ENG510 Assignment 1 Fall 2020 Solution idea:
MA ELT Sociolinguistics (Eng510)
Q1. Listen to the topic video no. 103 and 104 carefully and differentiate between the terms ‘non-linguistic communication’ and ‘paralinguistic communication’ giving their exact definitions. Also explain how ‘loudness’, ‘tone’ and ‘pause’ in the conversation are interpreted differently in different cultures. (4+6=10)
Differentiate between the terms ‘non-linguistic communication’ and ‘paralinguistic communication’ giving their exact definitions.
Nonlinguistic communication may be conventional or spontaneous. Conventional nonlinguistic means =G gestures incomprehensible to the unlimited, usually stipulated beforehand and sometimes codified into rules of usage.
Paralinguistic communication is the study of voice and how words are said. Paralinguistic signals and cues refer to every element and nuance of your speech. It is the study of vocal and sometimes non-vocal signals beyond the basic verbal message or speech. It also known as vocalics. Paralinguistics sets great store on how something is said, not on what is said. It includes speech characteristics falling outside of the spoken word.
Explain how ‘loudness’, ‘tone’ and ‘pause’ in the conversation are interpreted differently in different cultures
Loudness in Different Cultures in Saudi Arabian cultures discussions among equals are often loud but they are considered aggressive, objectionable and obnoxious in the United States. Loudness connotes strength and sincerity among Arabs; and their soft tone implies weakness. Personal status also modulates voice tone so lower classes lower their voices. Thus, if a Saudi Arab shows respect to an American he lowers his voice.
Pause in Different Cultures Another example is of use of ‘pause’ in conversations held in various cultures. We can compare Japanese and Pakistani cultures. In the Japanese culture pause are long in conversations, and they show mutual respect and patience; whereas in Pakistani culture pause are very short which show impatience and result in overlapping and interruption by interlocutors involved in a conversation.
Tone in Different Cultures:
The more technical discussion of what is loosely described as tone of voice involves the recognition of a whole set of variations in the features of voice dynamics: loudness, tempo, pitch fluctuation, continuity, etc. It is an everyday observation that a speaker will tend to speak more loudly and at an unusually high pitch when excited or angry.
Q2. Differentiate between the terms ‘standard language’ and ‘non- standard language’ giving their exact definitions. Explain the role of social media in promoting unusual changes in English language at phonological, syntactic and semantic levels. (4+6=10)
Differentiate between the terms ‘standard language’ and ‘non-standard language’ giving their exact definitions.
The formal type of English language that is mostly spoken and written I government agencies and environments is called Standard English. Apart from government institutions, Standard English is also engaged in media conversations, school announcements and international communications.
Standard English is not an alien language but is very similar to normal English language that we use in our daily life. The only difference between the two is that Standard English makes use of complicated terms which are otherwise not very common in our everyday communications. This makes this language very formal and perfect for settings like government authorities, media and international dealings.
In other words, you can say that Standard English is the language that is used by educated speakers in their speeches, researches, interviews or any other kind of public discourse.
In contrast, non-Standard English is the opposite of Standard English. It is used is everyday life by anyone from a little kid to a 70-year-old person with basic words that are common and easily understandable by the local community. Non-Standard English does not make use of complex terms and is sometimes missing the proper punctuation as well.
One major difference between Standard English and non-Standard English is that standard English does not have differences depending on the area or community it is spoken in and is used in the same way through the world. Whereas non-Standard English has word preferences depending on the area and the locals that it is spoken by.
We lost the game and everyone was sad. (Non-Standard English) Manchester United lost the game and the team was devastated. (Standard English)
Explain the role of social media in promoting unusual changes in English language at phonological, syntactic and semantic levels.
How is social media changing the English language?
The emergence of the internet and the consequential array of social media networks have, without doubt, resulted in an exponential increase in new types of written language: blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn profiles to mention just a few. But with English being the most dominant language on the internet, how has social media changed the English language? There’s no denying that social media has had a drastic impact on the sheer volume of people we are now able to communicate with, it’s also had an impact on the frequency with which we are able to communicate with them. This has led to us being exposed to a myriad of different personalities, perspectives, and approaches when we use social media to communicate. With the exception of social media professionals and academic journalists, the majority of what is written by the general public on social media is not edited, supervised or checked to ensure that proper use of the English language is taken into consideration. With the freedom to use the English language however we choose to on social media, trends are bound to appear. Let’s take a look at a few of these trends below.
Appropriating existing vocabulary
One of the most notable ways that social media has influenced the English language, is through the appropriation of existing vocabulary. Words that had existing meanings, have now been given other meanings in an online context, which then spills over into verbal communication. Years ago, if somebody said the word “wall” to you, you might think of the ones in your house, or the ones outside in the street; however, in a social media context the word “wall” refers to the homepage of your social media profile, where you can share aspects of your life/work in a public forum. A few other words which have been re-purposed for social media include:
Tablet, which is used to refer to portable screens.
Troll, which is a term used to describe an internet user who seeks attention by making outrageous or unreasonable comments about something or someone. Stream(in), which is the transmission of data as a steady continuous flow. Catfish, which is a term used to refer to an internet user who poses as someone other than themselves online.
Introducing new vocabulary
The internet has become one of the influences of the English language in recent times, and along with appropriating existing vocabulary, it has given life to a plethora of new words and phrases. A few years ago, nobody had heard of the terms “unfriend”, “selfie” “fleek” or “emoji” however these words have trickled down from social media, and into our day-to-day conversations. Some of these terms have even made it into the Oxford Dictionary; ones that have, include: YOLO (You Only Live Once) along with compound words such as “Craptacular” and “Amazeballs”, not to mention the recent social media trend of identifying high-profile couples by combining their first names to form a blend word e.g., Brangelina. Alongside these words are a vast array of social media specific acronyms, ranging from the almost universally known “LOL” celebrating its 28th birthday this year (Laughing Out Loud), “DM”, (Direct Message) and “FOMO” (Fear of Missing Out) and “TBT” (Throwback Thursday). The speed at which new vocabulary is introduced online, used, quickly over-used and then discarded is phenomenal and has never been so rapid. An example of terms that would now be considered ‘antique’ text speak on social media are: OMG, TXT, GR8, M8 and L8R.
Generational language gap?
In a recent study of 2,000 parents, conducted by Samsung, 86% of participants said that they felt teens and young people spoke an entirely different language on social media. According to the study there is now a ‘seismic generational gap’ regarding how modern informal language is being used. The study was carried out by Professor John Sutherland at University College London, who is the UK’s leading English expert. He claims that the rise of the emoji, could be the next phase in language and communications.
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