Analysis Of Language

Structure Example

*Don’t need to do it this way, but the piece needs to include these things.

  • Re-state hypothesis – true or false?
  • Select quote or anecdote to stimulate interest.
  • Argument – think of what other people may think and respond.

Needs for each paragraph:

  • State
  • Example – quote – identify the language feature
  • Assert how this supports your hypothesis.

Spoken vs Online Language

Other people: older, younger, more or less intelligent, more ‘sophisticate’ or of a different generation, do not have the job of telling people how to speak, both in the online language and spoken language; the people speaking or writing those languages can be the deciphers of how they do that. Everyone is allowed to be different within the same language – one doesn’t have to be formal and the other informal; emotionless and emotional. Both can have para-linguistic, prosodic and linguistic features. What rules say they can’t?

Language has eventuated since the very first person spoke a word on earth. Since then that ‘word’ has developed into two words, three words; a sentence; a phrase; a story. For so long it was just words spoken between one another, words thrown to and from within a group – this was the Prehistoric times. Then writing developed – now things could be recorded, kept and passed on. Then in the recent times technology developed and now anything is possible. Going from having one language in our world: spoken, to another language: writtin, to a third: online – heaps has changed. Do you think that the people who first begun the spoken language would talk the same as the people today? Or the first people to communicate online would communicate in the same way as people today? How could they be the same since the world is an ever developing place. Think about it – do your Grandparents understand he way you talk to your friends or understand the way you text? All languages are the same in one way or another. Just because they eventuated at different periods along the worlds timeline doesn’t change that fact.

Spoken language is defined as the language that we speak, the communication by word of mouth. Features that commonly describe it consist of: para-linguistic, prosodic, linguistic and standard english. Para-linguistic features are the features excluding the words themselves in a conversation; the non verbal communications – body language. Prosodic features include aspects of the voice – the pitch, volume, tone, pace, pauses, rhythm. Then linguistic features are the opposite to para-linguistic features so the actual words that the person is saying. Standard English is the form of English that seems normal, formal and the ‘right’ way to speak. It is commonly believed that speaking requires formality, everything to be spoken proper, no slang or shortened way of saying things.

Para-linguistic Examples – Lets take someone apologizing. The word ‘sorry’ means: feeling sad or distressed through sympathy with someone else’s misfortune or feeling regret or penitence. If someone has done something wrong they have to apologize; say ‘sorry’. If someone says sorry does that mean that they mean it though? In a situation where someone says sorry, para-linguistic features help show the meaning of the word. For instance if someone uses eye contact when saying sorry they mean it, but if they can’t look the person in the eye, they are very fidgety, keeps scuffing the foot along the ground or smirks as they say the word ‘sorry’ it gives the impression that they are not sorry.

Prosodic Examples – Prosodic features help emphasis what the person is saying. For example if your in a situation where you’ve done something wrong and someone is telling you off – they won’t be talking in a quiet, well paced, nicely toned voice would they because they are most likely mad. When someone is mad how do they talk? They use prosodic features like shouting, a loud demanding tone, and the words are said in a fast paced way. Take the sentence: “Why did you do that?” If you say that the way i described fast that sounds more like a question of something that isn’t bad but if you say it the way i described second it gives a different effect.

Linguistic Examples

Online language is what’s written online through social media and phones. Aspects that include: emoji – faces that express feelings; abbreviations – shortened words created for ease; initialism – e.g. OMG; contractions – omitted letters; logo-grams – replacing letter sounds with numbers. People see online as being an informal way to communicate as it is ‘assumed’ to be a place where everything is shortened and not all written in the proper english way. It’s known as an easy way to get messages to one another in ‘record’ time, that’s why things like contractions, abbreviations, merged words etc have been created to decrease the time it takes to send a message. All aspects of the online language are made to create ease and an efficient way to communicate with each other.

 Examples – Your talking to you best friend, they’ve just been on a trip around the world and you’re organizing a time to meet up and catch up. Since they have been away they haven’t had WiFi, you haven’t been able to talk. They message you saying: “I’M BACK!!!!!! <3 :)” The capital letters donate the tone giving the impression that they are yelling in excitement, the multiple exclamation marks emphasis what they are saying and the two emojis: love heart and smiley face show the emotion – that they love you and are happy, all things showing their enthusiasm to talk to you. You reply: ” OMG it’s been sooo long! Hru? <3 <3 <3″ ‘OMG’ is initialism where you use the first letter of each word and join them together – OMG is an intialism for Oh my god, again the capital letters show the emphasis and the donate tone of how the person would speak them. ‘Hru’ is another initialism meaning ‘how are you?’. The three o’s on the end of ‘so’ are repeated letters for emphasis, in the case giving emphisis on how long the friend has been away. Then again the love hearts show that they care, have feelings for you.

 

The ‘assumptions’ of our languages are brought upon us by the ones before us, it is them that see the features of the spoken language and online language as the only features for them. They see the spoken formal and the online more informal; they can be but they aren’t. Our spoken language is seen as a way where everything can be seen and set straight, where as the online language has lots of hidden aspects like feelings which can’t be seen because you’re behind a screem. But have you ever stopped to think about things? Not everything is seen as it is right? Yes the things they say are right but not always.

Lets take the feature of emotion which is said to be shown more prominently through speaking face to face with someone than online. Through a face to face situation people see emotion through the other’s facial expressions – if they are smiling and laughing it gives the idea that they are happy. Emotion is also shown through body language and prosodic features – if someone has their shoulders slouched in an enclosed sort of way and they are fidgeting, they speak very quietly and either slow or fast, it gives the idea that they may be shy, sad, nervous or not feeling very comfortable in the situation.  As we think about the online language we can see show emotion too. If the conversation isn’t going to well, neither of you can keep the conversation going and it’s pretty boring – it’s like body language in a spoken conversation, it means that they may be feeling sad, not in the mood to talk, nervous or simply not interested. Personality is another thing that is believed to be shown easier in a spoken conversation – during a spoken conversation their personality is shown through the accent, body language and what they actually say without them saying what there personality is. Through an online conversation this can also be seen – obviously they will speak the language of where they are from but if they are immigrants living in a different country to where they originate from their culture won’t be picked up as easily through an online conversation but some aspects of their personality can still be pick up as it effects what they write, if the write formally – keeping everything real in the standard english way, it shows that they may be of an older generation whom doesn’t understand text language so therefore can’t use it, or it may also mean that the person is more proper and it isn’t in their personality to speak all shorthand through a text. So yes features that are thought to only be in one language can be in the other and vise versa may be not as prominently and as effectively but they still are.

The way that we speak doesn’t have to always be formal and include proper english and the online only informal, each culture and society can make that choice for themselves, older generations can look at people and disagree with the way they speak but the world is changing and developing we can’t stay the same forever because what fun is that? These days there are millions of alterations in this world for our language; ever teenage group of friends have different ways of communicating to each other, instead of saying hello they could say: yo, bro, hi, hey, heeey, ghee or whatever they want.

People have the right to be whoever they want, speak however they want, communicate however they want. Not everything has to be as it seems, things can be different, things can be the same, our society just has to open up and let new things happen, let our language be our language to alter and make our own.

 

 

 

2 Comments

  1. I’m absolutely loving how much you’re engaging with this project, Ruth. The determination you’re showing is transparent in the quantity and quality of the work.

    There’s an interesting element in your writing that I’d like to work on with you. I think as you try to express the increasingly complex ideas you’re developing, you’re also stretching your vocabulary. This is leading to a couple of issues with either 1) overly-complex sentence formulations or 2) incorrect morphology in some technical terms (A good example of this is the use of the word ‘analysation’ when you mean ‘analysis’).

    Please don’t be concerned about this, as it’s actually a good sign – but I’ll show you how to use the WordPress spelling checker to resolve some of these issues when they arise.

    Nice going Ruth.

    CW

    Reply

  2. This is such an interesting and comprehensive piece, Ruth. I’m interested in talking to you (I think it makes more sense to do it in person) about how we might refine it down to become something that could fit the genre of ‘feature article’. You say so much in this and you’ve also developed an authorial ‘voice’ that I think we can capitalise on.

    Ideally, in the end, you’ll have written a piece that could be published as a feature article in a literary magazine that explores language in the contemporary context. Think in terms of having a reader to appeal to. I think developing a clearer or more focussed hypothesis will really help – as this lends itself to becoming a very interesting journalistic ‘angle’ about people and the way we communicate in the modern world.

    You have all the building blocks in place – now it’s just a matter of focus and style.

    (Consider using a catchy title to focus your argument too)

    CW

    Reply

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