MEG – 04
ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE
MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
IGNOU MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment January 2023
Q 1. Write short notes on the following:
Ans. Borrowings are a linguistic phenomenon where a word or phrase from one language is adopted and incorporated into another language.
This process is common in languages that have been exposed to different cultures and have a long history of interaction with other languages.
Borrowings can occur for various reasons, such as a need to express new concepts, social prestige, or simply because the borrowed word sounds interesting or exotic.
Borrowings can be categorized into different types based on their origin and the level of assimilation into the borrowing language.
The most common types of borrowings are loanwords, loan translations, and calques.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Loanwords are the most straightforward type of borrowing, where a word from one language is directly incorporated into another language without any changes to its form or meaning.
Examples of loanwords in English include “sushi” from Japanese, “ballet” from French, and “schadenfreude” from German.
These words are typically used in their original form and are recognizable as foreign words.
Loan translations, also known as “calques,” are words or phrases that are literally translated from one language to another.
The meaning of the original phrase is retained, but the words are replaced with their equivalent in the borrowing language. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, the English phrase “skyscraper” is a loan translation of the German word “Wolkenkratzer,” which means “cloud scraper.”
Cal the borrowing language does not have an equivalent word or phrase to express the same concept. This type of borrowing is common in technical and scientific fields where new concepts and technologies are introduced.
Loan translations can also create new meanings that do not exist in the original language, such as the English phrase “mind-blowing,” which is a loan translation of the German word “kopfsprenger.”
Calques can also be used to express cultural and social concepts. For example, the English phrase “face-saving” is a loan translation of the Chinese term “mianzi,” which refers to the importance of maintaining social status and avoiding shame.
Similarly, the English phrase “zeitgeist” is a loan translation of the German word for “spirit of the times,” which refers to the cultural and intellectual climate of a particular period.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another type of borrowing is semantic borrowing, where a word from one language is adopted into another language but with a different meaning.
This type of borrowing is common in slang and informal language, where words can take on new meanings based on the context and social group using them.
For example, the English word “cool” has been borrowed into other languages, but its meaning has evolved to include notions of fashion, style, and trendiness.
Borrowings can also be classified based on the level of assimilation into the borrowing language.
Fully assimilated borrowings are words that have become fully integrated into the borrowing language and are no longer recognizable as foreign words.
For example, the English words “orange” and “chocolate” were borrowed from French, but they have been fully assimilated into English and are now considered English words.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Partially assimilated borrowings are words that have been borrowed into the borrowing language but still retain some features of the original language.
For example, the English word “pajamas” was borrowed from Hindi, but its spelling and pronunciation still reflect its foreign origin.
Unassimilated borrowings are words that have been borrowed into the borrowing language but have not been fully integrated and still retain their foreign form and meaning.
For example, the English word “souvenir” is a loanword from French that is still used in its original form and is recognizable as a French word.
In conclusion, borrowings are a natural part of language evolution and reflect the historical and cultural interactions between languages.
Borrowings can enrich a language by providing new words and expressions to describe concepts and experiences that were previously unknown.
(ii) Langue and Parole
Ans. (ii) Langue and parole are two concepts in linguistics introduced by the Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Langue refers to the abstract system of language that exists in the minds of its users. It is the set of rules and conventions that govern a particular language, including its grammar, syntax, and vocabulary.
Langue is the shared knowledge that allows people to communicate with one another in a particular language.
Parole, on the other hand, refers to the actual use of language in speech and writing by individual speakers and writers.
It encompasses the way in which people produce and interpret language, including factors such as pronunciation, intonation, and individual vocabulary choices.
According to Saussure, langue and parole are interdependent but distinct. While langue provides the framework for the use of language, parole is the manifestation of that framework in actual communication.
In other words, langue is the underlying structure that enables communication, while parole is the concrete expression of that structure in real-life situations.
To further understand the concepts of langue and parole, it’s important to note that langue is considered to be a social construct, as it is shaped by the conventions and norms of a particular community of speakers.
It is acquired through socialization and is largely unconscious, meaning that speakers are often unaware of the rules and structures that govern their language.
Langue and parole can be compared to the distinction between a musical score and a performance. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The score provides the rules and guidelines for the music, while the performance is the actual realization of those rules by the musicians.
Similarly, langue provides the rules and conventions for language use, while parole is the actual use of language in communication.
Langue is often described as a social construct, as it is created and maintained by the language community.
It is a set of shared norms and conventions that allow individuals to understand and communicate with one another in a particular language.
Parole, on the other hand, is a reflection of individual creativity and variation in language use.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Saussure argued that langue is a more important and fundamental concept than parole, as it provides the foundation for language use.
He believed that studying langue was essential for understanding the underlying structures of language, which can then be applied to the analysis of individual instances of parole.
The distinction between langue and parole has important implications for language teaching and learning.
Teachers must not only teach the rules and conventions of a language, but also help students develop the skills to use the language effectively in communication.
Similarly, language learners must not only learn the abstract rules of the language, but also practice using the language in real-life situations.
Langue and parole are not always clearly distinguishable, as the use of language is shaped by both individual creativity and social norms.
For example, while a speaker may choose to use non-standard grammar or vocabulary, this choice is still influenced by the underlying conventions of the language.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Some linguists have criticized the distinction between langue and parole, arguing that it is too simplistic and fails to capture the complexity of language use.
They suggest that language is a constantly evolving and dynamic system that cannot be reduced to a static set of rules and conventions.
Despite these criticisms, the concepts of langue and parole remain widely used and influential in the study of language.
Q 2. Discuss the description and classification of Consonants and Vowels.
Ans. Consonants and vowels are two fundamental types of sounds in human language. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Consonants are sounds that are produced by restricting the airflow in some way, while vowels are sounds that are produced with an open vocal tract.
Consonants can be described based on several articulatory features, including place of articulation, manner of articulation, and voicing.
Place of articulation refers to the location in the vocal tract where the sound is produced, such as the lips, teeth, alveolar ridge, or velum.
Manner of articulation refers to how the sound is produced, such as by completely obstructing the airflow (a stop consonant), partially obstructing the airflow (a fricative consonant), or allowing the air to pass through the nasal cavity (a nasal consonant).
Voicing refers to whether the vocal cords are vibrating during the production of the sound.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Based on place of articulation, consonants can be classified into several groups. Labial consonants are produced with the lips, such as /p/, /b/, and /m/.
Dental consonants are produced with the teeth, such as /θ/ and /ð/.
Alveolar consonants are produced with the tongue touching or near the alveolar ridge behind the upper teeth, such as /t/, /d/, and /s/.
Palatal consonants are produced with the tongue near the hard palate, such as /j/ (as in “yellow”).
Velar consonants are produced with the tongue near the velum (or soft palate), such as /k/, /g/, and /ŋ/ (as in “sing”).
Glottal consonants are produced by the movement or closure of the vocal cords, such as /h/ and /ʔ/ (as in “uh-oh”).
Based on manner of articulation, consonants can also be classified into several groups. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Stop consonants, also known as plosive consonants, are produced by completely stopping the airflow and then releasing it suddenly, such as /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, and /g/.
Fricative consonants are produced by partially obstructing the airflow to create friction, such as /f/, /v/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/ (as in “shoe”), and /ʒ/ (as in “pleasure”).
Affricate consonants are produced by a combination of a stop consonant followed by a fricative, such as /tʃ/ (as in “church”) and /dʒ/ (as in “judge”).
Nasal consonants are produced by allowing the air to pass through the nasal cavity, such as /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/ (as in “sing”).
Approximant consonants are produced by allowing the air to pass through the vocal tract with only slight obstruction, such as /l/, /r/, /j/ (as in “yellow”), and /w/ (as in “we”).MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Voicing is another important feature of consonants. Voiced consonants are produced with vibration of the vocal cords, while voiceless consonants are produced without vibration of the vocal cords.
For example, /b/, /d/, /g/, /v/, /z/, and /ʒ/ are voiced consonants, while /p/, /t/, /k/, /f/, /s/, and /ʃ/ are voiceless consonants.
Vowels can be described based on several acoustic features, including tongue height, tongue advancement, and lip rounding.
Tongue height refers to the height of the tongue in the mouth during vowel production, with high vowels being produced with the tongue raised high in the mouth (such as /i/ and /u/), and low vowels being produced with the tongue lowered in the mouth (such as /æ/ and /ɑ/).
Tongue advancement refers to the position of the tongue in the mouth, with front vowels being produced with the tongue in a forward position (such as /i/ and /ɛ/), and back vowels being produced with the tongue in a backward position (such as /u/ and /ɔ/).
Lip rounding refers to the degree to which the lips are rounded during vowel production, with rounded vowels being produced with the lips rounded (such as /u/ and /o/), and unrounded vowels being produced with the lips unrounded (such as /i/ and /ɛ/).MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Based on these features, vowels can be classified into several groups. Monophthongs are vowels that are produced with a single steady-state articulation, such as /i/, /ɛ/, /ɑ/, and /u/.
Diphthongs are vowels that involve a gradual transition from one vowel quality to another, such as /aɪ/ (as in “my”) and /eɪ/ (as in “say”).
Triphthongs are vowels that involve three vowel qualities in one syllable, such as /aɪə/ (as in “fire”).
Another way to classify vowels is based on their length. In some languages, such as English and Finnish, vowel length can distinguish between words with different meanings.
For example, in English, the words “bit” and “beat” differ in vowel length (/ɪ/ vs /iː/). In other languages, such as Japanese, vowel length can indicate grammatical distinctions, such as the difference between the past and non-past tenses.
It is worth noting that the classification of consonants and vowels is not always straightforward, and there can be variations across different languages and dialects.
For example, some languages may have consonant sounds that do not exist in other languages or may have more or fewer vowel distinctions than other languages.
Additionally, some languages may use different criteria for classifying sounds, or may have sounds that are difficult to classify using standard criteria.
Furthermore, the production and perception of consonants and vowels are influenced by various factors, such as the context in which they occur, the speaker’s accent or dialect, and the listener’s linguistic background.
For example, a consonant sound may be pronounced differently depending on whether it appears at the beginning, middle, or end of a word, or depending on the surrounding sounds. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Similarly, a vowel sound may be perceived differently by a speaker of one language than by a speaker of another language, due to differences in the vowel systems of their respective languages.
Despite these complexities, the study of consonants and vowels remains a central aspect of phonetics and phonology, as it provides insights into the nature and structure of language sound systems.
Through the analysis of consonant and vowel patterns across different languages, researchers have been able to identify commonalities and differences in sound production and perception, and to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between sound and meaning in human language.
Moreover, knowledge of consonants and vowels is essential for language learners and teachers, as it can help them to develop effective strategies for pronunciation and communication. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
By understanding the distinctions between different consonant and vowel sounds, language learners can improve their ability to distinguish and produce the sounds of a target language, and to communicate more effectively with native speakers.
Similarly, language teachers can use their knowledge of consonants and vowels to design instructional materials and activities that help students develop their phonetic and phonological skills.
Q 3. Why is language planning essential in any country? What are the factors which influence language planning?
Ans. Language is a crucial part of human communication, and it plays a significant role in shaping our cultural, social, and political lives.
Every country has a unique language or set of languages that define its identity and culture. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Language planning is the process of making decisions about the choice and use of language in a society, and it is essential in any country for various reasons.
One of the primary reasons for language planning is to ensure effective communication within a country.
A language can act as a barrier to communication if it is not widely understood or spoken by the majority of the population.
This can lead to miscommunication, misunderstandings, and even conflict. By promoting a common language or ensuring that all languages are given equal status, language planning can facilitate effective communication between people of different linguistic backgrounds.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Another reason why language planning is essential in any country is that it can help promote national unity and social cohesion.
A common language can act as a unifying force that brings people together and fosters a sense of national identity.
By promoting the use of a common language, language planning can help reduce divisions between different linguistic and cultural groups and create a shared sense of national identity.
Language planning can also have significant economic benefits. In today’s globalized world, businesses need to communicate effectively with customers, suppliers, and partners from different linguistic backgrounds.
By promoting a common language or ensuring that people have access to language education and resources, language planning can help businesses communicate more effectively, expand into new markets, and drive economic growth.
There are several factors that influence language planning in any country. One of the most significant factors is the country’s history and culture.
The language or languages spoken in a country are often closely tied to its cultural and historical heritage. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, in many countries, the language spoken by the colonial powers during the colonial period has become the official language of the country.
In other cases, the language spoken by the majority ethnic group has become the dominant language.
Understanding the historical and cultural factors that have shaped a country’s language landscape is crucial for effective language planning.
Another factor the political system and policies of a country. Language policies can be shaped by political ideologies, such as nationalism, multiculturalism, or assimilation.
In some countries, language policies have been used as a tool for assimilation, with the dominant language being promoted at the expense of minority languages.
In other countries, language policies have been used to promote linguistic diversity and multiculturalism. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
The political system and policies of a country can also influence language planning by determining how resources are allocated for language education and support.
The demographic makeup of a country is another significant factor in language planning.
Countries with large immigrant populations may need to develop language policies that support the integration of these populations into society.
This can include providing language education and resources in the immigrant’s native language or promoting the learning of the host country’s language.
In some cases, countries may need to develop language policies that support the use of multiple languages, such as in regions with significant linguistic diversity.
Economic factors can also influence language planning. Countries that rely heavily on international trade and investment may need to promote the learning of specific languages to facilitate communication with trading partners.
For example, a country that has significant economic ties with China may need to promote the learning of Mandarin Chinese among its citizens.
Similarly, countries with significant tourism industries may need to develop language policies that support the learning of languages spoken by tourists.
The availability of resources is another important factor that can affect language planning. Resources such as funding for language education and language materials can impact language use and development.
Countries with limited resources may face challenges in promoting multiple languages or providing education and resources in minority languages.
The role of technology in language planning is also becoming increasingly important. Technology can be used to promote language learning and access to resources, and it can facilitate communication across linguistic barriers.
However, the adoption and use of technology can also have unintended consequences, such as widening the gap between those who have access to technology and those who do not.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Finally, social attitudes and values can influence language planning decisions. Attitudes towards different languages and dialects can shape language policy, and cultural values may play a role in promoting or discouraging language use.
For example, some countries may prioritize preserving traditional dialects or languages as a means of preserving cultural heritage, while others may prioritize promoting a common language to promote social cohesion.
Q 4. Do you agree with the ‘one language: one community’ theory? What other factors, apart from language, may determine one’s identification with a speech community?
Ans. The idea that “one language: one community” theory assumes that language is the most significant determinant of one’s identification with a speech community.
While language is undoubtedly an essential factor in shaping identity, it is not the only factor that contributes to community membership.
The “one language: one community” theory assumes that people who speak the same language belong to the same community.
However, language use is often fluid and dynamic, and individuals may belong to multiple speech communities simultaneously.
For example, someone who speaks English may identify as a member of the African American community and also as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
In these cases, identity is not exclusively determined by language but by shared experiences, values, and beliefs.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Furthermore, not all speakers of the same language share the same cultural and social identity. Dialectical and accent variations, for instance, can cause significant differences in speech communities.
For example, in the United States, someone who speaks with a Southern accent may face discrimination or bias from speakers who speak with a Standard American English accent.
Similarly, Spanish-speaking people in Latin America may have a shared language but can have varying cultures, beliefs, and values.
Thus, language alone cannot serve as the only factor in determining one’s identification with a speech community.
Apart from language, other factors that may determine one’s identification with a speech community include geography, race, religion, and socioeconomic status.
Geographical location is often a significant determinant of community membership. People living in the same area tend to share similar experiences, customs, and traditions. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, people who live in the same neighborhood or city may share a common identity based on shared experiences.
Race and ethnicity can also play a significant role in shaping community membership. People of the same race or ethnicity often share common experiences, traditions, and beliefs.
For example, Black people in the United States share a common history of oppression and struggle, which has shaped their cultural identity.
Similarly, Indigenous people in different parts of the world may have a shared language and culture despite speaking different languages.
Religion is another factor that can shape community membership. People who and traditions, which can lead to a shared identity.
For example, Muslims around the world share a common language in Arabic, but their identities are also shaped by their religious beliefs and practices.
Similarly, Jewish people around the world share a common language in Hebrew, but their identities are also shaped by their shared history and traditions.
Socioeconomic status can also play a significant role in determining community membership.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
People from similar socioeconomic backgrounds often share similar experiences and have similar access to resources.
For example, people from low-income neighborhoods may share a common identity based on their shared experiences of poverty and limited access to resources.
In addition to these factors, personal interests and hobbies can also shape community membership.
For example, people who share a love for a particular sport, music genre, or hobby may form a community based on that shared interest.
These communities may transcend geographical, racial, and socioeconomic boundaries.MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
In conclusion, while language is undoubtedly an essential factor in determining community membership, it is not the only factor.
Other factors such as geography, race, religion, socioeconomic status, and personal interests and hobbies can also shape one’s identification with a speech community.
It is important to recognize the complexity and fluidity of identity formation and avoid reducing it to a single factor. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
Understanding the diversity and complexity of speech communities is crucial for promoting inclusivity and understanding among different groups of people.
Q 5. What do you think is the role of English vis-à-vis the Indian languages in modern India?
Ans. India is a country of diverse languages, cultures, and religions. English has played a significant role in modern India, serving as a link language between different linguistic groups and providing access to global opportunities.
However, the use of English has also raised concerns about its impact on Indian languages and cultural identity.
English was introduced to India during the British colonial period and became the language of administration, education, and commerce.
After India gained independence in 1947, the Indian Constitution recognized English and Hindi as official languages, with English being used for official purposes at the national level. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
English continues to be widely used in higher education, the media, and the corporate world.
The use of English has provided many benefits for India. It has facilitated communication between people from different linguistic backgrounds, especially in the areas of business, education, and governance.
It has also opened up opportunities for Indian professionals to work and study abroad, as English is widely spoken and understood around the world.
However, the use of about its impact on Indian languages and culture. One concern is that English is replacing Indian languages as the language of education and social mobility.
Many parents see English as the key to their children’s success and therefore prioritize English education over their native languages.
This has led to a decline in the use and development of Indian languages, especially among the younger generation.
Another concern is that English is eroding India’s cultural identity. India has a rich literary and cultural heritage in its many languages, but the dominance of English can make Indian culture seem less important or valuable.
This has led to calls for greater emphasis on Indian languages in education and the media, to preserve and promote Indian cultural heritage.
However, the role of English in India is not necessarily a zero-sum game. Indian languages can coexist with English and even benefit from its use.
For example, English can provide access to global resources and knowledge, which can be translated and adapted for Indian audiences.
It can also facilitate communication between people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, which can lead to greater understanding and cooperation.
Moreover, English can serve as Indian languages, facilitating communication and exchange between them. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
For example, many Indians speak multiple languages and may use English as a common language to communicate with speakers of other Indian languages.
English can also serve as a medium of instruction for students who speak different Indian languages, allowing them to learn together and access the same educational opportunities.
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of Indian languages and the need to preserve and promote them.
The Indian government has launched several initiatives to promote Indian languages, such as the National Translation Mission and the establishment of language academies for different Indian languages.
The media has also begun to use more Indian languages in programming, reflecting the linguistic diversity of the country.
Moreover, there is a growing awareness of the value of multilingualism in India. Many people recognize that knowing multiple languages can be a source of cultural and intellectual enrichment, as well as a practical asset in a multilingual society.
Some schools and universities are promoting multilingualism by offering courses in multiple languages or encouraging students to learn additional languages.
the role of English in modern India is complex and multifaceted. While English has provided many benefits, including facilitating communication and access to global opportunities, it has also raised concerns about its impact on Indian languages and culture. MEG 04 Solved Free Assignment 2023
However, the coexistence of English and Indian languages is not necessarily a zero-sum game, and both can benefit from each other’s use.
The promotion and preservation of Indian languages is important for maintaining India’s linguistic and cultural diversity, but this should not come at the expense of English education and proficiency.
Rather, a balance must be struck that allows for the coexistence and integration of both English and Indian languages in modern India.