Before we discuss further definition of Polyglossia, we shall consider the related term in which has close relation to the topic will be discussed. We are going to start with the term Diglossia. 

 1.1 What is diglossia? 

The French term diglossie was first coined (as a translation of Greek, ‘bilingualism’) by the Greek linguist, Ioannis Psycharis. Charles A. Ferguson in his article “Diglossia” in the journal Word (1959) intensively defines diglossia as follows: “DIGLOSSIA is a relatively stable language situation in which, in addition to the primary dialects of the language (which may include a standard or regional standards), 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 (Ferguson, 1959 in Wardhaugh, 1986)” Ferguson’s definition considers diglossia as a kind of bilingualism in a given society in which one of the languages is “High” variety, i.e. has high prestige, and another of the languages is “Low” variety, i.e. has low prestige. “High” variety is usually the written language, whereas “Low” variety is the spoken language. In formal situations, “High” variety is used; in informal situations, “Low” variety is used (Wardhaugh, 1986). According to Ferguson (1959) in Hudson (2002), “High” variety and “Low” variety are always close genetically-related language. On the other hands, Fishman (1967) in Hudson (2002) introduces the notion that diglossia could be extended to situations found in many societies where forms of two genetically unrelated (or at least historically distant ) languages occupy the H and L niches, such that one of the languages (e.g. Latin in medieval Europe), is used for religious, educational, literacy and other such prestigious domains, while another language (in the case of medieval Europe, the vernacular languages of that era) is rarely used for such purposes, being only employed for more informal, primarily spoken domains (Hudson, 2002). Because of the different notions of diglossia proposed by Ferguson (1959) and Fishman (1967), studies on diglossia have differed with regards to the question of which cases should be considered to constitute diglossia and which should not (Myhill, 2009). According to the preference of the researcher, the reference of the term diglossia may be limited to cases in which H and L are considered to be versions of the same language and H is not the everyday language of anyone in the same country (e.g. Standard Arabic (H) vs. Colloquial Arabic (L) in e.g. Syria), or it may also be used to refer to cases in which H is spoken as the everyday language of some geographically or ethnically distinct group in the same country (e.g. Italian (H) vs. Sicilian (L) in Italy or Standard English (H) vs. Black English (L) in the United States), or it may even include cases in which H and L are different languages (e.g. Urdu (H) vs. Punjabi (L) in Pakistan) (Myhill, 2009). 1.2 Characteristic Features of Diglossia Research on diglossia has concentrated on a number of variables and important questions of the characteristic features of diglossia, such as function, prestige, literary heritage, acquisition, standardization, stability, grammar, lexicon, and phonology of H and L varieties (Schiffman, 2001). 1. Function 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 if anyone used H in an L domain or L in an H domain. 2. Prestige In most diglossias examined, H was more highly valued (had greater prestige) than was L. The H variety is that of ‘great’ literature, canonical religious texts, ancient poetry, of public speaking, of pomp and circumstance. The L-variety is felt to be less worthy, corrupt, ‘broken’, vulgar, undignified, etc. 3. Literary Heritage In most diglossic languages, the literature is all in H-variety; no written uses of L exist, except for ‘dialect’ poetry, advertising, or ‘low’ restricted genres. In most diglossic languages, the H-variety is thought to be the language; the L-variety is sometimes denied to exist, or is claimed to be only spoken by lesser mortals (servants, women, children). In some traditions (e.g. Shakespeare’s plays), L-variety would be used to show certain characters as rustic, comical, uneducated, etc. 4. Acquisition L-variety is the variety learned first; it is the mother tongue, the language of the home. H-variety is acquired through schooling. Where linguists would therefore insist that the L-variety is primary, native scholars see only the H-variety as the language. 5. Standardization H is strictly standardized; grammars, dictionaries, canonical texts, etc exist for it, written by native grammarians. L is rarely standardized in the traditional sense, or if grammars exist, is written by outsiders. 6. Stability Diglossias are generally stable, persisting for centuries or even millennia. Occasionally L-varieties gain domains and displace the H-variety, but H only displaces L if H is the mother tongue of elite, usually in a neighboring polity. 7. Grammar The grammars of H are more complex than the grammars of L-variety. They have more complex tense systems, gender systems, agreement, and syntax than L-variety. 8. Lexicon Lexicon is often somewhat shared, but generally there is differentiation; H has vocabulary that L lacks, and vice-versa. 9. Phonology Two kinds of systems are discerned. One is where H and L share the same phonological elements, but H may have more complicated morphophonemics. Or, H is a special subset of the L-variety inventory. (But speakers often fail to keep the two systems separate.) A second type is one where H has contrasts that L lacks, systematically substituting some other phoneme for the lacking contrast; but L may ‘borrow’ elements as tatsamas, using the H-variety contrast in that particular item. 1.3 TYPES OF DIGLOSSIA There are some types of Diglossia. Joshua Fishman classifies it into two. They are Biglossia and Digraphia. Biglossia can be defined as Diglossia involving two completely separate languages, where the varieties in question are varieties of different languages. Another one is Digraphia. It refers to the use of more than one writing system for the same language (H is for written use, L is for conversational use). Digraphia can be synchronic, meaning that these writing systems are used at the same time for the same language, or diachronic, meaning that the writing system used has changed over time, one writing system succeeding another over time. The best example of synchronic Digraphia is Serbian. The Serbian Cyrillic alphabet and an adapted Latin alphabet are both widely used in Serbia in a large variety of contexts and most Serbian speakers are able to read and write in both. Some authorities consider Japanese to be a case of synchronic Digraphia, as it has three different scripts. Other authorities disagree, however, pointing out that all three scripts are part of the same writing system, and have a defined role to play within that system. It is not always easily achieved writing an entire text in three different versions, one in each script. In Serbian this is always possible. An element of synchronic Digraphia is present in many languages not using the Latin script, in particular in text messages and when typing on a computer which does have the facility to represent the usual script for that language. In such cases, Latin script is often used, although systems of transcription are often not standardized. In Diachronic Digraphia, there are many examples where a language used to be written in a script that was replaced later. Examples are Romanian (which originally used Cyrillic then changed to Latin); Turkish (Arabic then Latin), and many languages of former Soviet Central Asia, which abandoned the Cyrillic script after the dissolution of the USSR. Pauwels classifies Diglossia into three; they are Interlingual diglossia, Intralingual diglossia, and Diglossia as a ‘continuum’. Interlingual diglossia is diglossia with two different languages while Intralingual diglossia is diglossia where both derived from same language. Diglossia as a ‘continuum’ is ranging from Rigid Diglossia (clearly defined codes/situations for use) to Fluid Diglossia (lots of overlapping of use). Fasold classifies Diglossia into three; they are Double-Nested Diglossia, Polyglossia, and Code-switching. In Double-Nested Diglossia, there are two Hs and one L (‘lower’ H acts as H and L). In other words, it is subdiglossic situations within major diglossic situations with distinctive difference in varieties of a language (or languages) and their functions. For example, a village situation in India, north of Delhi. The high variety is Hindi and the low variety is called (by Gumperz) Khalapur. Khalapur is spoken by all villagers and is always used in local interactions. Hindi is learned in school or by having lived in the cities. Better educated and socially prominent villagers speak Hindi in matters relating to commerce and politics (ie, outside village matters). Polyglossia is the coexistence of multiple languages in the same area. Polyglossia is also defined as the use of three or more varieties in a community with a function differentiation, a shared language value system and common norms. And Code Switching can be defined as a linguistics term denoting the concurrent use of more than one language, or language variety, in conversation (2 languages used in one situation/sentence). The term code-switching is used when examining how people speak in different situations. Code is thought of as a more neutral way of expressing dialect and there are generally thought to be two codes, a prestige code and an everyday code. The term diglossia is also used to describe a person’s ability to switch from one dialect or code to another. The subtle difference between code-switching and diglossia is that diglossia is thought to be a more intentional changing of dialect due to situation and code-switching is perceived as a more subconscious change. In a diglossic situation, some topics and situations are better suited to one language over another. Joshua Fishman proposes a domain-specific code-switching model (later refined by Blom and Gumperz) wherein bilingual speakers choose which code to speak depending on where they are and what they are discussing. For example, a child who is a bilingual Spanish-English speaker might speak Spanish at home and English in class, but Spanish at recess. 1.4 POLYGLOSSIA Polyglossia is defined as the use of three or more varieties in a community with a function differentiation, a shared language value system and common norms. Polyglossia is defined as the coexistence of multiple languages in the same area. (http://www.wordnik.com/words/polyglossia) Basically polyglossia situations involve two contrasting varieties (high and low) but in general it refers to communities that regularly use more than two languages. Polyglossia is a part of diglossia but in polyglossia it involves more languages used. 2. Bilingualism 2.1 What is bilingualism? The term bilingualism is defined as the ability to use and to speak two languages. Language cannot be divorced from the context in which it is used. It is not produced in a vacuum; it is enacted in changing dramas. Every kind of communication includes one speaker, one canal (the topic) and one listener. Functional bilingualism moves into language production across the encyclopedia of everyday contexts and events. It concerns when, where and with who people use these two languages. For instances: - A child who is beginning to talk, speaking English to one parent and Welsh to the other. - A Danish immigrant in New Zealand who has not had contact with Danish for the last 40 years. - A schoolchild from an Italian immigrant family in the USA who increasingly uses English both at home and outside but whose older relatives address him in Italian only. - A young graduate who has been studying French for eleven years. - A personal interpreter of an important public figure. - The Turkish wife of a Turkish immigrant in Germany who can converse orally in German but cannot read or write it. - A Japanese airline pilot who uses English for most of his professional communication. - A fervent Catalanist who uses Catalan at home and work, but is exposed to Spanish in the media etc and is fully conversant in both. 2.2 Describing Individual Bilingualism Individual Bilingualism can be described in terms of: 1. AGE: This can be classified into two; they are early bilingualism and late bilingualism. Late bilingualism is defined in contrast to early bilingualism, because late bilingualism is developed after the critical period for language learning. In such cases, it is thought that when people acquire their second language through immersion in a community that speaks it, implicit memory plays more of a role, whereas when they do so solely through formal classroom studies, explicit memory is more involved. 2. CONTEXT: This can be classified into two; they are natural/ascribed bilingualism and achieved/secondary bilingualism. 3. RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN SIGN AND MEANING: This can be classified into three; they are coordinated bilingualism, subordinate bilingualism, and compound bilingualism. In coordinated bilingualism, children develop two parallel linguistic systems, so that for any one word, the child has two signifiers and two signifieds. One situation in which a child may develop coordinated bilingualism is when the two parents have different mother tongues and each parent speaks only his or her own mother tongue to the child. In response, the child constructs two separate linguistic systems and can handle each of them easily. Another such situation is when relatively young children who have already mastered their mother tongue are adopted by parents who speak a different language. Once again, the distinction between the two languages is crystal-clear for the child. A sub-group of the latter is the subordinate bilingual, which is typical of beginning second language learners. In compound bilingualism, children have only one signified for two signifiers and so cannot detect the conceptual differences between the two languages. Compound bilingualism is what occurs when both parents are bilingual and both parents speak to the child in both languages indiscriminately. The child will grow up to speak both languages effortlessly and without an accent, but will never master all the subtleties of either of them. In other words, the child will not really have a mother tongue. 4. ORDER AND CONSEQUENCE: This can be classified into three; they are incipient, ascendant bilingualism, and recessive bilingualism. The term passive or recessive bilinguals refer to bilinguals who are gradually losing competence in one language, usually because of disuse. As the term “recessive” seems to have negative connotations, we will use the term ‘passive bilinguals’ to describe this group of bilinguals. For example, a Dutch migrant in Australia may find himself isolated from the Dutch speaking community as his daily encounters are with English speaking Australians. Over time, his proficiency level in Dutch may deteriorate due to the long period of non-use. 5. COMPETENCE: This can be classified into two; they are maximalist/ minimalist views and semilingualism. The issue of bilinguals who appear to have limited level of proficiency in both first and second language has dominated some discussions on the issue of degree of bilingualism. The term semilingualism was first used by Hansegard (1968, cited in Baker 2006: 9) to refer to Finnish minority students in Sweden who lack proficiency in both their languages. Hansegard described semilingualism in terms of deficit in six language competences: - Size of vocabulary - Correctness of language - Unconscious processing of language (automatism) - Language creation (neologization) - Mastery of the functions of language (e.g. emotive, cognitive) - Meanings and imagery According to these parameters, a semilingual is both quantitatively and qualitatively deficient in comparison to monolinguals, and semilingualism has been blamed for the low academic achievement of minority children. Over the years, the term has accumulated pejorative connotations and researchers who invoked the use of this concept have been widely rebutted for ignoring the socio-political concerns implicit in the existence of semilinguals. Many authors argued that semilingualism is rooted in an environment which is not conducive to ongoing bilingualism, where the speakers were socially, politically and economically disadvantaged. Therefore, semilingualism is a situation which is engineered by the environment and not a consequence of bilingualism since a monolingual in the same environment would have faced the same degree of struggle in their academic endeavours. Researchers who highlight the correlation of semilingualism to poor academic achievement without carefully separating the symptoms from the cause only serve to perpetuate the negative stereotype of minority children. Equally critical is how this perception translates into educational policies and curriculum for minority children, though the term semilingualism is not fashionable anymore, the idea of low achieving bilinguals who are linguistically competent neither in the first language nor in the second language is still discussed, albeit under a different label. Cummins (1994) acknowledges that labeling someone as a ‘semilingual’ is highly negative and may be detrimental to children’s learning, and proposes an alternative label ‘limited bilingualism’ to describe the same condition. 6. USE/FUNCTION: reflect the view that the language is not an abstract entity, but a tool employed for taking part in acts of communication. It means the ability of a person to use two or more languages as a means of communication in most situations and to switch from one language to the other if necessary. 7. ATTITUDE: Consciousness of Bilingualism Attitudes are more accessible to observation in the context of societal bilingualism, as for example in the case of bilinguals among minority groups, where it is easier to notice that cultural, societal and motivational factors can influence the group’s maintenance or loss bilingualism. 2.3 Bilingual Patterns The ways in which peoples can become bilingual are: 1. Immigration. It involves leaving the country of origin in order to settle, once and for all, in a ‘host’ country 2. Migration. People moved across frontiers in search of work and better living condition 3. Close contact with other linguistics groups is contact between members of different language groups. It may be brought about by urbanization or by internal migration and bilingualism is likely to be found among children as well as adults 4. Schooling. Here, Education can play a very important role in making children bilingual. Education system may deliberately be geared towards fostering bilingualism 5. Growing up in a bilingual family. The children came from families where one parent spoke the language of the wider community and the other parent a ‘foreign language’. 2.4 Types of Bilinguals Skutnabb-Kangas (1984a) suggests a classification of the world’s bilinguals into four groups. She identifies the group as follows: 1. Elite bilinguals. These are peoples who have freely chosen to become so (example, because they want to work or study abroad), and the children who belong to families who change their country of residence relatively often or who are sent to be educated abroad. 2. Children from linguistic majority. These are children who learn another language (example, that a minority group ) at school, such as in immersion programmers or in foreign language classes 3. Children from bilingual families. These are children whose parents have different mother tongues. Bilingualism will be desirable because there are internal family pressures requiring the child to communicate in the language of parent (s). 4. Children from linguistics minorities. These children have parents who belong to a linguistic minority; they are under intense external pressure to learn language of the majority, particularly if the language of the minority is not officially recognized. 2.5 The Relationship between Bilingualism and Diglossia (Joshua Fishman) BILINGUALISM AND DIGLOSSIA: • Occurs when definite roles (of prestige) are established in a society • Everyone understands both (generally) DIGLOSSIA WITHOUT BILINGUALISM: • In past or in less developed countries with great social divide • Each group doesn’t fully understand the other but have no need to BILINGUALISM WITHOUT DIGLOSSIA: • In societies with social unrest or change (e.g. immigrant influx in Western society during industrialization era) • Taught native language for work – this used at home and their native language bought to work •  ‘Pidgin’ versions of both languages; inevitable language shift NEITHER BILINGUALISM NOR DIGLOSSIA: • In small, isolated communities (but rare) with no social hierarchy or immigration • Still words people don’t recognize (e.g. words used by young people to old people). Conclusion In conclusion, diglossia is a situation where, in a given society, there are two languages or varieties of a language, one of high prestige (known as H), which is generally used by the government and in formal texts, and one of low prestige (known as L), which is usually the spoken vernacular tongue. H and L can be either close genetically-related language or two genetically unrelated (or at least historically distant) languages. It is important to note from the outset that diglossia is different from that bilingualism. The key difference is that in a bilingual situation certain individuals (communities, etc.) will use Language A, while other individuals (communities, etc.) will use Language B, but everyone will use the same language for all situations--writing, job interviews, dinner table chats, etc. References Hudson, A. (2002) Outline of a Theory of Diglossia in International Journal of the Sociology of Language – www.international .ucla.edu. Lubliner, C. (2002) Replection on Diglossia in International Journal of the Sociology of Language – www.international .ucla.edu.

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