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Diglossia and Bilingualism

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Samantha Styers

on 5 February 2014

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Transcript of Diglossia and Bilingualism

The Interaction of Diglossia and Bilingualism
Fishman 1967
vs. Diglossia
the Differences
Bilingualism refers to an individual's ability to communicate in multiple varieties.
Diglossia refers to the social functionality of each variety.
"Bilingualism is essentially a characterization of individual linguistic behavior whereas diglossia is a characterization of linguistic organization at the socio-cultural level."
(p. 362)
Fishman 1967
Both Diglossia and Bilingualism
Bilingualism without Diglossia
Diglossia without Bilingualism
Neither Diglossia nor Bilingualism
Large, complex speech communities where members are engaged in multiple roles within society.
1. In Paraguay nearly everyone speaks Spanish and Guarani.
2. In the Swiss-German cantons all school age citizens alternate between High German and Swiss German
When bilingualism exists with diglossia, people use one variety in certain situations and another variety in other situations.
How do they interact?
Can you think of any examples where we use different varieties in different situations?
Is it possible for a society with no bilingualism or diglossia to exist?
Are there disadvantages
to bilingualism in this situation?
This is clearly a diglossic situation, considering our previous discussion, should it be considered a bilingual situation?
Consider the case of the Sentinelese people living on an island in eastern India.
- The minority language as a low variety
- Interference between languages
- Pidginization
What could threaten this type of situation?
What conditions would be necessary for a bilingual situation to arise with no diglossia?
Before WWI many European elites spoke a high variety that was not linguistically related to the low variety of the peasants. Neither group was usually bilingual.
Does the same dynamic exist anywhere today?
- Heritage speakers
- Parents vs. Peers vs. Classroom
- When you are angry or upset
In Algeria 99% of the population speaks Berber (Algerian Arabic) as a native language, however, most government business, media, and higher education is conducted in French.
When we use different styles of English for different situations would those be considered cases of diglossia with or without bilingualism?
- Angry
- With parents
- In the classroom
- At work
- With children
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