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ERIC Number: EJ903231
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 34
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0379-0037
Understanding the Socio-Economic, Socio-Linguistic Situation and Social Psychology behind Learning a "Language" in Punjab
Singh, Sukhdev
Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics, v32 n1-2 p133-166 Jan-Dec 2006
The issue of language attitudes has become important in view of the regular formation and growth of multi-lingual societies. The individuals are under constant pressure to learn more than one language because of pragmatic/cultural/political reasons. The languages in such situations compete and often generate linguistic controversies about the relevance and/or primacy or supremacy of one language over the others. The individuals undergoing the process of socialization develop positive, negative or mixed attitudes toward one or more language(s). But more interesting are the cases of contradictory positions of condemning a language in which one has acquired or has a desire to acquire a very high level of proficiency. On the other hand, it is possible that individuals, in spite of their positive attitudes toward a language, make no effort to acquire proficiency in that language because the target language lacks social and/or instrumental value. Some people wish to relate themselves to their culture, roots and people but at the same time don't want to be left behind in the race achieving economic benefits, social prestige and positions of power. The relationship between language attitudes and power is an important socio-linguistic issue. Another case of great interest is where a language holds social as well as instrumental value and people wish to gain proficiency in it but can not fulfill their wish because of their socio-economic background, improper training and learning and living environment. In these situations, individuals make decisions about not only which language to learn but also which language to use; they must choose between the opportunity to gain social mobility and prestige by adopting the language of power and dominance or to maintain the group identity by preserving their own language. Many people develop ambivalent language attitudes under cultural, pragmatic, and socio-economic pressures. The similar linguistic situation obtains in Punjab: every literate Punjabi by default is multilingual because he has to learn Punjabi as the mother language, Hindi as the national language and English as the link language. The present paper is the study of sociolinguistic situation and social psychology of learning a "language" in Punjab.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: India