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SIKAP BAHASA (LANGUAGE ATTITUDE)

Oleh pusatbahasaalazhar
7

I. Pendahuluan
Bahasa adalah salah satu ciri khas manusiawi yang membedakannya dari makhluk-
makhluk yang lain. Selain itu, bahasa mempunyai fungsi sosial, baik sebagai alat
komunikasi maupun sebagai suatu cara mengidentifikasikan kelompok sosial. Pandangan
de Saussure (1916) yang menyebutkan bahwa bahasa adalah salah satu lembaga
kemasyarakatan, yang sama dengan lembaga kemasyarakatan lain, seperti perkawinan,
pewarisan harta peninggalan, dan sebagainya telah memberi isyarat akan pentingnya
perhatian terhadap dimensi sosial bahasa. Namun, kesadaran tentang hubungan yang erat
antara bahasa dan masyarakat baru muncul pada pertengahan abad ini (Hudson 1996).
Para ahli bahasa mulai sadar bahwa pengkajian bahasa tanpa mengaitkannya dengan
masyarakat akan mengesampingkan beberapa aspek penting dan menarik, bahkan
mungkin menyempitkan pandangan terhadap disiplin bahasa itu sendiri. Sosiolinguistik
merupakan ilmu yang mempelajari bahasa dengan dimensi kemasyarakatan. Apabila kita
mempelajari bahasa tanpa mengacu ke masyarakat yang menggunakannya sama dengan
menyingkirkan kemungkinan ditemukannya penjelasan sosial bagi struktur yang
digunakan. Dari perspektif sosiolinguistik fenomena sikap bahasa (language attitude)
dalam masyarakat multibahasa merupakan gejala yang menarik untuk dikaji, karena
melalui sikap bahasa dapat menentukan keberlangsungan hidup suatu bahasa.

II. Sikap Bahasa (Language Attitude)


Sikap bahasa adalah posisi mental atau perasaan terhadap bahasa sendiri atau bahasa
orang lain (Kridalaksana, 2001:197). Dalam bahasa Indonesia kata sikap dapat mengacu
pada bentuk tubuh, posisi berdiri yang tegak, perilaku atau gerak-gerik, dan perbuatan
atau tindakan yang dilakukan berdasarkan pandangan (pendirian, keyakinan, atau
pendapat) sebagai reaksi atas adanya suatu hal atau kejadian.
Sikap merupakan fenomena kejiwaan, yang biasanya termanifestasi dalam bentuk
tindakan atau perilaku. Sikap tidak dapat diamati secara langsung. Untuk mengamati
sikap dapat dilihat melalui perilaku, tetapi berbagai hasil penelitian menunjukkan bahwa
apa yang nampak dalam perilaku tidak selalu menunjukkan sikap. Begitu juga
sebaliknya, sikap seseorang tidak selamanya tercermin dalam perilakunya.

Keadaan dan proses terbentuknya sikap bahasa tidak jauh dari keadaan dan proses
terbentuknya sikap pada umumnya. Sebagaimana halnya dengan sikap, maka sikap
bahasa juga merupakan peristiwa kejiwaan sehingga tidak dapat diamati secara langsung.
Sikap bahasa dapat diamati melalui perilaku berbahasa atau perilaku tutur. Namun dalam
hal ini juga berlaku ketentuan bahwa tidak setiap perilaku tutur mencerminkan sikap
bahasa. Demikian pula sebaliknya, sikap bahasa tidak selamanya tercermin dalam
perilaku tutur. Dibedakannya antara bahasa (langue) dan tutur (parole) (de Saussure,
1976), maka ketidaklangsungan hubungan antara sikap bahasa dan perilaku tutur makin
menjadi lebih jelas lagi. Sikap bahasa cenderung mengacu kepada bahasa sebagai sistem
(langue), sedangkan perilaku tutur lebih cenderung merujuk kepada pemakaian bahasa
secara konkret (parole).

Triandis (1971) berpendapat bahwa sikap adalah kesiapan bereaksi terhadap suatu
keadaan atau kejadian yang dihadapi. Kesiapan ini dapat mengacu kepada “sikap
perilaku”. Menurut Allport (1935), sikap adalah kesiapan mental dan saraf, yang
terbentuk melalui pengalaman yang memberikan arah atau pengaruh yang dinamis
kepada reaksi seseorang terhadap semua objek dan keadaan yang menyangkut sikap itu.
Sedangkan Lambert (1967) menyatakan bahwa sikap itu terdiri dari tiga komponen, yaitu
komponen kognitif, komponen afektif, dan komponen konatif. Penjelasan ketiga
komponen tersebut sebagai berikut.

• Komponen kognitif berhubungan dengan pengetahuan mengenai alam sekitar dan


gagasan yang biasanya merupakan kategori yang dipergunakan dalam proses
berpikir.
• Komponen afektif menyangkut masalah penilaian baik, suka atau tidak suka,
terhadap sesuatu atau suatu keadaan, maka orang itu dikatakan memiliki sikap
positif. Jika sebaliknya, disebut memiliki sikap negatif.
• Komponen konatif menyangkut perilaku atau perbuatan sebagai “putusan akhir”
kesiapan reaktif terhadap suatu keadaan.

Melalui ketiga komponen inilah, orang biasanya mencoba menduga bagaimana sikap
seseorang terhadap suatu keadaan yang sedang dihadapinya. Ketiga komponen sikap ini
(kognitif, afektif, dan konatif) pada umumnya berhubungan dengan erat. Namun,
seringkali pengalaman “menyenangkan’ atau “tidak menyenangkan” yang didapat
seseorang di dalam masyarakat menyebabkan hubungan ketiga komponen itu tidak
sejalan. Apabila ketiga komponen itu sejalan, maka bisa diramalkan perilaku itu
menunjukkan sikap. Tetapi kalau tidak sejalan, maka dalam hal itu perilaku tidak dapat
digunakan untuk mengetahui sikap. Banyak pakar yang memang mengatakan bahwa
perilaku belum tentu menunjukkan sikap.

Edward (1957) mengatakan bahwa sikap hanyalah salah satu faktor, yang juga tidak
dominan, dalam menentukan perilaku. Oppenheim (1976) dapat menentukan perilaku
atas dasar sikap. Sedangkan Sugar (1967) berdasarkan penelitiannya memberi
kesimpulan bahwa perilaku itu ditentukan oleh empat buah faktor utama, yaitu sikap,
norma sosial, kebiasaan, dan akibat yang mungkin terjadi. Dari keempat faktor itu
dikatakan bahwa kebiasaan adalah faktor yang paling kuat, sedangkan sikap merupakan
faktor yang paling lemah. Jadi, dengan demikian jelas bahwa sikap bukan satu-satunya
faktor yang menentukan perilaku, tetapi yang paling menentukan perilaku adalah
kebiasaan.

Anderson (1974) membagi sikap atas dua macam, yaitu (1) sikap kebahasaan dan (2)
sikap nonkebahasaan, seperti sikap politis, sikap keagamaan, dan lain-lain. Menurut
Anderson, sikap bahasa adalah tata keyakinan atau kognisi yang relatif berjangka
panjang, sebagian mengenai bahasa, mengenai objek bahasa, yang memberikan
kecenderungan seseorang untuk bereaksi dengan cara tertentu yang disenanginya. Namun
sikap tersebut dapat berupa sikap positif dan negatif, maka sikap terhadap bahasa pun
demikian. Garvin dan Mathiot (1968) merumuskan tiga ciri sikap bahasa yaitu:

• Kesetiaan Bahasa (Language Loyalty) yang mendorong masyarakat suatu bahasa


mempertahankan bahasanya dan apabila perlu mencegah adanya pengaruh bahasa
lain.
• Kebanggaan Bahasa (Language Pride) yang mendorong orang mengembangkan
bahasanya dan menggunakannya sebagai lambang identitas dan kesatuan
masyarakat.
• Kesadaran adanya norma bahasa (Awareness Of The Norm) yang mendorong
orang menggunakan bahasanya dengan cermat dan santun merupakan faktor yang
sangat besar pengaruhnya terhadap perbuatan yaitu kegiatan menggunakan bahasa
(language use).

Ketiga ciri yang dikemukakan Garvin dan Mathiot tersebut merupakan ciri-ciri sikap
positif terhadap bahasa. Sikap positif yaitu sikap antusiasme terhadap penggunaan
bahasanya (bahasa yang digunakan oleh kelompoknya/masyarakat tutur dimana dia
berada). Sebaliknya jika ciri-ciri itu sudah menghilang atau melemah dari diri seseorang
atau dari diri sekelompok orang anggota masyarakat tutur, maka berarti sikap negatif
terhadap suatu bahasa telah melanda diri atau kelompok orang itu. Ketiadaan gairah atau
dorongan untuk mempertahankan kemandirian bahasanya merupakan salah satu penanda
sikap negatif, bahwa kesetiaan bahasanya mulai melemah, yang bisa berlanjut menjadi
hilang sama sekali.

Sikap negatif terhadap bahasa dapat juga terjadi bila orang atau sekelompok orang tidak
mempunyai lagi rasa bangga terhadap bahasanya, dan mengalihkannya kepada bahasa
lain yang bukan miliknya. Hal tersebut dapat dipengaruhi oleh beberapa faktor, yaitu
antara lain: faktor politis, faktor etnis, ras, gengsi, menganggap bahasa tersebut terlalu
rumit atau susah dan sebagainya. Sebagai contoh yaitu penggunaan bahasa Jawa di
lingkungan masyarakat Jawa. Dewasa ini penggunaan bahasa Jawa dikalangan
masyarakat Jawa sendiri dirasa kurang begitu antusias. Hal ini merupakan tanda-tanda
mulai munculnya sikap yang kurang positif terhadap bahasa tersebut. Bahasa-bahasa
daerah terkadang dianggap sebagai bahasa yang kurang fleksibel dan kurang mengikuti
perkembangan jaman. Demikian pula bahasa Jawa. Anak-anak muda pada jaman
sekarang kurang begitu mengerti dan antusias menggunakan bahasa tersebut, karena ada
yang merasa bahwa bahasa Jawa terlalu rumit bagi mereka, banyak leksikon dari bahasa
Jawa yang tidak dimengerti, ditambah dengan penggunaan tingkat tutur bahasa Jawa dan
sebagainya. Hal tersebut merupakan indikasi bahwa mereka sudah tidak berminat lagi
untuk mempelajari bahasa Jawa, atau hal itu juga dipengaruhi oleh perkembangan
keadaan yang menghendaki segala sesuatu yang serba praktis dan simpel. Tidak hanya
bahasa daerah, tetapi bahasa Indonesia sebagai bahasa nasional pun dirasa telah mulai
pudar ciri sikap bahasa positifnya.

Sikap negatif juga akan lebih terasa akibat-akibatnya apabila seseorang atau sekelompok
orang tidak mempunyai kesadaran akan adanya norma bahasa. Sikap tersebut nampak
dalam tindak tuturnya. Mereka tidak merasa perlu untuk menggunakan bahasa secara
cermat dan tertib, mengikuti kaidah yang berlaku.

Berkenaan dengan sikap bahasa negatif ada pendapat yang menyatakan bahwa jalan yang
harus ditempuh adalah dengan pendidikan bahasa yang dilaksanakan atas dasar
pembinaan kaidah dan norma-norma sosial dan budaya yang ada dalam masyarakat
bahasa yang bersangkutan. Namun menurut Lambert (1976) motivasi belajar tersebut
juga berorientasi pada dua hal yaitu:

1. Perbaikan nasib (orientasi instrumental). Orientasi instrumental mengacu/banyak


terjadi pada bahasa-bahasa yang jangkauan pemakaiannya luas, banyak
dibutuhkan dan menjanjikan nilai ekonomi yang tinggi, seperti bahasa Inggris,
bahasa Prancis, dan bahasa Jepang.
2. Keingintahuan terhadap kebudayaan masyarakat yang bahasanya dipelajari
(orientasi integratif). Orientasi integratif banyak terjadi pada bahasa-bahasa dari
suatu masyarakat yang mempunyai kebudayaan tinggi, tetapi bahasanya hanya
digunakan sebagai alat komunikasi terbatas pada kelompok etnik tertentu.

Kedua orientasi tersebut juga merupakan faktor-faktor yang mempengaruhi sikap bahasa
seseorang. Selain itu sikap bahasa juga bisa mempengaruhi seseorang untuk
menggunakan suatu bahasa, dan bukan bahasa yang lain, dalam masyarakat yang
bilingual atau multilingual.

Mengacu pada sikap bahasa pada masyarakat yang bilingual atau multilingual, terdapat
dampak positif dan negatif bagi pembinaan bahasa Indonesia dan bahasa daerah.
Memang semakin meluasnya pemakaian bahasa Indonesia sebagai bahasa nasional,
adalah suatu hal yang positif. Tetapi dampak negatifnya seseorang sering mendapat
hambatan psikologis dalam menggunakan bahasa daerahnya yang mengenal tingkatan
bahasa, seringkali memaksa mereka terbalik-balik dalam bertutur antara bahasa daerah
dan bahasa Indonesia. Akhirnya sering terjadi kalimat-kalimat / kata-kata (karena
banyaknya terjadi interferensi / campur kode yang tidak terkendali) muncul kata-kata
sebagai suatu ragam bahasa baru. Misalnya, bahasa Indonesia yang kejawa-jawaan atau
bahasa Indonesia yang keinggris-inggrisan, dan lain-lain. Hal itu pun mulai sering
ditemui di masyarakat pengguna bahasa sekarang.

Contoh:
1. Bahasa Indonesia yang kejawa-jawaan.
a. Adanya pemakaian akhiran ‘o’
lihato [ lihat ‫‘] כ‬lihatlah’, yang baku sebenarnya adalah lihatlah.◊Lihat + o
Jadi kata bahasa Indonesia mendapat tambahan akhiran -o, atau seperti akhiran a [ ‫] כ‬
dalam bahasa Jawa.

b. Adanya pemakaian akhiran ‘-en’


ambilen [ ambIlən ], yang baku adalah ambilah.◊Ambil + en
Kata ambil dalam bahasa Indonesia mendapat tambahan akhiran -en yang merupakan
akhiran dalam bahasa Jawa.
menembaki [mənεmba?i], seharusnya menembakki [mənεmba?ki].◊c. Menembak + i

d. Adanya pemakaian akhiran ‘-ke’


biarke [biarke], yang baku adalah biarkan.◊biar + ke
dudukke [dudU?ke], yang baku adalah dudukkan◊duduk + ke
ambilke [ambIlke], yang baku adalah ambilkan◊ambil + ke
Akhiran -ke tidak terdapat dalam bahasa Indonesia, akhiran -ke disini digunakan seperti
dalam penggunaan akhiran –ake dalam bahasa Jawa.

2. Bahasa Indonesia yang keinggris-inggrisan


Hal ini biasanya terdapat dalam pengucapan/pelafalan bahasa Indonesia yang menyerupai
pelafalan/pengucapan bahasa Inggris.
Contoh:
diucapkan Becheq [bεchε?]◊Becek [bεcεk]
fonem t [t] diucapkan c [c]
gicu [gicu]◊Gitu [gitu]
anchri [anchri]◊Antri [antri]

3. Bahasa Jawa yang keindonesia-indonesiaan.


Penggunaan akhiran -lah.
Contoh:
wis ta ‘sudahlah’◊wislah [wIslah]

III. Penutup
Sikap bahasa adalah posisi mental atau perasaan terhadap bahasa sendiri atau bahasa
orang lain (Kridalaksana, 2001:197). Keadaan dan proses terbentuknya sikap bahasa
tidak jauh dari keadaan dan proses terbentuknya sikap pada umumnya. Lambert (1967)
menyatakan bahwa sikap itu terdiri dari tiga komponen, yaitu komponen kognitif,
komponen afektif, dan komponen konatif.

Anderson (1974) membagi sikap atas dua macam, yaitu (1) sikap kebahasaan dan (2)
sikap nonkebahasaan. Sikap kebahasan dapat dikategorikan menjadi dua sikap yaitu sikap
positif dan sikap negatif. Sikap positif yaitu sikap antusiasme terhadap penggunaan
bahasanya (bahasa yang digunakan oleh kelompoknya/masyarakat tutur dimana dia
berada). Sebaliknya jika ciri-ciri itu sudah menghilang atau melemah dari diri seseorang
atau dari diri sekelompok orang anggota masyarakat tutur, maka berarti sikap negatif
terhadap suatu bahasa telah melanda diri atau kelompok orang itu. Garvin dan Mathiot
(1968) merumuskan tiga ciri sikap bahasa yaitu kesetiaan bahasa (language loyalty),
kebanggaan bahasa (language pride), kesadaran adanya norma bahasa (awareness of the
norm).

DAFTAR PUSTAKA

Abdul Chaer, Leonie Agustina. 2004. Sosiolinguistik Perkenalan Awal. Jakarta: PT


Rineka Cipta.
Harimurti Kridalaksana. 2001. Kamus Linguistik. Jakarta: PT. Gramedia Pustaka Utama.
Mansoer, Pateda. 1990. Sosiolinguistik. Bandung: Angkasa.
Nababan, P.W.J. 1986. Sosiolinguistik Suatu Pengantar. Jakarta: PT. Gramedia.
Suwito. 1983. Pengantar Awal Sosiolinguistik Teori dan Problema. Surakarta: Henari
Offset Solo.
http://www.google.com-sosiolinguistik-sikap bahasa.
LANGUAGE ATTITUDE OF THE ORIYA MIGRANT POPULATION IN
KOLKATA
Satarupa Dattamajumdar, Ph.D.

1. INTRODUCTION - ATTITUDES

Attitude is an important notion in the study of bilingualism and multilingualism. Attitude


may be defined as the sum total of a person's psychological construct towards certain
objects, institution, persons, ideas, etc. Attitude owes its origin to the collective behavior
of the members of a social group. It plays a crucial role in the social behavior of an
individual as it defines and promotes certain behavior.

According to Baker (1988), attitudes are learned predispositions, and are not inherited.
They are relatively stable and are affected by experiences. Attitudes are complex
constructs. Choudhry (1993:22) emphasizes the factors like motivation, prestige, identity,
language loyalty and the importance of their relationship to attitude.

2. LANGUAGE ATTITUDE

Linguistic attitudes may be positive or negative, as well as neutral feeling attached to a


particular language situation.

Fasold (1984: 148) suggests that the attitude towards a language is often the reflection of
the attitudes towards the members of that speech community. People's reaction towards a
language variety reveals their perception regarding the speakers of that variety -- their
social, political and economic backdrop. Edward (1982: 20) discusses the major
dimensions along which the views about language can vary. They are social status and
group solidarity.

The social pressures to maintain a language or language varieties that do not carry any
social prestige reflect the in-group solidarity or language loyalty.

Choudhry and Verma (1996:391) rightly pointed out,

Factors like numerical strength of the minority group, their time and pattern of settlement
and length of stay, their social and political power, their socio-economic status and
linguistic factors such as the patterns of language use in various domains, attitudes and
motivation towards the mother tongue and the dominant language of the host community,
and political factors influencing language planning in education play a vital role in
determining the retention or loss of the mother tongue among minority groups.

3. MOTIVATION

Thus, the concept of language attitude automatically brings into consideration the concept
of motivation -- the instrumental motive and the integrative motive. When the knowledge
of a language is considered to be a prestige marker, the acquisition of that language is
said to be instrumental. On the other hand, if a learner wishes to learn a language in order
to identify himself with members of the speech community, the motive is called an
integrative one. However, motivation may also arise from a sense of academic success or
from a sense of communicative success. All these motivate one's attitude to learn and
speak a foreign language or a second language.

4. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The present study investigates and analyzes the motivation behind language choice and
use, and the language attitude as a whole of the Oriya migrant population in Kolkata.
This is supposed to throw some light regarding whether the speech community is
undergoing a process of acculturation, or is it inclined to maintain the identity on its own.
This attitudinal survey will examine the role of socio-economics and the power
relationships, which will ultimately be found to contribute to the rationale of the 'attitude'
itself.

5. THE CASE FOR ORIYA

Oriya is the official language of the State of Orissa. Oriya is also spoken by a substantial
number of speakers in the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh,
West Bengal, Assam, Maharashtra, Tripura and Uttar Pradesh. Among the eighteen
scheduled languages, Oriya occupies the tenth position in terms of the number of
speakers according to the 1991 Census. The number of persons who returned Oriya as
their mother tongue in the 1991 Census is 28,061,313.

Among the different migrant populations in the city of Kolkata, the capital city of the
State of West Bengal, Oriya population constitutes an important community, the
population being 33,637 persons according to 1991 Census. Through out India, the
number of persons among the Oriya speakers who speak the Bangla (Bengali) language is
reported to be 74,369 persons (1991 Census). Of this number, a greater bulk of Bengali
knowing and Bengali speaking Oriya population is reported from Kolkata. This indirectly
shows that Bangla (Bengali), as a second language, has a good deal of impact on the
Oriya speech community in Kolkata, due to the contact situation.

The migration of the Oriya people to the city of Kolkata started approximately before
1690 A.D. Bhuiya (1990) opines that the commercial and cultural interaction between the
people of Cuttack and Kolkata was already in existence, which is evident from the
translation of Bhagavat Purana from Sanskrit into Oriya by a Bengali scholar and poet,
Sanatan Ghosal in 1679-1680. It is interesting to note that Sanatan Ghosal chose to
translate a Sanskrit work into Oriya. He would not have done it unless he had a good
appreciation of the socio-cultural necessity to get the famous literary piece translated not
only into Bangla but into Oriya (the language of the neighboring state) as well.

The Great Famine of 1866 gave an impetus to the migration of the Oriya people to
Kolkata basically in search of livelihood. The natural calamities that took place in the
coastal belt of Orissa from time to time led the Oriya people to migrate to Kolkata for the
same purpose. Initially the working class constituted the majority of such a migrant
population. Later on the migration of the class of Oriya intelligentsia also contributed to
the formation of modern Kolkata, according to Bhuiya (1990). These migrants naturally
must have faced the problems of language use, language choice, language proficiency,
etc. regarding their own language as well as the dominant local language (Bengali),
keeping in view the symbolic function of the languages.

6. SAMPLE DESIGN AND METHODOLOGY

Data collection for the present study was done by selecting the subjects based on the
method of snowball sampling with respondents constituting men , women and children.
(Only those who fulfilled the condition of 'staying five years or more' at Kolkata were
considered.) A questionnaire was prepared based on the Likert method and was
administered to the respondents. Taking a cue from Choudhry (1993), the questionnaire
was framed in such a way as to elicit the individual opinions regarding their claimed
status of language proficiency, language use or choice, their reading habits and the
language they prefer, language teaching or learning for future prospects, language
identity and attitude as a whole regarding language maintenance and shift.

The present study is an initial study looking on a small size of sample. Based on this
study, a detailed study will be carried out with a larger representative sample in the
future.

7. PARAMETERS OF THE STUDY

As the focal point of the present paper is to study and analyze the language attitude of the
Oriya immigrants in Kolkata, the paper takes into consideration the following
sociolinguistic aspects observed in the Oriya community in Kolkata.

1. Language use or choice in different social domains.


2. Language Proficiency.
3. Language Attitude: Pedagogical Perspective
4. Print media: Language choice
5. Instrumental function of preferred language in the speech community

I have collected my data from Oriya scientists (my next door neighbor), PSU Managers,
Professors, Research Scholars, Pilots, Cooks, Plumbers, Water carriers, Shopkeepers, etc.

The earlier patterns of migration in which only the skilled, semi-skilled and the unskilled
workers used to move to urban areas have now changed. Now most of the movements are
from across different classes and this poses difficulty in giving an omnibus label to the
Oriya population in Kolkata as in the past, say about 40-50 years ago, and to make
generalization as if there are no internal differences. One may even venture to suggest
that the earlier pattern of migration is rather changed in recent times with the emergence
of multinational corporations, BPOs, etc. As a sign of changes taking place in the
migration pattern, one may cite examples of the presence of a large number of students
from Oriya in many prestigious universities in the country and also the well set trend of
the Orissa students topping various All India entrance exams and the IAS, IPS, IFS, civil
services examinations. This changing pattern actually explains the results obtained in this
study, which is presented below.

The study has taken into consideration different classes of people belonging to different
income levels (not only middle or upper middle class, but other classes as well) which is
specifically reflected in the comments made at the end.

8. LANGUAGE USE OR CHOICE IN DIFFERENT SOCIAL DOMAINS

The survey brings into light the use of mainly four languages - Oriya (the mother tongue
of the migrant population), Bangla (Bengali, the dominant local language), English (the
language of higher professional education) and Hindi (a language of wider
communication in many parts of India as well as the dominant language of the
audiovisual media).

The use and choice of language in close interaction in different social domains seems to
be relevant from the point of view of language identity which is reflected in the data
regarding the maintenance of their mother tongue and shift to other tongues.

This also accounts for the motivation working behind the use and choice of such
language patterns:

Table 1: Table (in %) representing the 'most frequent' use and choice of language or
languages in various social domains is presented in the following table

Social Domains Oriya Bangla English


Grand Parents 86% Nil Nil
Parents 90% Nil 2%
Spouse 93.8% 2% 2%
Children 72.8% 2% 8%
Friend 8% 4% 52%
Neighbor 6% 14% 38%
Place of Work Nil 2% 55%
Social Functions 2% 14% 68%
Domestic Help 2% 82% Nil

Table 1 highlights the fact that Oriya dominates the language use in the home domain in
the interaction with grandparents, parents, spouse and children. This dominance
decreases sharply in the domain of interaction with friends, neighbors, social functions
and in the place of work. Rather it is found that English dominates in the sphere of social
functions, workplace, interaction with neighbors and friends. It is in the domestic sphere
where the use of English language decreases. Bangla, in spite of being the local dominant
language, is found to have lesser impact in the use and choice of language by the Oriya
migrant population. Only 14% of the respondents interact with neighbors and in social
functions in Bangla. In the case of communication with the domestic help it is as high as
82%, possibly because the 'domestic help' is from the local Bangla speaking community
in most of the cases. It is pertinent to mention here that Hindi was never used 'most
frequently,' in any of the domains tested. Thus, Oriya and English are used by a
significant number of Oriya respondents at different social domains. This is illustrated in
the graph presented below.

Graph :1 Respondents who use Oriya and English at different social domains

9. LANGUAGE PROFICIENCY

The linguistic proficiency that is claimed by this migrant population brings into light the
four languages - Oriya, Bangla, English and Hindi at different proficiency levels. The
languages in which the respondents claim that their proficiency is at the 'very well' status,
has been considered for the analysis of the present study. This claimed proficiency in
terms of four skills - Understanding, Speaking, Reading and Writing is shown in the
graph given below.
Graph: 2
Respondents who claim to be 'most proficient' across the four language skills in
Oriya, Bangla, English, and Hindi

Apart from Oriya, the mother tongue of the Oriya migrants, the claimed proficiency in
the English language across all the four skills seems to be quite high. Though the claimed
proficiency of Bangla and Hindi is almost same, Bangla exceeds Hindi in respect of the
understanding skill which may be due to its position as the dominant language and also
because Oriya is much closer to Bangla as a cognate language. In this connection it is
worthy to mention that the responses regarding the formal learning of the four skills of
their mother tongue revealed from the section III of the questionnaire shows the attitude
of the respondents towards learning their mother tongue.

10. LANGUAGE ATTITUDE - PEDAGOGICAL PERSPECTIVES

This section of the paper deals with the preference of language for learning purpose and
with the appropriate pedagogical strategy of the Oriya migrant population in the
multilingual setting that prevails in Kolkata.

Keeping in view the development of the future generation and the roles a particular
language may play in higher education and professional education, and keeping in view
the job opportunities that the use or non-use of a language may open up, the Oriya
community is found to prefer the English language as the medium of instruction and as
well as a subject of importance. This language attitude in the pedagogical perspective of
the Oriya migrants brings into light some personal observations which seem to be
pertinent in this context.

People belonging to the working class prefer to have Bangla as their medium of
instruction especially at the primary level. Though there are secondary schools (where the
medium of instruction is Oriya) in different parts of Greater Metropolitan Kolkata like
Titagarh, Khiderpore, Bhowanipore, most people (especially those who belong to higher
income group) even do not know about the existence of these schools. The working class
Oriya migrants residing in the industrial belts of Greater Metropolitan Kolkata like
Sibpur, Salkia, Shobhabazar, Titagarh, Belghoria, Sreerampore, etc. send their children to
these schools. A limited number of people are found to prefer Bangla as a medium of
instruction for their children.

11. PRINT MEDIA - LANGUAGE CHOICE

The data on the preference for print media, that is, newspapers/magazines (dailies,
weeklies, and monthlies) reveals that English language print media is preferred by a high
percentage of the respondents. The respondents who prefer Oriya print media are 46%,
Bangla 12%, Hindi 32% and English 92%. It is necessary to mention here that most of
the respondents have reported to prefer and subscribe to dailies, weeklies, monthlies in
more than one language. The section of people who do not prefer to subscribe to Oriya
dailies, weeklies or monthlies reported that they either did not know the Oriya script
(especially the younger generation) or are not interested in Oriya print media.

Preferences for Print Media (Newspapers, magazines, etc.) in Oriya, Bangla, English and
Hindi by the respondents are represented in the following graph.

Graph: 3 (in %) Preferences of Print Media (Newspapers, magazines, etc.) in Oriya,


Bangla, English and Hindi

12. INSTRUMENTAL FUNCTION OF PREFERRED LANGUAGE IN THE


SPEECH COMMUNITY

The significance of language as a symbol of identity, social status, i.e., the instrumental
function of language, is evident from the actual use or choice and preference of language
or languages in various contexts by the Oriya migrant population in Kolkata. The above
table, graphs and their analyses reveal that English has a significantly dominant position
in different social domains (except the home domain), pedagogical context, as media
language and also in the case of the claimed language proficiency.

The maintenance of mother tongue only in the home domain, and the attitude of not
preferring Oriya in the print media or in education, stands as an evidence of definite shift.
The use or choice of language and the claimed proficiency of Bangla and Hindi as
revealed from the already discussed table and graphs speaks only of the natural impact of
the dominant local language (Bangla) and the impact of the audiovisual media or the
lingua franca of the country (Hindi).

Interestingly enough, when the total use or choice of languages at different social
domains is considered as a whole, (either 'most frequently', 'frequently', or 'rarely'), the
picture that emerges shows a balanced multilingual setting -- Oriya constituting 23.71%,
Bangla constituting 26.80%, English constituting 23.71% and Hindi constituting 25.78%.
The graph considering the use or choice of the four languages as a whole is presented
below.
Graph: 4
The proportionate use of the four languages as a whole across different social
domains

13. COMPARISON OF DATA ON GRADED RESPONSE

A comparison of the data available from the graded responses of the Section III of the
questionnaire has been dealt with in this section. Statements which are in favor Oriya are
selected for the estimation of difference between the two data . The Mean, Standard
Deviation (SD), and Standard Error (SE) of the two data are calculated and then
statistical analysis is done by the method of Student's 't' test. In order to compute the 't'
value, the following calculation was done:

In favor of Oriya (in %)

Agree Disagree
N 5 5
Mean 21.4 81.48
Variance 57.30 75.47
S.D. 7.56 8.68
S.E. 3.39 3.89
As 't' 11.56 is greater than 't' = 5.04 at P= 0.001 against 8, i.e., (5+5-2) degrees of
freedom, the probability of no significance in the present data is P< 0.001. Therefore, the
difference between the two responses (Agree and Disagree) is highly significant.

14. CONCLUSION

Thus to sum up, it can be said that the Oriya migrant population is not very much
maintenance-prone regarding their mother tongue. Bangla, being the dominant local
language and with a close history of genetic (cognate) relationship and contact situation
(geographical as well as socio-cultural and commercial) that contributes to ease in
learning and use, exerts some pressure to use and learn the language. The influence of
Hindi (a language of wider communication) can be traced to the immense impact of the
audio-visual media throughout the country, including West Bengal. The attitude towards
maintaining English language exhibits the instrumental motive of the people. The very
attitude of the migrant Oriya respondents towards English reflects the importance of the
language for better education and job opportunity that this language is assumed to
provide, as well as a marker of 'global status.'

COLOPHON

I am grateful to Dr. Amitav Choudhry for guiding me constantly to carry out this present
study and to Dr. Rabiranjan Chatterjee for his guidance in statistical analysis of the study.

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