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Diglossia as a Sociolinguistics Situation
Transcript of Diglossia as a Sociolinguistics Situation
Harold F. Schiffman
Historical Development of the Concept of Diglossia
Psichari (1928)—Dimotiki & Katharévusa in Greece
Marçais (1930)—Classic Arabic & Vernacular Arabic in Arab World
Ferguson (1959)—‘Diglossia’ in Word Journal
Joan Rubin (1960)— Guaraní & Spanish in Paraguay
Fishman (1967)—Yoruba & English in Nigeria
Extended diglossia (Fishman 1967)
A modification of Ferguson’s (1959) concept of diglossia in 1967.
An expansion of Ferguson's definition of diglossia in two respects:
(1) A diglossic speech community is not characterized by the use of two language varieties only.
(2) According to Fishman (1967), diglossia describes a number of sociolinguistic situations, from stylistic differences within one language or the use of separate dialects (Ferguson’s ‘standard-with-dialects’ distinction) to the use of (related or unrelated) separate languages.
Classical and Extended Diglossia
A taxonomy of diglossias
`classical' (Ferguson 1959) and `extended' (Fishman 1967)
(the kind where the two varieties are closely related) and
(for situations where the two languages are unrelated or at best distantly related) (Kloss, 1966: 138.)
usually thought to be more stable than
, can also be shown to be unstable under certain conditions.
A real-life example of Diglossia, Pidgin, and Code-switching by Sara Alfirai
Ferguson's original formulation
Partial vs. Total Diglossia
Some speakers control H but others have L as a mother tongue, and learn H as a second system.
Dichotomy as total diglossia vs. partial diglossia.
Homogeneous and heterogeneous diglossia
Even if diglossia is total and universal, we must determine whether the L norm is in fact one variety or more than one, i.e. is it homogeneous or heterogeneous.
"A speech community is a group of people who do not necessarily share the same language, but share a set of norms and rules for the use of language. The boundaries between speech communities are essentially social rather than linguistic... A speech community is not necessarily co-extensive with a language community." (Romaine, 1994)
Attitudes to H vs. L
Ferguson originally summarized
(1959: 435) as follows:
DIGLOSSIA is a relatively stable language situation in which, in addition to the primary dialects of the language (which may include a
), there is a very divergent, highly codified (often grammatically more complex) superposed variety, the vehicle of a large and respected body of written literature, either of an earlier period or in another speech community, which is learned largely by formal education and is used for most written and formal spoken purposes but is not used by any section of the community for ordinary conversation
Defining Criteria of Diglossia
The functional differentiation of discrepant varieties in a diglossia is fundamental, thus distinguishing it from bilingualism. H and L are used for different purposes, and native speakers of the community would find it odd (even ludicrous, outrageous) if anyone used H in an L domain, or L in an H domain
The speakers regard H as superior to L in a number of respects.
E.g. H is considered more educated, more beautiful, more logical, better able to express important thoughts, etc.
3. Literary Heritage
There is a sizable body of written literature in H which is held in high esteem by the speech community.
Adults use L in speaking to children and children use L in speaking to one another.
The actual learning of H is chiefly accomplished by the means of formal education.
There are studies or books on grammars, dictionaries, treatises on pronunciation, styles, and so on, of the H.
There is an established norm for pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary which allows variation only within certain limits.
Diglossia typically persists at least several centuries, and evidence in some cases seems to show that it can last well over a thousand years.
H has grammatical categories not present in L and has an inflectional system of nouns and verbs which is much reduced or totally absent in L.
E.g. Standard German has four cases in the noun; Swiss German has only three cases in the noun
H includes in its total lexicon technical terms and learned expressions which have no regular L equivalents, since the subjects involved are rarely if ever discussed in pure L.
L includes in its total lexicon popular expressions and the names of very homely objects or objects of very localized distribution which have no regular H equivalents, since the subjects involved are rarely if ever discussed in pure H.
The sound systems if H and L constitutes a single phonological structure of which the L phonology is the basic system.
Note: Ferguson states, “It may seem difficult to offer any generalization on the relationships between the phonology on H and L in diglossia in view of the diversity of data.
Diaglossia reinforces differences
Diglossia exist in every societies?
Bilingualism vs. Diaglossia
1. Bilingualism without diglossia:
German-Eng bilingualism in Germany.
2. Bilingualism with diglossia:
Guarani-Spanish bilingualism in Paraguay
3. Diglossia w.o Bilingualism:
Classical and colloquial Arabic in Egypt
4. Neither diglossia nor bilingualism:
monolingual parts of the USA