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The Origin Of Language English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 2878 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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When we discuss about what is language? It can be defined in different aspects. A language may be related to a specific field it can be language of humanity, science and news. Human language has a dominant position than all the languages because it’s a natural language. Language is one of the major source through which the people organize their thoughts and expresses the feelings. (Adebeyo, 1995). It means that its only human language by which a man can arrange or express his thoughts in a better way. This supports the different senses of language. If the language will not be there no one will be able to express his thoughts and share his experiences with others. As a result people will not able to learn from them.

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Communication is a great tool that links the people of the world and makes the world a global village. There are some evidences that prove that communication is the most important factor of the society. It is proved by media, internet among others. Ormrod (1995) suggests that language may be described as an essential form of communication. According to behaviorist, language is learned through behavior like thinking, acting and feelings.

Origin of language

The interesting facts of living and human evolution are discussed in the origin of language. If we talk about written language it leaves some traces but spoken language has no traces. At the beginning, different system of verbal language emerged from non-linguistic and proto-linguistic source of communication. Before 4 million years human beings and chimpanzees had common ancestor. So, since the last centuries human beings have not found any signs how actually language developed because verbal communication leaves no trace.

All human beings are born with the same linguistic ability, and no one has a biological ability to adapt a specific language. Any child learns the language from his social surroundings, if a child is left in a non-native context he will not be able to learn his native language and adapt the language of the society in which he is living. From this we can say that language is not an inborn ability. It is learned by the family, people living around you. Language is the only factor that discriminates the human beings from the animal.

Changing in Languages

If we talk about language changing, varieties of languages are spoken all over the world. In this part of study we will focus that when language gets in touch with other language it causes language change. When the speakers of a language use varieties of languages in a situation the language comes in contact. Traditionally language change due to contact has been described into three categories.





Thomason and Kaufman (1988) describes that borrowing is the involvement of the characteristics of other language into the native language of a speaker. The language of native speaker does not change but the change occurs due to adding incorporated characteristics. Coetsem’s (1988) defines the borrowing as when the language speaker is using the language in any other context, it incorporates the features of other languages. If Urdu speaker is speaking English language the transfer of the English language into Urdu is called borrowings.

According to Bloomfield (1933), who was the first who attempted this study and classified the lexical borrowing into dialect borrowing and cultural borrowing. Dialect borrowing is where the borrowings are from the same speech and cultural borrowing is where the borrowings are from different languages. In cultural borrowing the words from the other cultures are borrowed. The word “spaghetti” is an Italian word which is used in the culture of language from where it is borrowed. Certainly, it is an essential phenomenon especially when we talk about the effect of different languages on English.

Researchers are in the view that borrowing is a different phenomenon than the other language contacts such as emergence, code-Switching, and transfer. Poplack and associates (Poplack, 1980) and (Meechan,1995) are in the opinion that the phenomenon of code-switching and borrowing vary from each other.


Code-Switching is a crucial consequence of bilingual or multilingual speaker. A person who is bilingual or multilingual selects the language according to his/her context. The language that is selected by the speaker must be comprehensible for the addressee and the participant must understand it. (Hudson 1996). In communities where the people speak more than one language, they use different languages in different situations. The language is selected according to the rules of society in which he/she is living. Languages are varied according to situation. There is the difference between the language used in home and the language that is used in other places for various purposes.

Switching refers overlapping between two or more than two languages. It is the interchanging between two languages or more than two languages. Code-switching refers to single word interference while switching refers to constant use of such language by a bilingual speaker. According to Di pietro (1982) code-switching is when the communicants converse in more than one language in the implementation of speech act. Falhis in (1982) refers that the code-switching is the interchanging of more than one language.

Another definition that is proposed by Scotton and Ury (n.d.) say that the use of different linguistic varieties in the same discourse is called code-switching. But according to Weinreich (1953) definition, the people exchange a language to other because they want to change the situation of speech. When we observe the above definitions, it is very obvious that nobody can define the code-switching terminology. We have found divergence among the sociologists and linguists because the writers admit that there is uncertainty in this term.

Types of code-switching.

Code-Switching have been classified by the scholars in diverse types. They have given different names to these types after observing the various cases. Poplack (1989) demonstrate these types as: Tag-switching, inter-sentential and intra-sentential.

Tag switching: Tag switching means to connect one language into the other language and to switch a mark of a language into the other language. It can be at word or phrase level or both.

Inter-Sentential switching: Its means the occurrence of switching outside the boundaries at clause or sentence level. This type of switching can also take place between the conversations of the speakers (Romaine, 1989; Myer-Scotton, 1993; Hoffman, 1991).

Intra-Sentential switching: This type of code switching includes the various types of switching that take place within the phrase, sentence or clause.

There are different styles of the language so we cannot say that code-switching only occurs in the speaking of bilinguals. It can also occur among the monolinguals because of the styles of the language.


Bilingualism refers to a person who can speak two different languages. In defining the term of bilingualism we have found the disagreement among linguists. Some linguists emphasizes that a person who is bilingual must have the command on two different languages. He/she should be fluent and accurate as native speaker in both languages. A bilingual person has a feature to develop the knowledge of second language and the ability to speak it.

Types of bilingualism.

Here are discussed three major types of bilinguals.

Monocultural-Co-ordinate Bilingual is type of bilingual learns the other language or second language to fulfill his requirements and to access the information related to his needs, to research the academic subject matter. He becomes bilingual but not bi-culture because he develops his language within a culture.

Bicultural-Co-ordinate Bilingual is a bilingual person learns the second language within the speech community of second language for many reasons such as studied literature of their culture, history and tourism purposes.

Bicultural-compound Bilingual is type of bilingual learns two cultures and two languages. One at home and the other of the society in which he is living. The only way to tackle with these various definitions is to know that bilingualism is an individual feature and one can learn more than one language if he is competent enough, he can get the complete mastery of two languages.


Pidgins are one of the major aspects of language change.

Pidgin Languages.

Pidgins languages developed from the distinguish language varieties. They are created by the efforts of different people who speak varieties of languages. We cannot say that pidgin is the native language of some person. It is learned when people get in touch with the people who speak their language in their own context.

The people who do not have the common language to exchange their ideas, pidgins develop as a source of communication between them. Holmes (2001) states that when two groups having different languages communicate with each other in such situation where a third language has dominant position, this may called pidgins. When the people from various language contexts come in contact with each other pidgins languages are needed for their survival. For the slaves, the only way to communicate with their masters and with one another was pidgin that was their master’s language.

Cultural Impact on Language

Language changes with the time and there are a lot of features that causes that change. As a person grows a lot of factors like family, region and culture can influence the language development of a person. A culture can introduce different words which gradually become part of the language. Human beings can express thoughts and communicate with each other through language. Simply the word that is uttered by a person carrying some meaning is known as language, whereas, the culture may be referred to the activities and doings of people. Every culture has its own identity. Culture includes religion, dress, art, games, music, rituals and law.

Language policy, multilingualism and language vitality in Pakistan

Pakistan is a country with multilingual speaker. Urdu is its national language and it is the mother tongue of almost 7.57 percent people of Pakistan, although it is used at a wide range in the urban areas of Pakistan. English is still official language of Pakistan as it was when British ruled in the subcontinent. There are some other major languages of Pakistan that are:

Pakistani languages


Percentage of speakers













Source: Census 2001: 107

English is the official language of Pakistan. It is government language, military language, language of business contracts, signs of shops, many street signs and other enterprises use English. It is the language of law also. In most of Pakistani schools, medium of instruction is English and it is taught to all Pakistani students at school level, while at university and college level medium of instruction is English. English is boasted by the media and press of Pakistan at large scale. All the major newspapers of Pakistan are published in English. A major news channel of Pakistan is Dawn news.

Status of English in Pakistan

English language performs various functions in Pakistan.

English is Politics language.

It is the medium of instruction in Pakistani schools and colleges.

It is the source of education for the people because all scientific theories are in English.

English is the language of press and media.

It is the lingua franca.

This indicates if someone has not the knowledge of English language, it is impossible for him to get a high status in society. Most of the people in Pakistan speak English just to communicate. They don’t know the standard version of English. There are some people who are given the duty to use standard version of English. Some people say that English is not their mother language even then they can understand and speak the language. Some people in Pakistan like language teachers, policy makers, broad casters, and other institutions try to follow the standard version of language but some people just goof by the communication is affected in a bad way.

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Non-native Varieties of English

According to Kachru (1978) who first introduced the nativized English variety in South Asia and he calls it English of South Asian people. In Kachru’s point of view South Asia English is another linguistic phenomenon that helps in the identity of culture. He states that nativization should be considered the result of innovative trend in linguistics. These innovations are determined through the localized form of second language. After this development the new and non-native varieties of English were gradually recognized like Indian English, Sri Lankan English, Singaporean English, Nigerian English and Pakistani English. New varieties of English are termed as “there are many recognizable varieties of written and spoken by a large number of people”. No new variety of language is developed in isolation but it is dependent on the people’s communication needs who speak and write it. This kind of variety is known as interference variety because there is interference of culture and language in the culture and first language of the user.

Several changes occur when the people of a language use it in various cultural situation or social context. When the non-native speakers use second language, they develop totally new version of expressions according to the communication requirements. If the bilingual person is the user of non-native variety then the different kinds switching transcription of codes, mixing and alteration are manifested in creativity. When two or more languages get in touch with another it causes the innovation. One of the major means of creativity in language is bilingualism (Talaat, 2003). The non-native verities are widely spread and have stable position that they are regarded as native like English. (Quirk, 1983).

Bilingual Creativity in Pakistani English Newspaper

The stylistics innovation and experimentation has found its peak in literature and journalism. English writing tradition is old before the partition. But in present decades writing is a recognized at a national level. A national award is awarded by a national academy of letters for literature and journalists every year. English press has a large influence in the sub-continent, the reason is that the educated class which is involved in the policy making reads and utilizes it. One can find at least a recognized English newspaper in an average-sized city.

English has become a medium of communication and to convey the message for many years but the cultural aspects are not conveyed in English language. This term is adopted by the news reporter to report the news items. These trends are used for various purposes like irony, cultural meaning and satire. Urdu symbols and metaphors are used regularly and frequently in Pakistani English. These kinds of symbols and metaphors represent the localized behaviours and attitudes and Pakistan social traditions. It is necessary the reader/listener to be familiar with the situation and cultural background to understand the metaphor and the meaning carried by speaker/listener. According to Littlemore (2001) the metaphors are inferred through the knowledge that is shared to a culture because these metaphors are culturally associated.

Rationale of the Study

This study shows that a lot of Urdu and other local words are used in English newspapers. This kind of conversion is introducing a new variety of English in Pakistan and even the vocabulary is changing. The major cause of this changing in vocabulary is the switching of English with local languages of Pakistan. An intensive and detailed study of newspapers indicates that in Pakistani English columns especially in news section localized words are found to a great extent. The comparison of “the News” and “The Dawn” shows the difference between the local and standard variety of English. This research indicates that the emerging trends in English newspaper have a great influence on Pakistani English at words and phrase level. This research shows the varieties of English when it is used by non-native speakers of English. Newspaper is a great source of language learning for students but if the language will not be comprehensible they may get confused and will not be able to learn language properly. So the language of newspaper must be clear and free from slang expressions that are used by Pakistani press.


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