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The phenomenon of language change is often observed in the communities of immigrants who use two languages to communicate within different functional contexts. To understand the specifics of the language change in the linguistic communities of Canada, the linguistic survey was conducted to analyze the aspects of the phenomenon about the language used by four generations of the homogeneous linguistic group.
The aim of the report is to present the results of the linguistic survey and the analysis of the researched data. The survey was conducted to analyze the use of the Arabic language in the urban Arabian communities of Canada. The survey was limited to examine the language change about four generations of one family as the homogeneous linguistic group, the members of which regularly use the Arabic and English languages.
The group under discussion is inclined to use the spoken variant of the Arabic language, which is characterized by the focus on informal patterns. The use of the slang as the combination of the Arabic and English languages’ elements known as the “Arabish” is also typical for the discussed group.,
The participants of the linguistic survey developed to analyze the aspects of using the Arabic language in Canada are the four generations of one family, which can be considered as the representatives of the homogeneous linguistic group.
The whole number of participants is five persons belonging to different age categories and generations. The chosen method to conduct the survey is an informal interview based on the developed questionnaire. The participants were provided with the copies of the questionnaire, and they were asked to answer the questions in the written form.
There are five questions in the developed questionnaire to address the participants’ gender, the aspects of using the native and second languages in such different domains as the communication at home, friendship relations, interactions at work and in educational institutions, media, and shopping activities. Such an aspect as the fluency about using the second language was also studied.
The fluency in the second language was determined by the participants during the interviews about the participants’ use of the second language in reading newspapers and books, writing letters and e-mails, listening to the news, and speaking with the friends and colleagues.
The questions presented in the questionnaire are the following:
- State your gender.
- What is your native language?
- What is your second language? State your fluency about the second language (limited fluency, somewhat fluent, quite fluent).
- With whom and in which situations do you usually speak your native language? (home, friendship, work and education, media, shopping, and transactions).
- With whom and in which situations do you usually speak your second language? (home, friendship, work and education, media, shopping, and transactions).
The participants of the research completed five questionnaires, which are discussed as the sources of the raw data used in the survey. The researched data was organized in a table to present and cover all the aspects of the survey carefully.
The participants’ answers to questions provided in the questionnaire were organized in the table to distinguish between the participants’ use of the Arabic and English languages during their daily activities (Table 1).
Table 1. The Language Use about Different Functional Contexts
|Generations||Gender||First Language||Second Language||Functional Contexts|
|Home||Friendship||Work and Education||Media||Shopping and transactions|
|1stGeneration||Male||Arabic||English / Quite Fluent (work, media)||Arabic||Arabic||English||Arabic / English||Arabic|
|2ndGeneration||Male||Arabic||Urdu / Somewhat Fluent||Arabic||Arabic||Arabic / Urdu||Arabic||Arabic|
|3rdGeneration||XXX||Arabic||English / Quite Fluent||Arabic||Arabic / English||English||Arabic / English||Arabic / English|
|4thGeneration||Male||English||Arabic / Limited Fluency||English||English / Arabic||English / Arabic||English||English|
The male representative of the first generation is inclined to use the Arabic language in such main domains as home environments, interactions with friends, and different types of transactions. However, the aspects of the work require the use of the English language to communicate in the context. The male representative of the second generation uses Arabic in all the functional contexts except the working environments.
The female representative of the second generation uses only Arabic in all the communication situations, and she does not speak or understand any other language. The representative of the third generation actively uses both the Arabic and English languages in daily communication processes and activities. The representative of the fourth generation discusses the Arabic language as a second language.
Functional Analysis and Conclusions
The research results illustrate the fact that the phenomenon of the language change is relevant about the four discussed generations of the one group which uses the Arabic and English languages simultaneously. Nevertheless, the statement does not work to discuss the aspects of using the language by the female representative of the second generation.
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According to the survey results, the representative of the third generation is most actively uses the “Arabish” and switches and mixes the codes while communicating within the family, meeting friends and mates, and participating in the business communication (Hock & Joseph, 2009, p. 360).
The representative of the third generation can be discussed as the sequential bilingual who mainly uses the Arabic language to establish contacts and develop interactions. In this case, language change is typical for business and educational environments (Brinton & Traugott, 2005, p. 39-40).
The representatives of the first and second generations refer to the language change only while acting and communicating within the working environments (Hock & Joseph, 2009, p. 360-362). The representative of the fourth generation demonstrates the use of the Arabic language as the second one, and it is impossible to speak about the active development of the language change phenomenon in this case (Brinton & Traugott, 2005, p. 39).
Thus, the representatives of the four generations are inclined to use code switching and code mixing techniques, mainly while communicating within the working environments. The fact that the female representative of the second generation does not use the second language limits the credibility of the discussion about the received results.
Moreover, to develop further research in this field of linguistics, it is necessary to expand the questionnaires to address such aspects as the number of years living in Canada. Furthermore, it is relevant to invite more participants to answer the questions on the language used to contribute to the proper discussion of the results and their further analysis.
Brinton, L., & Traugott, E. (2005). Lexicalization and language change. USA: Cambridge University Press.
Hock, H., & Joseph, B. (2009). Language history, language change, and language relationship. USA: Walter de Gruyter.