SIKAP BAHASA (LANGUAGE ATTITUDE)

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 [ lihatכ ]‘lihatlah’, yang baku sebenarnya adalah lihatlah.àLihat + 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.àAmbil + en
Kata ambil dalam bahasa Indonesia mendapat tambahan akhiran -en yang merupakan akhiran dalam bahasa Jawa.

 menembaki [mənεmba?i], seharusnya menembakki [mənεmba?ki].àc. Menembak + i

d. Adanya pemakaian akhiran ‘-ke’
biarke [biarke], yang baku adalah biarkan.àbiar + ke
dudukke [dudU?ke], yang baku adalah dudukkanàduduk + ke
ambilke [ambIlke], yang baku adalah ambilkanàambil + 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?]àBecek [bεcεk]
fonem t [t] diucapkan c [c]
gicu [gicu]àGitu [gitu]
anchri [anchri]àAntri [antri]

3.    Bahasa Jawa yang keindonesia-indonesiaan.
Penggunaan akhiran -lah.
Contoh:
wis ta ‘sudahlah’àwislah [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

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                                                           
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.


REFERENCES

Baker, Colin. 1988. Key Issues in Bilingualism and Bilingual Education.  Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

Bayer, Jennifer Marie.1986. A Sociolinguistic Investigation of the English spoken by the Anglo-Indians in Mysore City. Mysore: CIIL.

Choudhry, Amitav. 1993. Language Interference and Mother tongue Maintenance: A case study of Bengali Speaking Children in the Telugu speaking Areas of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. Ph.D. Dissertation. Hyderabad: Osmania University.

Choudhry, A. and Verma, M.K.1996. Language Attitudes of the Gujaratis in Britain. Asmita. 391-400. London: Gujarati Literary Academy.

Dua, Hans.R. 1986. Language Use, Attitude and Identity Among Linguistic Minorities –  A Case Study of Dakkhini Urdu Speakers in Mysore . Mysore : CIIL.

Fasold, Ralph. 1984. The Sociolinguistics of Society. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Fishman, J.A. 1966. Language Loyalty in the United States. The Hague: Mouton.

JenaLabov, William. 1965. The Social Motivation of Sound Change. Word. 19:273-309.

Mohanlal, Sam. 1986. Convergence and Language Shift in a Linguistic Minority : A Sociolinguistic  Study of Tamils in Bangalore City. Mysore: CIIL.

Pandit, P.B. 1972. India as a Sociolinguistic Area.. Pune: Deccan College.( 1st published in 1966).

Rao, G. Sambasiva and Sharma, Rekha. 1989. A Sociolinguistic Survey of Mauritius. Mysore: CIIL.

Verma, S.K.1991. The Hindi Speech Community. In Safder Alladina and Viv Edwards. (eds.) Multilingualism in the British Isles Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Pp. 103-114.London and New York: Longman.

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