Język w zachowaniach społecznych : podstawy socjolingwistyki i logopedii

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Title Język w zachowaniach społecznych : podstawy socjolingwistyki i logopedii
Autor: Grabias, Stanisław (1942-)
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/11331/2328
Date: 2019
Abstract: The thesis about the social origin of language has been recurrent in almost all lin guistic theories. It underlay first the Geneva and then Prague structuralism and, somewhat weakened in generative grammar by Chomsky’s conviction about man’s innate abilities to use language, it has become the binding solution to the question about its secret. At the same time sociology witnessed the emergence of a subsequently well-established view that treated language as a linking medium of groups, nations and communities. Language, a social product, turned out to be also an entity that formed and conditioned the existence of social groups. A discussion on “the social character of language” must beat in mind the consequences of this dichotomic interpretation of the problem: language, a social product, itself constructs societal life. The present book is an attempt to introduce some order among views on the social character of language. It is also the author’s own contribution to the general consideration of the subject, a contribution stemming from many years of studies on sociolects and on the functioning of language in social life. The author’s competence determined the linguistic perspective of his undertaking. This permitted an argument with linguistically too general sociological interpretations. It is from the linguistic perspective of viewing phenomena arising from relations between language and society that sociolinguistics developed: a discipline, which, largely broadened the object of linguistic study, by using description of linguistic behaviors, thus an entirely different research method from basically deductive structural linguistics. The growing theoretical reflection on the social character of language seemed of interest, which led consequently to the emergence of two different although interlocking, and thereby difficult-to-define, disciplines: sociolinguistics and sociology of lan guage. The stages of development of this reflection have been dealt with in Chapter I: Sociolinguistics or Sociology of Language. The reader will thus follow the progression of the thesis of social contexts of language in structuralist descriptions of the varieties of national languages, descriptions that were inspired by de Saussure’s theory and multiplied in European linguistics in the 1930’s. The tenets of the Prague Structural School will be presented, which developed a program of sociolinguistic interpretation of languages and their uses long before American sociolinguistics cf. Theses of the Prague Circle and implemented his program in the formula of “systems in the system of national language” and in the conception of functional languages (styles). The problem of language style was developed to an unheard-of extent in the Prague structuralism. The science of styles i. e. stylistics arose, which, though ignored in American linguistics, boasts of considerable achievements. Sociolinguistics was born as an opposition to structuralist interpretations of communication. It was therefore necessary to follow those assumptions of structural theories that evoked the greatest doubts of students of linguistic behavior. In the course of study it turned out that while constructing its assumptions sociolinguistics drew freely from the achievements of cultural anthropology apparently grown on the Herder-Humboldt thesis, which gave language the most important role in the cognition of reality and thereby in shaping social relationships. This perspective of thinking permitted to re-examine the language-effected process of socialization and to perceive its enormous role in the lives of individuals (cf. Berensten’s theory of elaborated and restricted codes). It also accorded proper rank to studies on social determinants of linguistic behaviors (cf. D. Hymes’ ethnography of speaking). This chapter is too general to offer an exhaustive description of the path that lin-guistics coverd to become socioloinguistics and to take part in the emergence of sociology of language (cf, the proposal of J. A. Fishman). However, it appeared necessary to present an outline of this path: it is the background against which are clearly visible the achievements and shortcomings of the mode of thinking formulated in the studies on the Polish language. The presentation of the development of sociolinguistic theory could not have ignored the Polish aspect. While pursuing it in Chapter II: Polish Sociolinguistic Thought, the reader will find that in sociolinguistics, however new it may be, there are no phenomena that would not have been observed before and no theses that would not have been put forward in various contexts. All these can be found in the surprisingly broad reflection by J. Baudouin de Courtenay, in numerous monographs on the history of language and in studies on the history of styles in Polish. It can be safely assumed that Polish linguistics has always been sociology-oriented and the achievements of the history of the language and of styles must become an important contribution to sociolinguistics and to sociology of language. The Polish scientific thought also has significant theoretical achievements and can leave an original mark on the form, of the two disciplines. It should be known that the Polish sociology-oriented linguistics, inspired by the Herder-Humboldt thesis, first sought after the national spirit in the language. Then it closely inquired into the influence of great historical events or the development of Polish. Providing a comprehensive interpretation of the life of the language over the centuries. It made a detailed description of Polish language varieties: dialects– socially and territorially determined, sociolects – only socially determined, and functionally determined – language styles. Polish linguistics also studies the Polish language in the communities of Polish emigrants in many countries in the world. In 1970’s, investigations started where the sociolinguistic method came to be the leading one. It was applied to describe the urban language and to reconstruct the linguistic image of the world. Attempts were also made to describe linguistic behaviors and their social determinants. Noteworthy are also the achievements of Polish applied linguistics. For years it defended the purity of Polish threatened by foreign influences when Poland lost her independence through partitions. It fulfilled its pracitical tasks after independence was regained: it codified norms and returned Polish names to lacalities, changed during par titions. At present the Polish applied linguistics takes part in developing language skills of Poles in using their native language and foreign languages. The most-often noticed phenomena in the Polish sociology-oriented linguistics we re sociolects:varieties of the national language formed in different social groups. The anatomy of a sociolect permits to and clearly follow a symbiosis of sensu stricto lingui stic facts and social phenomena: types of links, hierarchies of social roles, a system of values etc. Chapter III: Social Determinants of Languags – Socialects is a linguistic and at the same time sociolinguistic attempt to analyze several sociolects of Polish. It is al so intended as a summing up of the knowledge of a phenomenon that is apperently important for societal life and sociolinguistic theory. The reader will find in it a survey of terms and concepts with which sociolectal language varieties have long been described, and a typology of Polish sociolects (professiolects, slang, jargons). He will also follow their history and learn how certain sociolects (criminal jargons, teenage slang) create the image of the world and of man and what sy stems of value they offer against the background of those provided by general Polish. Chapter IV: Social Determinants of Liguistic Behaviors given an outline of language functioning in different social groups in a speech community defined by the framework of national language. It is an attempt to interpret a phenomenon that is covered by the term social language behaviors. While trying to determine the most im portant rules of those behaviors. It also try to see the consequences of ignoring them (in mental distrubances leading to speech pathology). This chapter introduces the concept of social interaction and linguistic interaction. Both are interpreted from the standpoint of their social, situational and pragmatic determinants. It presents a conception of communicative skills: systematic, social, situ ational and pragmatic skills. This conception makes possible deeper reflecion on the scope and capabilities of applied linguistics. The chapter also contains a postulate of minimizing the communicative and language system of Polish. This device is indispensable for the forming of communicative skills. Chapter V: From the interactive perspective, logopedics is a proposal to apply the discourse theory in logopedic practice. Obviously, logopedics diagnoses and explains the states of the human brain and mind in which language develops with difficulty or in which, having been previously acquired, it ceased to perform its cognitive and communicative function. In all these cases, a logopedist/speech therapist has to either build language and the communication systems (e.g. in deafness and autism) or only improve their uses (e.g. in stuttering, in cerebral palsy), or, finally, find them in the minds disintegrated by brain damage (e.g. in aphasia, or Alzheimer’s disease). These procedures define the research field of logopedics
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