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THE FUNCTION OF LANGUAGE IN PRINCIPLE OF LEARNING LANGUAGE AND TEACHING

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       The many functions of language in which people or human use language are explained in this paper. Language is a highly elaborated signaling system from human to another human and another aspect of human language is that human express thoughts with words. It’s true because before turn out to be words, the first people are going to thinking, after that, the whole thing will be processed in brain and will be issued in the form of words. The last those words will be come out through the mouth. The paper not explained about this, but paper can explain about the function of language in principle of learning language and teaching. The first part paper can explained about what is the function of language for human or people. The second is view some expert about the function of language, the third is kind of function of language, language and the last is the sample of kind language function. It identifies the seven language functions described by M. A. K. Halliday–instrumental, regulatory, interactional, personal, imaginative, heuristic, and informative and also identifies the six language function describe by Roman Jakobson about Referential Function, Emotive Function, Cognitive Function,  Phatic Function, Metalingual Function, and the last is Poetic Function.

INTRODUCTION

Language is the most important single characteristic that distinguishes human beings from other animal species and only human that can acquire a language. In the other hand, the capacity also to acquire and use language is a key aspect that distinguishes it. Although it is difficult to pin down what aspects of language are uniquely human, there are a few design features that can be found in all known forms of human language, but that are missing from forms of animal communication. For example, many animals are able to communicate with each other by signaling to the things around them, but human can’t know about what is being said by animals it. Other forms of animal communication may utilize arbitrary sounds, but are unable to combine those sounds in different ways to create completely messages that can then be automatically understood by another. For one example is the sound of bird with the other birds.

The origin of human language the ability of people to communicate with one another intelligent, symbolic, often abstract speech and writing is a complete mystery to experts in linguistic. The assertion that humans differ from animals in their use of language has been the subject of much discussion as scientists have investigated language use in some animals. The experts confirm the fact that apes or other animal can’t be taught to speak. Because of the different structure of the vocal apparatus in humans and chimpanzees, it is not possible for chimpanzees to imitate the sounds of human language, so they have been taught to use gestures or tokens in place of sounds but chimpanzees never attain a level of linguistic complexity beyond the approximate level of a two-year-old child.

The last, this paper can put in plain words about the function of language for human and the function of language in principles of language learning and teaching. In cases where this function of language will be divisible become five explanation. The first is what is the function of language, the second is view some expert about the function of language, the third is kind of function of language, afterwards is the purpose of function of language and the last is the sample of kind language function.

  1. What Is The Function Of Language

Language is the most important aspect in the life of all beings. All human use language to express inner thoughts and emotions, make sense of complex and abstract thought, to fulfill our wants and needs, as well as to establish rules and maintain our culture. So the general function of language is tool for communication, another definition sees language as a system of communication that enables humans to cooperate. This definition stresses the social functions of language and the fact that humans use it to express themselves and to manipulate objects in their environment. A functional theory of grammar explain grammatical structures by their communicative functions, and understands the grammatical structures of language to be the result of an adaptive process by which grammar was “tailored” to serve communicative needs of its users.

This view of language is associated with the study of language in pragmatic, cognitive and interactional frameworks, as well as in socio-linguistics and linguistic anthropology. Functionalist theories tend to study grammar as a dynamic phenomenon, as structures that are always in the process of changing as they are employed by their speakers. This view places importance on the study of linguistic typology, classification of languages according to structural features, as it can be shown that processes of grammatical tend to follow trajectories that are partly dependent on typology. In the philosophy of language these views are often associated with Wittgenstein’s later works and with ordinary language philosophers such as Paul Grice, John Searle and J. L. Austin

Many people argue that the function of language can be divided into transactional and interactional distinction. This distinction is often made in connection with two purposes or functions of language use. To use language is to attempt to achieve both at some level, with more or less interpretation needed to discern or explain these functions. Similar distinctions such as representative and expressive (Buhler), referential and emotive (Jacobson), ideational and interpersonal (Halliday) follow a similar path.

The first one then is the transactional function: we (i.e. humans) use language to send messages with content, to send, that is, a representation of a non-linguistic content into a linguistic form. In the history of linguistics nobody was narrow-minded enough to claim that this is the only function of language, but often analysts have abstracted away from other functions in order to study what is “delivered” from one party to the other. The term “propositional content” is often used by semanticists who wish to state in very precise terms what a proposition communicates, regardless, as it were, from where and why and by whom it is uttered. It is assumed, as it where, that what the speaker primarily has in mind is a transfer of information.

The second function is the interactional function, humans use language to establish and maintain various sorts of social relationships. Sociologists and anthropologists often speak of the phatic function of language and are keen to point that some of our everyday talk can even be said to have this function above the first one. As Brown & Yule (1983) notice that “when two strangers are standing shivering at a bus stop in an icy wind and one turns to the other and says ‘My goodness, it’s cold’ it is difficult to suppose that the primary intention of the speaker is to convey information. It seems much more reasonable to suggest that the speaker is indicating a readiness to be friendly.”

  1. View expert about the function of language

A lot of expert view about the function of language and the first is Halliday`s definition of interpersonal with Benveniste`s definition of intersubjectivity, which is the change of roles between the members of the speech act. Halliday states that “language serves to establish and maintain social relations: for the expression of social roles, which include the communication roles created by language itself, for example the roles of questioner or respondent. Halliday stated that : In serving the ideational function, language also gives structure to experience and helps to determine our way of looking at things, so that it requires come intellectual effort to see them in any other way than that which our language suggests to us” This can be related to Voloshinov´s notion of ideological sign since to understand ideologies we need to make some intellectual effort to go beyond the language and, from another perspective, see the other value of that particular word has.

Jakobson: Comparing and contrasting Jakobson’s and Halliday’s theory, there are several differences as well as points in common. First of all, in his theory, Jakobson presents not only language functions, but also its constituents, while Halliday only concentrates on language functions per se. When Halliday poses the first language function, “ideational,” he describes it in the following way: “In serving this function, language also gives structure to experience and helps determine our way of looking at things” It’s can make a parallel with what Jakobson indicates in the referential function, also referred to as denotative or cognitive, i.e. how reality is perceived. Regarding Halliday’s interpersonal function, it’s can make a link with Jakobson’s “conative,” “phatic,” and “emotive” functions. Halliday’s defines the interpersonal function in the following way: “Language serves to establish and maintain social relations. Through this function, social groups are delimited, and the individual is identified and reinforced.

In reference to Halliday’s “textual function” “language has to provide for making links with itself and with features of the situation in which it is used. One aspect of the textual function is the establishment of cohesive relations from one sentence to another in a discourse.” We can say that this function relates to Jakobson’s “Poetic function.” He clearly discusses in his theory that “when dealing with the poetic function, linguists cannot limit themselves to the field of poetry,” but rather focuses on the message as such.

Voloshinov: As already stated in section above, Halliday’s “ideational function” relates to what Voloshinov described in his theory. Firstly, that there exists ideological signs which posses semiotic value, that is to say that they reflect and refract reality. Secondly, Voloshinov states that ideology is a fact of consciousness; the understanding of a sign is an act of reference between the sign apprehended and other, already known signs. Halliday’s “interpresonal and textual function” are both related to Voloshinov’s theory when he posited “Signs emerge, after all, only in the process of interaction between one individual consciousness and another.”

Griece: There are some clear connections between Halliday’s and Griece’s theory, so that, the ideational language function is directly related to what Griece discussed in his theory: “pragmatics.” According to Halliday: language also gives structure to experience, and helps to determine our way of looking at things, so that it requires some intellectual effort to see them in any other way than which our language suggests to us.” In Griece’s terms: communication is a form of intentional behavior, and understanding an utterance is a matter of recognizing the intentions behind it.” It is also worth noting that the latter theory mentions that humans are genetically predisposed to recognizing the underlying intentions of an utterance, while Halliday clearly states that in order to interpret something other than what language suggests, speakers/hearers require some intellectual effort.

Regarding the “textual function” posited by Halliday, we can draw a connection between what Griece suggests in his theory as the “Cooperative Principle.” Quoting Halliday’s theory this (the textual function) enables the speaker or writer to construct texts. It enables the hearer/reader to distinguish a text from a random set of sentences.” In Griece’s words: “communication is a cooperative activity: that each conversation has an accepted purpose or direction which participants work towards.”

  1. The Kind Of Function language (Roman Jakobson and Halliday) and the sample of language function

In here paper can explain about kinds of the function language according to Roman Jakobson and Halliday. Halliday–instrumental, regulatory, interactional, personal, imaginative, heuristic, and informative and also identifies the six language function describe Roman Jakobson about Referential Function, Emotive Function, Cognitive Function,  Phatic Function, Metalingual Function, and the last is Poetic Function.

  1. Functions Of Language By Roman Jakobson

According to Jakobson, we can divide the functions of language into six factors which are required for communication: (1) context, (2) addresser (3) addressee, (4) contact, (5) common code, (6) message. A message is sent by the addresser (a sender, or enunciator) to the addressee ( a receiver, or enunciate). The message cannot be understood outside of a context. “A Code” should be common fully or at least partial the addresser and addressee. A contact which is physical channel and psychological connection between addresser and addressee is necessary for both of them to enter and stay in communication.

Each of these six factors has a different function of language. The diversity in these functions is a result of a different hierarchical order of functions. These six functions of verbal communication can be analyzed as follows:

a) Referential Function, it is denotative, cognitive function which is oriented toward the ‘context’. How things or facts, the reverential function is the most obvious function of language: for example: “The earth is round.”, “you are beautiful.”

b) Emotive Function, it is also known as “expressive function”. This function focuses on the ‘addresser’. This function comes out when we want to express our emotional though we don’t speak to give information. In this function, we communicate for ourselves more than other people who hear us or not. For example: the interjections, which are words or phrases used to express sudden surprise, pleasure or annoyance such as: Oh! and Ouch. They are not components but equivalent of sentences. Moreover, as Roman Jakobson’s example in “Linguistics and Poetics” ,only from the changes in the sound shape of the same two words ( like “this evening” ), we can make a list of forty or more emotional situations by diversifying its expressive tint.

c). Cognitive Function, the cognitive function is an orientation toward ‘addressee’. This function finds it purest grammatical expression in vocative and imperative sentences, and it helps us to make people do something and it includes orders and prayers. For example: Go away”.

d). Phatic Function, the phatic function which sets for ‘contact’ establishes, prolongs or discontinues the communication. Our purpose in this functions firstly to maintain the contact with the person we are talking to. For example: “Hello! “Do you hear me?”It is also the first verbal function which is acquired by infants before they are able to send or receive informative communication.

e). Metalingual Function, code’ performs the “ metalingual function” which is used whenever the addresser and the addressee need to check whether they use same code and when the language is used to speak about language. For example: “What do you mean by “Fitriah”? What is plucked?”. In the process of language learning, the acquisition of mother tongue includes wide use of metalingual actions; for example aphasia may be described as a loss of capability for metalingual actions.

f) Poetic Function, the poetic function which is orientation toward message and the focus on the message for its own sake. This function includes more than poetry, linguistics cannot limit itself just to the field of poetry. When we say ”horrible my friend” instead of “terrible my friend’’, dreadful my friend” which have same meaning, we use the poetic function of language. When we analyze the functions of language for a given unit such as a word, a text, or an image, we specify which functions are present or absent, to which class or type this unit belongs and which characteristics these functions have regarding hierarchical and other relations that can operate between them.

 

2. Halliday’s Functions of Language.

Halliday (1975) identifies seven functions that language has for children in their early years. Children are motivated to acquire language because it serves certain purposes or functions for them. The first four functions help the child to satisfy physical, emotional and social needs. Halliday calls them instrumental, regulatory, interactional, and personal functions.

  1. Instrumental: Language used to fulfill a need on the part of the speaker. Directly concerned with obtaining food, drink and comfort.
  2. Regulatory: Language used to influence the behavior of others. Concerned with persuading / commanding / requesting other people to do things you want.
  3. Interactional: Language used to develop social relationships and ease the process of interaction. Concerned with the phatic dimension of talk.
  4. Personal: Language used to express the personal preferences and identity of the speaker. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Here I am!’ function – announcing oneself to the world.
  5. Representational: Language used to exchange information. Concerned with relaying or requesting information.
  6. Heuristic: Language used to learn and explore the environment. Child uses language to learn; this may be questions and answers, or the kind of running commentary that frequently accompanies children’s play.
  7. Imaginative: Language used to explore the imagination. May also accompany play as children create imaginary worlds, or may arise from storytelling

 CONCLUSION

            The function of language basically to declare, request, response, greet, to say goodbye, and etc.  The function of language is certainly not fulfilled without morpheme forms of language, discourse of grammar rules and other the competencies. The function of language is the embodiments that form. Then, the general function of language is as a communication tool. Communication in viewed as a combination of actions, a series of elements with the intent and purpose. Communication is not just an event. According to John Austin, communication is a series of communicative actions or speech acts are used systematically to achieve certain goals. Many expert views about the function of language. The view expert about the function of language is many people argue about it. Now which famous is the theory of A. K. Halliday . He states that “language serves to establish and maintain social relations: for the expression of social roles, which include the communication roles created by language itself, for example the roles of questioner or respondent. Halliday’s defines the interpersonal function in the following way: “Language serves to establish and maintain social relations. Through this function, social groups are delimited, and the individual is identified and reinforced. In chase where Halliday identifies the seven language functions or kinds of the function of language the first is instrumental, the second is regulatory, the third is interactional, after that is personal, than is imaginative, the later is heuristic, and the last is informative.

REFERENCES

Livan, Busra. (2010). The functions of language more. From

http://www.academia.edu/256693/functions_of_language

Pinnell. (1977). The Functions of Language in Educational Environments. Education resorces information Center. 1977-06 from

http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICWebPortal/search/detailmini.jsp?_nfpb=true&_&ERICExtSearch_Search.

Christodoulou, Nick. (2008). Halliday’s Functions of Language. 8 JUNE 2009

http://www.francisgilbert.co.uk/2009/06/hallidays-functions-of-language-in-the-child-language-acquisition-debate-by-nick-christodoulou/

http://www.argumentx.com/2012/01/transactionalinteractional-distinction.html

http://www.putlearningfirst.com/language/11disc/phatic.html

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_are_the_functions_of_the_English_language

http://mrhoyestokwebsite.com/WOKs/Language/Useful%20Information/The%20Functions%20of%20Language.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Function_of_language

 

 

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