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Lecture 2

LING 115gw Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Nisei, Tok Pisin, Ottoman Empire

Course Code
LING 115gw
Simpson Andrew

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Unit 2: Diglossia and Code Switching (in multi-lingual societies)
Use of two or more languages in different situations or in the same conversation mixed together
Norway (Norwegian) --> Bokmal (main) and Ranamal (local/regional)
Bokmal: student talking to a teacher, formal conversation in a church, gov't office talk, TV/
Radio news...
Ranamal: talking to your family/friends, talking to shop-keepers...
Someone growing up in South Africa knows on average:
Bantu language family: Swazi, Zulu, Tswana, Sotho
English (from the English colonization)
Afrikaans (Dutch mixed with African languages from Dutch colonization)
Tsotsitaal (Gangster lingo used by African youth)
Someone growing up in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire) knows on average:
Are you speaking to a close friend?
Yes: Indoubil
Are you speaking to someone from the same tribe?
Is this formal or informal?
Formal: Shi (formal)
Informal: She (informal)
Is this a formal interaction?
Yes: Swahili
No: Kingwana
Diglossia: A situation in which two varieties of the same language are involved
(1) People speak two distinct varieties of the same language --> labeled as H (high) and L (low)
(2) The H and the L have distinct uses/functions --> "complimentary distribution" meaning you
use one language in a situation where you would never use the other
(3) The H variety is not used for informal conversation by almost anyone
(4) The L variety is acquired and learned in the home; the H variety is taught in school
(5) Often there are no grammatical descriptions/dictionaries of the L variety
(6) Not always --> H variety is sometimes more complex in it's word structure/morphology
Examples of Diglossia
Switzerland (4 official languages: German, French, Italian, and Romansh) 1.
German population of Switzerland A.
Swiss German: L (at home) a.
Standard German: H (in school) b.
Arabic-speaking countries 2.
Regional/Local Arabic (colloquial Arabic): L (at home) A.
Classical Arabic: H (in school) B.
Greece 3.
Kathareuousa Greek: H A.
Dhimotiki: L B.
Haiti (unusual situation because they appear to be two different languages) 4.
French A.
Haitian Creole --> Pigin of French B.
Situations of H vs. L - domains/areas of life
TV News
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Education (formal lecture)
Education (discussion section)
Radio (talk show)
TV (soap opera)
Extended Diglossia: People use two completely different languages for the same functional
i.e. Paraguay --> H (Spanish), L (Guaraní)
Triglossia (3 languages involved)
Middle Ages, England --> English (L), French (H-I) ... Latin (H-Z)
Diglossia Examples - More in-depth
First use of Arabic is 6th century C.E. in the Arabian Peninsula
7th century - Mohammed writes down the Qur'an in his regional (Mecca) variety of Arabic
Fixed written Arabic is the Mecca variety
Arabic conquests dispersing Arabic and Islam throughout the Middle East/North Africa affects
Coptic (Egypt) --> Egyptian colloquial Arabic
Berber (Morocco) --> Moroccan colloquial Arabic
Results: All use classical Arabic to write (H), all speak very different local/regional forms of Arabic
Differences in grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary
Positive attitudes towards classical Arabic: logical, beautiful, clear
Negative attitudes towards regional Arabic: unrefined, low status, coarse
Had to add words to classical Arabic --> resulted in Modern Standard Arabic (!!) which is
mainly only used in writing
Think English!
Read Peruse
Rich Affluent
Buy Purchase
Part of the Ottoman empire that was dominated by Turkish, Arabic, and Persian
19th century - Ottoman falls apart
1832 - Greece wins it's independence and wants it's own distinct clear national languages; 3
(1) Colloquial Athens Greek (from the capitol Athens) --> known as Dhimotiki (L)
Many spoke it, but also many didn't like it because it has a lot of words from other
languages; people also considered it low status
(2) Purified Greek - strips all the foreign words out of Dhimotiki --> known as Katharevousa
Issue was that not everyone knew a lot of the new words
(3) Readopt Ancient Greek
Lasted for 140 years until the 1970s and now Dhimotiki is the official language of Greece
Spanish (H) - official language
Guaraní (L) - government officially recognizes an indigenous language as being important
Spanish: gov't business, religion (church confession), talking to superiors, well-dressed
stranger, cities
Guaraní: talking to family/friends, telling jokes, shabby stranger, countryside
Upper-classes: Males favor Guaraní (solidarity), females favor Spanish (education, status)
Overseas interactions: almost always use Guaraní because it stresses their connection
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