Bidirectional Nature of Language in the Society
Objectives of The Study
The primary aim of this thesis is to examine and elucidate the bidirectional nature of language in society, with a focus on the following specific objectives:
- To investigate how societal factors impact the development and evolution of language, leading to linguistic variations, dialects, and language change.
- To explore the role of language in constructing and perpetuating cultural identities, social hierarchies, and power dynamics within societies.
- To analyze how language influences and reflects social attitudes, ideologies, and beliefs, either reinforcing or challenging prevailing norms.
- To assess the implications of language and society’s interplay in various contexts, such as education, media, politics, and interpersonal interactions.
- To propose potential strategies for promoting linguistic diversity, inclusivity, and sensitivity in a rapidly globalizing world.
THEORETICAL AND CONCEPTUAL REVIEW
The Nature of Language
Various definition of the language has been proposed by linguists. Language is a form, not the substance (in Chaer Lyons 1995:60). While Chaer (1995:14) mentions the characteristics that constitute the essence of language as a symbol of the sound system, are arbitrary, productive, dynamic, diverse, and humane.
Language as a system, which means that formed by a number of components that are fixed and can be patterned. As a system, in addition to the systematic language are also systemic. Systematic meaning, language arranged according to a certain pattern, not arranged randomly or arbitrarily. While systematic means that language is a single system, but rather consists of several subsystems that differ from other languages. Language subsystem consists of phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. Therefore the language also commonly considered unique but universal at the same time. Unique means having the characteristics or properties not possessed by other languages, while universal means having the same traits that exist in all languages.
When compared with animals that have a variety of forms of communication, so people just use the language. Basically there are two types of animal communication systems: first, communication systems found in the bees. The second all communication systems exist in monkeys and birds. Human languages have something similar to this communication, but has a major difference compared to both (Gee, 1993: 2). Bees can communicate the presence of nectars to their group members, like the distance of the nectars, direction to the location, and the number of nectar found by using a particular dance. Gee called the bee dance to communicate the presence of the nectar as point-by- point system. In addition to bees, monkeys and birds also have a way to communicate. Vervet African apes are capable to produce 36 kinds of sound for various situations. Among them was a different sound for the same situation, so vervet communication system able to deliver 22 kinds of messages. In addition, the birds also have a way to communicate even only consist of a very limited vocabulary to deliver messages.
Furthermore, Chaer and Agustina (2004:26-29) suggests 16 kinds of distinctive human language, as follows:
- The language uses vowel auditory pathway. In this case, there are similarities between communication systems owned by many animals, including crickets, frogs, and
- Language can be spread in all directions; yet receptions are directed. Spoken language sounds can be heard in all directions due to noise or sounds of language that propagates through the air, but the receiver or listener can tell exactly from which direction the sounds of language
- The language symbol in the form of sound that can be disappear once pronounced. This is in contrast with another symbol, such as the footprints of animals and heroic statues that can last for long Because of the rapid loss, people always trying to preserve this symbol of language sounds into written form and sound recordings.
- Participants in the communication with language can communicate to each other. This means that a speaker can be a symbol sender and as symbol recipient at the same
- The language symbol can be a complete feedback. The speaker as the sender can hear their own language symbols. Whereas, in some kinetic communication (movement) and visual (sight) as the bee dance, the sender information is not able to see the important parts of the
- Communication languages has its own specialty. Humans can talk without having to do physical movements to support the communication process. Whereas communication in bees they physically forced to dance in order to deliver messages they intended
- Sound symbols in communication language means and refers to certain things. For example the word of horse refers to a type of quadrupeds that can be Sentence “Chaedar kick the ball” mean someone named Chaedar doing actions that hit the ball with his leg.
- The relationship between language symbol with its meaning is not determined by the presence of a bond between the two, but is determined by agreement or convention between the speakers of the
- language as a tool of human communication can be separated into certain unit, i.e sentences, words, morphemes, and phonemes.
- Reference or something being discussed in the language not always be at the present place and time. Human language can be used for something in the past, in the future, or are in distant places. Even that only in
- Language is It means, symbols of speech can be made according to the human needs. While the language of animals is closed, unchanged from the first.
- Skill and finesse to master the rules and customs of human language derived from learning process, not through genes inborn. Animal language generally be
- The language can be Someone who was born and raised in a particular language community will be able to learn other languages that not used in their community.
- Language can be used to express the true and not true, or logically meaningless. Humans can use language to say the right things and that is not true. Only people who can use language to lie or deceive
- Language has two subsystems namely the sound subsystem and meaning subsystems that enable language to have economic function. The economics diverse occurredby functional sound units that can be grouped and regrouped into meaningful units, e.g. phonemes into
- The language can be used to talk about language
CLASSIFICATION OF NIGERIAN LANGUAGE
Natural language has many unique properties among which is that it plays dual role in most known formal educational systems. Thus it features, on the one hand, as a subject on the school curriculum, and accordingly permits one to talk of Language Education in much the same way that one would talk of Physics Education, Science Education, Economics Education, etc. On the other hand and completely unlike any of the other subjects on the curriculum, it also serves all over the world as the medium of instruction in all subjects, including itself. This latter role of it is fully captured under the title of Language in Education. Thus, Language Education and Language in Education refer to the two distinct roles that natural language plays in Education. Only the former of these two roles will be touched upon in the present discussion.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LANGUAGE AND SOCIETY
Language is central to social interaction in every society, regardless of location and time period. Language and social interaction have a reciprocal relationship: language shapes social interactions and social interactions shape language.
Language is a tool for interact with other human. So language can’t separated with human. Through language we can related and interact with other human and created communicative in the community
Sociolinguistics is the study of the connection between language and society and the way people use language in different social situations. It asks the question, “How does language affect the social nature of human beings, and how does social interaction shape language?” It ranges greatly in depth and detail, from the study of dialects across a given region to the analysis of the way men and women speak to each other in certain situations.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS
This thesis delves into the bidirectional nature of language in society, exploring the complex relationship between language and societal factors. Language serves as a powerful tool for communication, but its influence goes beyond mere expression. Societal factors such as culture, politics, economics, and social norms shape the development and evolution of language, giving rise to linguistic variations, dialects, and language change. Language, in turn, reflects and perpetuates cultural identities, constructs social hierarchies, and influences social attitudes and beliefs.
Throughout history, language has evolved in response to societal needs and influences. Cultural practices and beliefs significantly impact the lexicon, syntax, and semantics of a language, leading to the emergence of dialects specific to certain communities. Political power structures dictate the dominant language within a nation, affecting language policies and linguistic landscapes. Economic factors also play a crucial role, with languages gaining prominence due to global economic integration.
Language’s impact on society is far-reaching. It reflects cultural identities and traditions, preserving collective experiences and values. Language also plays a role in constructing ideologies and disseminating attitudes and beliefs, shaping public discourse and influencing public opinion. Social norms and values are transmitted through language, impacting identity formation and social cohesion.
The bidirectional relationship between language and society has implications across various domains. In education, language choice as the medium of instruction impacts students’ academic performance and educational attainment. Linguistic minorities’ sense of belonging and participation in society is influenced by language, affecting integration. In media and advertising, language is used to target specific audiences and shape consumer behavior, which necessitates responsible communication.
In politics, language serves as a persuasive tool for political communication and mobilization. Understanding its impact is crucial for fostering informed citizenship and democratic participation. However, the dominance of major languages in a globalized world threatens linguistic diversity. Preserving languages requires efforts to protect endangered languages, promote multilingualism, and develop inclusive language policies.
The bidirectional nature of language in society highlights the intricate interplay between linguistic and social phenomena. Language is both influenced by and influences society, resulting in a dynamic relationship with profound implications. Societal factors shape the evolution of language, leading to linguistic variations and language change. Language, in turn, serves as a reflection of cultural identities and values, impacting social attitudes and norms.
The study of the bidirectional nature of language and society provides valuable insights into the diverse ways in which language operates as a social phenomenon. This research contributes to a deeper understanding of language’s role in shaping human communication and social dynamics. Recognizing the power of language is essential for fostering inclusivity and respecting linguistic diversity.
- Promote Linguistic Diversity: Encourage policies that support and protect linguistic diversity, acknowledging the value of all languages and cultures. Efforts should be made to document and revitalize endangered languages.
- Foster Inclusive Language Policies: Develop language policies that prioritize inclusivity, providing equal opportunities for all language communities. In education, support multilingual education programs that cater to linguistic minorities.
- Enhance Media Literacy: Promote media literacy to encourage critical thinking and awareness of language’s role in shaping public discourse. Encourage responsible media practices that avoid reinforcing stereotypes and biases.
- Encourage Intercultural Communication: Promote intercultural communication and language learning to foster mutual understanding and appreciation for different cultures.
- Conduct Further Research: Continue research into the bidirectional nature of language in society, exploring its impact in different contexts and regions. This research will deepen our understanding of language’s influence on human behavior and societal dynamics.
- Support Minority Language Speakers: Offer support to linguistic minorities to maintain their languages and cultures while embracing proficiency in the dominant language for increased participation in society.
- Promote Ethical Language Use in Politics: Encourage politicians and public figures to engage in ethical language use, avoiding manipulative language and misleading rhetoric in political communication.
- Raise Awareness of Linguistic Prejudice: Raise awareness about linguistic prejudice and its consequences, promoting attitudes of acceptance and respect towards all linguistic varieties.
- Empower Language Communities: Empower language communities to take pride in their linguistic heritage, fostering a sense of identity and belonging.
- Embrace Multilingualism in Global Contexts: In international business and diplomacy, embrace multilingualism to foster understanding and cooperation among diverse language communities.
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