This research looks into the factors affecting language choice in a multilingual society, from a sociolinguistic point of view. Most cultures have stories which seek to explain the origin of life and to explain why things are as they are in the world today. This study brings to light a number of what affect individual’s language choice. Most communities in the world are multilingual. In these communities, there is more than one language that plays an important role, and many or all of the individuals in such communities are at least bilingual. When you talk of language choice in any country, one bears in mind the multilingual societies. In monolingual countries, there is no worry about choice of language to use, they only have to use the language available to them. This work comprises of four chapters. The first chapter talks about the introduction, the second chapter is the literature review, the third one deals with data presentation and analysis, lastly, the fourth chapter discusses the findings, recommendations and conclusion.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study
1.2 Statement of problem
1.3 Research Questions
1.4 Significance of the study
1.5 Scope of the study
1.6 Limitation of the study
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 Causes of Multilingualism
2.2 Language Choice
2.3 Determinants of Language Choice
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1.1 Primary Source
3.1.2 Secondary Source
3.1.3 Observational Method
3.2 Population of the Study
3.3 Study Area
3.4 Research Design
3.5 Population Size and Technique
CHAPTER FOUR: DATA PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS
CHAPTER FIVE: SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
1.1Background of the Study
Most cultures have stories which seek to explain the origin of life and to explain why things are as they are in the world today. The story from Genesis would have us believe that linguistic diversity is the curse of Babel (Genesis 11:1-11).
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech… And they said to one another… Let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, behold, the people is one, and they have all one language… Let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So, the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore, is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth.
In primordial time, people spoke the same language. God, however, decided to punish them for their presumptuousness in erecting the tower by making them speak different languages. Thus, multilingualism became an obstacle to further co-operation and placed limits on human worldly achievements.
Most communities in the world are multilingual. In these communities, there is more than one language that plays an important role, and many or all of the individuals in such communities are at least bilingual. Here, the context you find yourself determines the kind of language you use.
When you talk of language choice in any country, one bears in mind the multilingual societies. In monolingual countries, there is no worry about choice of language to use, they only have to use the language available to them.
One of the most obvious problems associated with newly formed multilingual communities, for example, in countries such as Australia and Canada which have seen considerable immigration from different parts of the world, is that of cross-cultural communication. Sociolinguistic research has made it clear that to communicate successfully in a language other than your own, it is not enough to learn the phonology, grammar and vocabulary of that language. You also have to learn how to use it appropriately in particular social situations according to the norms employed and accepted by its native speakers.
Potential multilingual speakers are people with a strong interest in a foreign language, people who find it necessary to acquire second or third language for practical purposes, such as business, information gathering or entertainment.
Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world’s population. In a multilingual society, not all speakers need to be multilingual. When all speakers are multilingual, linguists classify the community according to the functional distribution of the languages involved.
The researcher observed that before an individual thinks of language choice, there must be some motivational factors. Motivation and investment in this process, by the individual, will depend on the value attached to prospective gains accompanying proficiency in the relevant language. He also observed that language choice is affected by utilitarian considerations. A speaker may feel that the use of a particular language will place him in an advantageous position either within a group or within a wider social context. If his antagonists in a discussion or argument are less fluent than he is, this will clearly serve to give him a valuable edge. The perceived advantage does not have to be in relation to other individuals. It may be for purely personal considerations that a person chooses to speak a particular language. A student of a foreign language may prefer to use that language whenever possible, with the sole intention of improving his ability.
Acquiring an additional language, second, third or fourth, will be greatly affected by the social, political and economic environment within which the acquisition process takes place. Learners of additional languages are either born into or transferred to (as a result of migration) a multilingual context. Those born into such a situation usually accept the need for multilingualism as a natural phenomenon and hence can easily see the importance and the gains of achieving a high level of proficiency in the various relevant languages. Those transferred to a multilingual context as a result of immigration, have some difficult choices to make: