Talk:Diglossia

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non-Fergusonian examples[edit]

At least two of our examples (English; Maltese) pertain to pairs of languages which are not (at the relevant time depth) related, but the lead sentence says this is a precondition for diglossia. At the very least we should do something about the lead sentence... 4pq1injbok (talk) 07:10, 27 December 2008 (UTC). Also, overall, the article seems to have this attitude, that the languages must be related (i.e., the section on Brunei, the section on Sinhalese). This should probably be fixed, since it's misleading.

The external link at the end of the article does not work, so I am going to delete it Ahmed badda (talk) 13:47, 19 March 2009 (UTC)

As for non-Fergusonian examples, the article should probably include a section on Fishman's bilingualism-diglossia discussion, since that can be confusing for people just learning about diglossia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 138.16.22.160 (talk) 21:37, 2 April 2009 (UTC)

Spanish in latin-america.[edit]

The case of Spanish in latin-america is also forgotten. The native languages (like nahuatl and mayan) are considered low class and they are only use at home, while Spanish is used as the de-facto official language. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 140.93.14.202 (talk) 09:32, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

The question is whether this article in intended to be exhaustive and include all examples, or more illustrative? --68.175.44.30 (talk) 13:45, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Use Chinese as example of "true" diglossia[edit]

Examples where the High/Low dichotomy is justified in terms of social prestige include Italian dialects as (L) and Standard Italian as (H) in Italy and German dialects and standard German in Germany.

In such a sentence, wouldn't Chinese be a prime example (Standard Mandarin vs. topolects/dialects)? We need a citation, perhaps. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.175.44.30 (talk) 13:41, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

I think the phenomenon called diglossia is many different things: educated (literate) vs uneducated; polite vs familiar; ancient vs modern; foreign (conqueror's) vs domestic.  In the case of Chinese, I believe the various local dialects (as divergent as Portuguese, Spanish, Italian and Romanian) were, before the Mongol conquest, on a relatively fluid social basis (opinions differed as to superiority).  When the Mongols took power (and later the Manchus), the new elites, admiring the Chinese culture and intermarrying, learned to speak Chinese.  However, the conquerors brought their own pronunciations into Chinese, just as the Franks turned Latin into French.  The somewhat leveled (simplified) pronunciations of the conqueror community became known as the language of the Mandarins.  Other Chinese learned to imitate the language of the Mandarins as a way of being accepted into government service or as a way of distinguishing themselves among the common people.  Eventually Mandarin (Guan Hua) became accepted as a nationwide standard and is now known as Guo Yu (national language) or Pu Tong Hua (common language).  There have always been (around Peking, and among the descendants of various refugees of mixed linguistic heritage) communities that speak only Mandarin.  Today local communities use Mandarin, with no obvious social stigma, as a common language whenever they don't share a local language.  Howard McCay (talk) 01:52, 8 November 2010 (UTC)

Archive[edit]

Should we archive the earlier discussions? --68.175.44.30 (talk) 13:48, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done I've placed talk from 2006-2008 in Archive 1, and added a search-able archive box. Cnilep (talk) 15:04, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Missing general info about immigration[edit]

Generally, 1st generation immigrants are diglossic. The situation with 2nd generation needs more info, so does the one with 3rd+ generations. Please contribute. Thanks. 24.203.68.10 (talk) 03:42, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

I suspect you are thinking of bilingualism, not diglossia. Diglossia describes the general situation in a community or society, not the behavior of an individual. First- and second- generation immigrants tend to be bilingual; this does not affect the situation of diglossia in the community to which they immigrate. Cnilep (talk) 15:14, 11 April 2010 (UTC)

Catalan and Galician should be removed[edit]

Catalan and Galician should be removed because their issues have to due with bilinguism (two languages in contact) and not with diglossia (two variants of the same language, one considered H[igh], and the other one L(ow)). If we said: Galician and Spanish are in diglossic relationship in Galicia, this would mean means that we consider Galician a dialect of Spanish. Neither Galician nor Spanish are diglossic languages. For example, in eastern parts and central parts of Sri Lanka there is diglossia with bilinguism, because both Sinhalese and Tamil are diglossic languages so there are four language codes in use: Sinhalese-H, Sinhalese-L, Tamil-H, Tamil-L. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Linda Martens (talkcontribs) 02:34, 29 August 2010

Don't mix diglossia with bilinguism[edit]

The only case in which these could be synonimous are creole languages, so one could say: Cape Verdean creole and Portuguese are in diglossic situation, if we think of Cape Verdean creole as a mere dialect of Portuguese, then we have diglossia, if we think of Cape Verdean creole of a creole language then we speak of bilinguism. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Linda Martens (talkcontribs) 02:34, 29 August 2010

Ferguson (1959) suggested that diglossia only pertains to dialects of the same language, but Fishman (1967) argued that unrelated languages (e.g. Quechua and Spanish) could be in a diglossic distribution. Contemporary scholarship is not all together consistent on this, but many scholars do treat the use of unrelated languages as diglossia if there is relatively strict functional separation. On the other hand, contemporary scholars also note that there can be code switching between high and low varieties (e.g. Myers-Scotton 1986, Gardner-Chloros 1995). The strict separation described by Ferguson is increasingly seen as an ideal rather than a description of actual speech behavior. Cnilep (talk) 17:09, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Bokmål and Nynorsk poor examples[edit]

quote

The high variety may be an older stage of the same language (e.g. Latin in the early Middle Ages), or a distinct yet closely related present day dialect (e.g. Norwegian with Bokmål and Nynorsk, or Chinese with Mandarin as the official, literary standard and colloquial topolects/dialects used in everyday communication).

unquote

While most Norwegian local communities do indeed function diglossicly, the example given (quoted above) doesn't quite describe the situation, as neither Bokmål nor Nynorsk are viewed as the high variety by native speakers. On the contrary, sources abound describing the two as the low variety. The one variety that does fit in the example given above would be Riksmål, and in most local communities in Norway there does exist a diglossia between Riksmål and the local vernacular. Bokmål or nynorsk doesn't quite enter the picture unless you allow for a more detailed description of Bokmål and Nynorsk, where the fact should be communicated that while neither are standards in the sense of most other European national languages (like RP, Hochdeutsch, Rikssvensk et cetera), both are quite wide continua, each embracing tidbits of mutually irreconcilable dialects, and that it is the part of the Bokmål continuum which overlaps with moderate Riksmål at the Danish end of the scale which constitutes the de facto high variety in the vast majority of Norwegian communities. To represent this as Bokmål being the high variety is stretching the glove quite a bit. The appropriate way to express the Norwegian diglossia would be to phrase the example above like this:

The high variety may be an older stage of the same language (e.g. Latin in the early Middle Ages), or a distinct yet closely related present day dialect (e.g. Riksmål Norwegian, or Chinese with Mandarin as the official, literary standard and colloquial topolects/dialects used in everyday communication).

One additional problem with using Bokmål and Nynorsk in the example quoted at the top would be that neither are dialects, they are both written standards and in spite of that government forms encourage this notion ("which langauge do you speak?") noone speaks neither Bokmål or Nynorsk as their native tongue (which would be an impossibility by definition, since both standards frequently change according to votes in a government committee). Using Riksmål as the example language in this case would make the example fit the situation described, as Riksmål is indeed a spoken dialect, although discretely distributed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 184.22.182.10 (talk) 16:02, 5 November 2011 (UTC)

suggestion[edit]

what about standard american and ebonics? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.53.159.220 (talk) 02:45, 30 December 2011 (UTC)

Triglossia[edit]

I think Tamil language can be categorized as one with triglossia. In Tamil language, classical texts have a distinctive form from the modern standard written Tamil. Also, the modern standard forms have two main varieties, i.e., Sri Lankan and Indian. And, there are several dialects within these varities.--Fahim (talk) 11:43, 24 December 2012 (UTC)