Social Sciences Questions and Answers

Start Your Free Trial

Relationship Between Language And Society

What is the relationships between language and society?

I need your help.

Expert Answers info

kapokkid eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2010

write2,387 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

The snow answer is a great one, there are also some examples that are linked more closely to societal behaviors, not just environmental factors.

One thing that struck me while I was living in Korea is the way that they generally say "we" and "our" instead of "I" and "my."  There is a very important way of thinking about the world that is different than ours here in the US.  You don't often use the singular pronoun because it is important that you are linked to the people you are with, whether it is your family, your friends, or your entire nation.

This small difference in language shows a very important difference in their culture.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Very interesting question, elmahfoudi123. I think any answer to this broad question needs to focus on the role of language in society and culture. You need to remember that really the language we speak determines so much of our world view or the way we look at and perceive the world. Consider for example that some desert tribes in the Sahara only have two words in their language for "flower". This is an indication of the way they look at the world as expressed through their language. On the other side, consider why Intuit tribes have a vast number of words for snow and its different states - far more than we do in the West. This again recognises the centrality of snow for them in their society. Therefore language has a very close and intimate relationship with society and expresses so much of our culture and the distinctive fashion we have of living.

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

arrellbelle | Student

For obvious reasons, language helps for communicating effectively and efficiently within our society. As someone of Filipino descent and someone who knows Tagalog very well, our national language in the Philippines, there are words that you must use when addressing someone who is older than you or someone you respect. For example, when addressing your sister who is older, it is ateh. When it is your brother, you use kuya. When talking to anyone who is older than you, you use po.

murad007 | Student

Language is the communication of thoughts and feelings through a system of subjective signals, such as voice sounds, gestures , or written symbols which is used by a nation, people, or other distinct  community on the other hand Society is a group of people related to each other through persistent relations, or a large social grouping sharing the same geographical or vital territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. 

murad007 | Student

Language is intimately linked with the members of the society in which it is spoken, and social factors are certainly reflected in their speech.

Again Society is producer where language is touch bearer. 

bwalo | Student

I have always told my college students that relationship between language and society has more to do with the use of language in society/community. I find it difficult to separate language and society from human beings.

Jposeph Sakala

Mansa- Zambia

madihaa | Student

"A language can be compared to a sheet of paper. Thought is one side of the sheet and sound the reverse side. A society or a human society is: (1) a group of people related to each other through persistent relations; (2) a large social grouping that shares the same geographical or virtual territory, subject to the same political authority and dominant cultural expectations. Posing the argument “our definitions of language and society are not independent: the definition of language includes in it a reference to society”(1), Ronald Wardhaugh (1986)in his book “An Introduction to Sociolonguistics” presents quadruple hypotheses proposed by different scholars involved in “the study of the relationship between language and society”(1) and “the various functions of language in society”(1) .The hypotheses are:

•Society influences the linguistic phenomenon.
•Linguistic phenomenon influences the society
•Society and language together dialectically influence the linguistic phenomenon.
•Society and language do not influence the linguistic phenomenon at all

madihaa | Student

Language in Society is an international journal of sociolinguistics concerned with language and discourse as aspects of social life. The journal publishes empirical articles of general theoretical, comparative or methodological interest to students and scholars in sociolinguistics, linguistic anthropology, and related fields. Language in Society aims to strengthen international scholarship and interdisciplinary conversation and cooperation among researchers interested in language and society by publishing work of high quality which speaks to a wide audience Is the correct way to look at the relationship.  Speech and social behaviour are constantly interacting.  All the time language is changing because of social contexts and social contexts cause the language to be changed.  However, this does not mean that we should not explore the two other possibilities in some depth, because they can enlighten us about the relationship of language and society

soumyhaf | Student

the relationship between language and society has for long been a subject of interest for scholars and still continuous to be.The present study discusses the relationship between one specific area language use,namly linguistic etiquette,and socio_cultural rlatives of the Hindi_speaking community.these are two findings of the present study,which are worth noting:A the use of the linguistic etiqutte system reflects social statification and B social change bring about a corresponding change in the system of linguistic etiquette.On the basis of these,the study supports the view that the relationship between society and language,at least one aspectof it,is causal.

In the way of introduction the first chapter outlines the objective of the study and defines its nature and sop.The second chapter describes the methodology used in the present study.It explains why inspite of its limitations,the study adopted the diachronic approach.