Uploaded by Salshabila Ardiantari

Language Choices in Multilingual Community

Desak Putu Salshabila Ardiantari
1801541065/Class C
Summary Week 3 – Language Choices in Multilingual Communities
As what have been explained in the previous material, a community might be consists of
different cultural and social background that causing varieties of languages. In this case, a
community is categorised as “multilingual” as the society are using several different languages
in communication. Therefore, language choice plays important role in multilingual
communication in order to describe the code choice in larger speech communities.
Domain – a number of such typical interactions have been identified as relevant in
describing patterns of code choice in many speech communities – is useful for capturing broad
generalisations about any speech community. Using information about the domains of use in a
community, it is possible to draw a very simple model summarising the norms of language
use for the community.
In many different speech communities, there is also “diglossia” – a characteristic of
speech communities rather than individuals. In other words, diglossia is a term refers to the
societal or institutionalised bilingualism, where two varieties are required to cover all the
community’s domains. Diglossia recognizes two languages in community, in which one is
regarded as “high” (or H) and the other is a “low” (or L). Both are complements for each other
and used in quite different functions. Hence, the H is not used in everyday situation. Example
here is in Eggenwil, a town in the Aargau canton of Switzerland, there are two distinct varieties
of German: the local Swiss-German (that is used for everyday conversation) and the standard
German that is used educational institutions and their national TV broadcast.
Diglossic situations involve two contrasting varieties, H and L, and sometimes become
more sophisticated in terms of language varieties (different codes for different purposes). The
term polyglossia has been used for situations like this where a community regularly uses
more than three languages. We can find the example of polyglossia in Singapore that
recognizes Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkien. Both Cantonese and Hokkien are considered
as L varieties, the informal one. Meanwhile, Mandarins (H varieties) is used in formal
In addition, people who lives in different speech communities, sometimes switch code
within a domain or social situation. A speaker may similarly switch to another language as a
signal of group membership and shared ethnicity with an addressee. Switches motivated
by the identity and relationship between participants often express a move along the
solidarity/social distance dimension. A switch may also indicate a change in the other
dimensions mentioned in including the status relations between people or the formality of their
interaction. In other different situation, switches may also be a signal of ethnical identity in
which they have an affective as well as a referential function.
The important thing that can be missed here is “lexical borrowing” due to lack of
vocabulary in a language. People may also borrow words from another language to express a
concept or describe an object for which there is no obvious word available in the language they
are using, generally involves single words. Borrowing language is usually happened when the
speaker adapt his/her first language they are using.