialects (Malaysia) Or ? (SW Asia & N Africa

11 continued Standard German and Swiss German
German and Hungarian in Oberwart Hindi and northern Indian languages Pilipino and other languages English and Bantu languages in S Africa

12 continued Cantonese and Mandarin in Singapore
French and Haitian Patois English and Jamaican Creole English and French in 12th century England (why do sheep, cows and deer become mutton, beef and venison when they are dead and cooked? Why is fish always fish?)

13 High and Low varieties High (H) and Low (L) varieties may be language or dialect May have different lexis, syntax, morphology, and/or phonology Have different status Are not mixed Return to examples – which are H and L

14 continued Low variety has low status, people deny using it, existence denied, not written, not seen as a proper language High variety has high status, seen as real language, may have religious or cultural significance, written with grammar and dictionaries

15 Problems with diglossia
Diglossia sometimes an inadequate concept May be a continuum – Malay dialects -- Standard Malay – post creole continua in Carribean, post-pidgin continua in West Africa Competing high varieties – French and Classical Arabic in Tunisia Conflict in Norway and Greece (Dhimotiki vs Katharevousa – 1901 riots, D – official after 1974)

16 continued Complementary high varieties – Standard Irish and Standard Hiberno-English in Ireland Standard Welsh and Standard English (School English) in Wales Triglossia – intermediate varieties between H and L varieties – Modern Standard Arabic

17 Origins of Diglossia Conquest – but not population replacement or language shift – South America and Algeria Fixing of written, H variety – SWANA Rise of H varieties – unification of separate states or independence – Northern Nigeria, Malaysia, Tanzania

18 Features of diglossic society
Limited education High level of social and economic inequality Limited social mobility Pronounced ethnic differences (sometimes) Recent national unity (sometimes)

19 Bilingualism Many people speak more than one language
But no separation of domains – equal status French and English in Canada German minority in Belgium Smaller languages in Africa and Australia Sometimes unstable – prelude to language shift may persist for centuries -- India

20 continued Continuum between diglossia and bilingualism
Quebec went from partial diglossia in 1960s to partial bilingualism No cognitive disadvantages to bilingualism – possibly some advantages In some cases – Canada, Singapore, Wales, USA in future ? – elite is bilingual

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