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言語社会分析演習I:社会言語学入門 松本和子先生

( 2 ) 社 会 言 語 学 の 用 語 ・ 概 念 を 用 い な が ら 、 自 分 自 身 の ① speech community お よ び ② linguistic

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What are my linguistic repertoires? What are the languages I speak daily, habitually?
What are the codes I switch between, according to the domains in use, according to
the medium, according to the addressee? What is the variety of my own language that
I use? How many varieties does Spanish have? How many varieties does Japanese
have? To what extent am I bilingual? To what extent have I acquired two languages?
In order to answer these questions, I will describe the linguistic communities I have
been in contact with, and I will try to determine the linguistic communities I belong
to. Later on, I will try to define my linguistic repertoires.

Regarding the speech community

On the one side, I belong to the Spanish speech community of the Mexico City's
Educated Middle Class. I am sure of this, to a great degree. I can even differentiate
between varieties and determine that my variety belongs to the Mexican Spanish in
contrast with the Argentinean Spanish, the Cuban Spanish, the Spanish Spanish and
others. Furthermore, as a member of the Mexican Spanish speech community, I can
recognize my pronunciation and vocabulary as belonging to the Mexico City's dialect.
Moreover, I would say that my social dialect is that of the Educated Middle Class.
On the other side, if people ask me whether or not I belong to the Japanese
speech community, it would be a bit harder for me to say that I do. How can I talk
about membership to a community which was thousands of miles away from where I
was born and raised? Is it appropriate to speak about membership simply because of
having acquired a certain language? On the other hand, is a speech community
determined by geographical and/or political factors?
According to John Lyons (1970: 326 apud Holmes 2008: 371), 'all the people
who use a given language' can be defined as being part of a speech community. This
account requires further scrutiny, since it carries some methodological difficulties.
For instance, in order to deal with a certain aspect of the Spanish speech community –
as long as we agree that Spanish is a language spoken in Latin America and Spain
which has several dialects such as Argentinean, Cuban, Colombian, and so on, which
themselves have several dialects– we would have to treat it as a whole, and this
prevents the object of study to be observed with detail. Thus, it is problematic to
define a 'speech community' in terms of a 'given language'. Moreover, the notion of
'user' needs further examination as well. Think of a foreign language teacher who only
言語社会分析演習I:社会言語学入門 松本和子先生
( 2 ) 社 会 言 語 学 の 用 語 ・ 概 念 を 用 い な が ら 、 自 分 自 身 の ① speech community お よ び ② linguistic
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uses the language with their students at class. Would it be acceptable to refer to the
class as a speech community? If so, is this useful at all? Now, what about tourists?
They use English to communicate when they are abroad. Does this fact makes them
part of the English speech community? Are immigrants members of the speech
community to which they are moving, as long as they 'use' the language of the place?
At this point, it is clear that we need a different approach. I find all of the
following definitions more suitable descriptions as well as more adequate approaches
in a methodological sense. Dell Hymes (1962 apud Holmes 2008: 371) states that a
speech community can be defined as 'a group who share rules of speaking and rules
for the interpretation of speech performance', and according to Holmes (2008: 399),
he is taking 'account of shared cultural norms', which delimits the Lyons' statement to
such a degree that it excludes tourists and immigrants from the speech community, as
long as they do not share the 'cultural norms'. In addition, Joshua Fishman (1971: 28
apud Holmes 2008: 371) defines 'a community all of whose members share at least a
single speech variety and the norms for its appropriate use'. This definition, as
Holmes says, 'takes account of multilingual individuals' (2008: 399). Both accounts
help to differentiate the speech community of Cuba from the Argentinian one, since
they do not share cultural norms. John Gumperz also 'includes the possibility of
multilingual speech communities and, distinctively, uses density of social interaction
as a criterion for delimiting the community' (Holmes 2008: 399), when he defines a
speech community as 'a social group which may be either monolingual or
multilingual, held together by frequency of social interaction patterns and set off from
the surrounding areas by weaknesses in the lines of communication' (Gumperz 1965
apud Holmes 2008: 372). This definition would, for instance, exclude the foreign
language teacher and their students.
Now, take the following statement: 'The speech community is not defined by
any marked agreement in the use of language elements, so much as by participation in
a set of shared norms; these norms may be observed in overt types of evaluative
behaviour, and by the uniformity of the abstract patterns of variation which are
invariant in respect of particular levels of usage' (Labov 1972a: 120 apud Holmes
2008: 372). This definition is interesting because it distinguishes insiders from
outsiders of the community in terms of 'overt types of evaluative behaviour'.
言語社会分析演習I:社会言語学入門 松本和子先生
( 2 ) 社 会 言 語 学 の 用 語 ・ 概 念 を 用 い な が ら 、 自 分 自 身 の ① speech community お よ び ② linguistic
徳増直美 M1 31-096017
Considering the definitions of ‘speech community’ above, I would say that I
might be part of some Japanese speech community so long I ‘interpret events
similarly, and know norms for behaving appropriately in the regular communicative
events of the community’ (Holmes 2008: 371), so that, according to Hymes, I might
share rules of speaking and rules for the interpretation of speech performance.
Additionally, I would say that I share the Kanagawa variety that I learn from my
family, in contrast to the varieties of Kansai or the variety of Aomori.
To this extent, I belong to two speech communities: Both monolingual, both
with a traditional literary history that, to my understanding, has come to the result of
an oral system that exists side by side with a written system, in a type of a diglossia
situation that I will try to explain below.

Regarding the linguistic repertoires

On the one side, since I belong to a Spanish monolingual speech community, I use
Spanish with my brother and my father at home, with my friends at school, in every
class of the school, and every other possible domain outside of the house.
On the other side, I belong to another monolingual speech community: the
Japanese one. However, I acquired this language not in the country of origin but in
Mexico, at home, with my mother. Additionally, I went to Japanese lessons for
children, and had painting lessons with a Japanese woman. I understood the Japanese
of the soap operas my mother used to watch, the Japanese of the cartoons my brother
and I used to watch; but I did not understand neither the Japanese of the news, nor the
Japanese of the scientific parts of the cartoons. I was able to read manga and the short
love stories for teenagers, but not the newspapers or the textbooks. Wasn’t this
strange? What kind of knowledge of Japanese did I have? How can this situation be
explained? I believe that this happened because I was familiar with the oral system of
Japanese which is normally acquired by means of socialization, but not the written
system which is normally acquired by being educated at school. Also, I believe that
some languages conserve the literary tradition in such degree that at some point the
written system and the oral system exist side by side, in a type of a diglossia situation.
In some languages, certain speakers master two variants of the same language,
not in a dialectal sense, but in an H-L sense. In this section, I would like to point out
the similarities of such variants H and L, and the stylistic variants of monolingual
言語社会分析演習I:社会言語学入門 松本和子先生
( 2 ) 社 会 言 語 学 の 用 語 ・ 概 念 を 用 い な が ら 、 自 分 自 身 の ① speech community お よ び ② linguistic
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speech communities like the Japanese one, i.e. the formal and the colloquial styles. I
order to do this, I will emphasize four of the nine points that Ferguson explains in his
conceptualization –function, acquisition, lexicon, and phonology1– with respect to
Japanese. The comparison between the classic diglossia and the linguistic distribution
in Japanese written and oral systems will take us to make a clear distinction between
both of them, and visualize that the written system is the basis of the formal style,
while the oral system is the basis of the colloquial style; and that each system works
in distinct ways, that is, each one is acquired differently, has different functions, has
different lexicon, and even functions phonologically in a different way.
First of all, it is important to notice that the concept of diglossia was first
coined by Charles Ferguson (1959 apud Fasold 1984), to describe a specific type of
speech community, in which a classic variant takes the functions of H, while the
modern variant takes the functions of L, 'with each variant being assigned a definite
but non-overlapping role' (Mesthrie et. al. 2000: 39). Arabic, Modern Greek, Swiss
German, and Haitian Creole2 are the typical examples of this specifically determined
situation. In these speech communities, 'there are two moderately distinct varieties of
the same language, of which one is called the High dialect (or simply H) and the other
the Low dialect (or L)' (Fasold 1984: 35).
The first point I want to notice about diglossia is ‘the very different patterns of
language acquisition associated with the High and Low dialects. […] L is learned in
the normal, unselfconscious way. H is always and “add-on” language, learned after L
has been substantially acquired, usually by formal teaching in school’ (Fasold 1984:
36, the italics are mine). With regard to this point, it has been said about writing,
compared to speech, that while ‘[c]hildren learn their first language as an oral entity
by socialization, [w]riting comes later (if at all) by conscious teaching’ (Mesthrie et.
al. 2000: 26).
Second, it has to be said that H and L adopt different functions. This criterion
–the function– appears to be the most crucial one in order to understand diglossia: 'the
functions calling for H are decidedly formal and guarded; those calling for L are

The other ones are prestige, literary heritage, standardization, stability and grammar (cf. Fasold 1984:
For Arabic, H (Classical Arabic) is the language of the Koran, while ‘L refers to the various
colloquial forms of the language which differ from one Arab country to another’ (Fasold 1985: 35). For
Greek, H (katharévusa) ‘is a kind of purified Greek with some linguistic features of classical Greek
restored’ (Fasold 1984:35) and L (dhimotiki) ‘is the spoken language’ (Fasold 1984: 35).
言語社会分析演習I:社会言語学入門 松本和子先生
( 2 ) 社 会 言 語 学 の 用 語 ・ 概 念 を 用 い な が ら 、 自 分 自 身 の ① speech community お よ び ② linguistic
徳増直美 M1 31-096017
informal, homey and relaxed' (Fasold 1984: 35). According to Ferguson, the typical
situations and choices that H and L take in a diglossia situation are as follows
(Ferguson 1972: 236 apud Fasold 1984: 35):

Situation H L
1.Sermon in church or mosque X
2.Instructions to servants, waiters, workmen, clerks X
3.Personal letter X
4.Speech in parliament, political speech X
5.University lecture X
6.Conversation with family, friends colleagues X
7.News broadcasts X
8.Radio ‘soap opera’ X
9.Newspaper editorial, news story, caption on picture X
10.Caption on political cartoon X
11.Poetry X
12.Folk literature X

It is amusing that the situations in which I recall not to understand Japanese were
news broadcasts (point 7: H variant), newspapers (point 9: H variant), and textbooks
(these maybe similar to point 5: H variant); while the situations in which I did
understand Japanese were soap operas (point 8: L variant), family interactions (point
6: L variant), manga and short love stories (these maybe similar to point 12: L
The third point is the one concerning to the lexicon. It is interesting –and will
be even more when compared to the written language in Japanese– that even though
‘the vocabularies of H and L are shared […], learned words and technical terms like
“nuclear fission” exists only in H’ (Fasold 1984: 37-38). In addition, there exists
‘paired items, one in H and one in L’. With regard to the written and oral systems in
Japanese, the distinction in lexicon can be cleared if we observe the domains in which
kango (loan words of Chinese origin) and wago (the native vocabulary) are used. In
The languages of Japan, Shibatani looks through ‘the distribution of loan words and
native words’ (1990: 142). According to ‘a study conducted between 1956 and 1964
by the Kokuritsu Kokugo Kenkyūjo (National Language Institute), […] [i]n the
practical and popular science magazines, [Chinese origin words] are particularly
predominant, while the native vocabulary is weak. In the domestic and women’s
magazines, on the other hand, the situation is reversed. […] In other words, [Chinese
origin] vocabulary is used in technical fields, while [native] vocabulary relates to the
domestic and women-related fields’ (Shibatani 1990: 142-143). In my opinion, this
言語社会分析演習I:社会言語学入門 松本和子先生
( 2 ) 社 会 言 語 学 の 用 語 ・ 概 念 を 用 い な が ら 、 自 分 自 身 の ① speech community お よ び ② linguistic
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lexical distribution can be interpreted also as differentiating H domains with
predominantly kango, and L domains with predominantly wago.
The forth and final point is about the phonology of H and L. According to
Kazazis (1968 apud Fasold 1984: 38), ‘H phonology is, as a rule, closer to the
common underlying forms in the whole language (fewer rules have been applied in
the phonological derivation of H forms) and that L phonology is farther from
underlying forms (relatively more rules have been applied in L derivations)’. In
Japanese, according to Tanaka (2009), there are phonological rules that only apply to
the oral style. For instance, it has been observed that /ai/ is pronounced as [e:] –as
well as /oi/ is pronounced [e:] and /ui/ is pronounced [i:]– in high frequency
adjectives, such as [kate:] for katai ‘hard’, [suge:] for sugoi ‘terrific’, and [sami:] for
samui ‘cold’ (cf. Kubozono 1999: 96-104 and Tanaka 2009: 42). Another clear
example would be the elimination of voiceless vowels as in [sentak:i] for sentakuki
‘washing machine’, [dok:a] for dokoka ‘somewhere’, [waribik:en] for waribikiken
‘discount ticket’, and others (Tanaka 2009: 43).
Now, having defined the four points of the classic diglossia, and compared the
typical diglossia to the distribution of the written and the oral systems of Japanese, I
want to say that the Japanese written system recalls the diglossia H variety, as well as
the Japanese oral system recalls the diglossia L variety. Moreover, I am lead to think
that my linguistic repertoires include, apart from the formal style of Spanish and the
colloquial style of Mexican Spanish 3 , the L variety of Japanese, i.e. its oral –
colloquial– style.

I conclude that, with respect to the speech community, I belong to two monolingual
speech communities: the Mexican Spanish speech community, and the Kanto
Japanese speech community. With regard to the linguistic repertoires, they include the
formal style of Spanish, the colloquial style of Mexican Spanish, and the L variety of
Japanese, i.e. its oral system.

Fasold, Ralph (1984). The sociolinguistics of Society. Oxford: Blackwell.

That is to say that the formal style of Spanish is standardized, while the colloquial styles of each
variety of Spanish are not.
言語社会分析演習I:社会言語学入門 松本和子先生
( 2 ) 社 会 言 語 学 の 用 語 ・ 概 念 を 用 い な が ら 、 自 分 自 身 の ① speech community お よ び ② linguistic
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Holmes, Janet (2008). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. London: Longman.
窪薗晴夫 (1999) 『日本語の音声』(現代言語学入門2), 岩波書店, 東京.
Mesthrie, Rajend, Joan Swann, Andrea Deumert and William L. Leap (2000).
Introducing Sociolinguistics. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Shibatani, Masayoshi (1990). The Languages of Japan. London: Cambridge
University Press.
田中伸一 (2009)『日常言語に潜む音法則の世界』開拓社, 東京.