• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What are the consequences of societal multilingualism?

Extracts from this document...


What are the consequences of societal multilingualism? In order to understand the choices that are available to speakers, we must first understand what languages and varieties are available to them, in that particular social context. The social context involves concepts such as ethnicity, nationality, language, religion, gender and social class. These are the domains in which a multilingual speaker is likely to change his/her language, according to the society in which the speaker finds his/herself. Societal multilingualism although involving positive qualities it can bring problems for the linguistic minorities that are living within a certain country, as they have to acquire a high standard of proficiency in at least two languages. Not only will they be speaking the language of their ethnic background, but they will also have to learn the language of the country they are living in. The level at which they must reach in speaking this 'native' language will have to be of a high standard. Without this high level of proficiency in the language/s of the country they will be unable to function as full members of that society. One of the linguistic problems facing the minorities is in the domain of education where the language that may be the most widely spoken is not necessarily the same language that will be spoken in the educational system. ...read more.


Code switching, is a consequence of bilingualism or more generally multilingualism. A choice that is made between languages, when they speak more than one, according to the circumstances in which they find themselves. In view of this there are certain factors which must be taken into consideration, the first being whether the language will be comprehensible to the person being addressed. Speakers will, generally speaking, choose a language that the other person can understand. In societal multilingualism the different languages are always used in different circumstances, and the choice that they make is always controlled by social rules. Typically one language is reserved for use at home and another is used in a wider community. One language will have a certain social function that another language would be unable to fulfil; each language will represent certain social distinctions. The choice of language will define and redefine the situation; this is referred to as metaphorical code switching. This may change, between formal to informal, official to personal, serious to humorous and politeness to solidarity. This form of code switching is referred to as metaphorical code switching, and is concerned with the various effects that the speaker intends to convey while communicating. ...read more.


and Guarani is the L variety (i.e. Instructions to workers in low prestige occupations). The H variety is the prestige variety and is the taught variety, and the L variety is the learned variety. Although a bilingual or multilingual society has the capability of creating positive effects, such as allowing communication to occur with a minority percentage of the population. This situation is still capable of creating a negative effect, such as a loss of language, in particular amongst the immigrants. The immigrant will be forced into speaking the official language of the country on a more regular basis, and will begin to speak his/hers native language on a much less frequent basis. A multilingual society may also lead to a sort of diffusion; certain features will spread from one language to another, as a result of the multilingual situation, particularly in the area of where syntactic features will diffuse. A multilingual society may also create a degree of confusion amongst the speakers when they are not fully aware of the community norms, and the particular functions of the language in relation to the way the society functions. The most positive effect societal multilingualism creates is communication between the society as a whole, whether the person that an individual is speaking to is familiar or unfamiliar. This is proved in the case of Singapore, where numerous languages are used in a numerous different circumstances. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Sequential and simultaneous bilingualism.

    4 star(s)

    the second language is less than perfect, but still close to his ability on his first language. All depends on the researcher's view of bilingualism and the degree of fluency that an individual needs in order to be considered bilingual.

  2. The language situation in Kenya, and in particular the shift and choice of English, ...

    Whiteley recognizes the need to develop a written tradition of these indigenous languages with the view of preserving them. By doing so, it would be possible to maintain the oral traditions of these languages and offer a means for the transmission of culture.

  1. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    Appendix 4 Jimmisav01 If I was you, I would have a look... 25-year-old man Feltham, Middlesex, United Kingdom seeking women 23-29 within 14 miles of London - West, Greater London, United Kingdom Relationships: Never Married Have kids: None Want kids: Definitely (1)

  2. Why the Spanish Armada was defeated in 1588.

    They were to carry 20,000 Spanish soldiers, food, drink, guns, gunpowder, cannons, horses, mules, and all other necessary equipment. Next, the Spanish warships would clear the straits of Dover of English ships and soldiers. If spotted by the English fleet they were to attack and destroy them in a battle.

  1. Free essay

    GNVQ Business Promotion Unit 7

    I am going to recommend some promotion ideas for the summer courses, which are being re-launched this summer (2006), my recommendations are: Discount or an extra free service for people who bring there leaflet in: (leaflets would be produced at a photocopying shop, and would need money to pay the

  2. Studying Language Variation in Singapore.

    In my recordings, I found that he only switched between 4 of the varieties- Teochew, Mandarin, English and Malay. I suppose it was not necessary to speak in any other Chinese dialect because it was a family gathering. Speaking mainly Teochew, he code-switched quite frequently, but not as much as S2.

  1. Compare the presentation of foreigners abroad in Indian Ink and A Room with a ...

    her; when she experiences the murder at the Piazza Signeria, it obviously affects her deeply as she felt that 'she, as well as the dying man, had crossed some type of spiritual boundary', yet she says to George 'How quickly these accidents do happen, and then one returns to the old life' (p45).

  2. Language Change.

    * Weak (regular) verbs have only four forms: talk, talks, talked and talking, for example. * Strong, or irregular, verbs have five forms: sing, sings, sang, sung and singing. A few verbs (that end in a -t or -d) do not form the past tense with -ed, and have only three forms: cut, cuts, cutting.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work