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Question One

  1. From the table, it is clear that the H and L varieties are each applied for a completely distinct set of functions. HCB is mostly used in a formal setting and communicating to the masses as seen from the table. Public address, news broadcast, and Formal letters among the others are all formal settings while on the other hand, LCB is used in informal setting and more private communication such as in family conversations and informal personal letters. The two varieties, therefore, complement each other but without mixing. It is therefore clear that using one variety where it should not be used is considered completely inappropriate and in a way prohibited.


  1. Speakers use various key factors when deciding on the variety to use. One of these factors is the function involved. As shown in the table, different functions call for different varieties. Another key factor is the message that is being communicated. HCB appears to be the appropriate language to communicate logically, beautifully, and with clarity. LCB, on the other hand, is used for messages that are not considered significant. The level of education is also a key factor. This is clear from the use of HCB in a formal setting. A speaker requires formal education to speak HCB while LCB doesn’t have such requirements (Krishnamurti, Masica, & Sinha, 1986).

Question Two

  1. The challenge in encouraging the children to maintain the language of the parents arises from various factors. The areas where the children can practice their parent’s language are limited to the home setting. Thus, in a situation where the children spend most of their time in school, the dominant language prevails. In Australia, the curriculum, for instance, is taught in English as the language of instruction. Another limiting factor is intermarriages, where for instance a German-speaking man marries an English-speaking woman in Australia. In this situation where one partner does not speak the minority language well, or even at all, then it can be challenging for the children to also master the minority language.


  1. Some of the ways parents can encourage children to maintain the minority language. One of these ways includes parents establishing their homes where the minority group live near each other. A great example is the Chinese people in the US who live in Chinatown areas of big cities. This way, the minority group sets up shops and churches where they see each other frequently and get to speak their language. Another way to maintain the language is by staying in contact with the homeland. This can be in either two ways. The first is where visitors or new emigrants from the homeland provide new linguistic input and keep the language alive. The second is where the minority families make a trip back home, and this also encourages the children to maintain their parent’s language. Teachers can also contribute to the effort since institutional support is very significant in maintaining a minority language. One of the strategies they can use is by dedicating a part of each day to the minority language. They can also contribute by introducing a bilingual educational system (Holmes & Wilson, 2017).


Question Three

  1. Dialects indeed show a speaker’s regional origin. Yukichi reports that he did not realise the samurai manner in his speech in the first instance. It just came out naturally. Also for him to be able to speak in the dialects of Osaka, he reports that he had been born there and lived there as a student.
  2. True, there can be more than one dialect in one place. Yukichi Fukuzawa talks about ‘all the dialects of Osaka.’ This is proof that in Osaka, there were many different dialects.
  3. Dialects do not show a person’s social position. The writer says that although he did speak in a samurai manner, he was only plainly dressed.
  4. The report shows that when the people were spoken to in a commanding voice, they would reply politely and with awe. On the hand, if addressed politely, they would reply with indifference.
  5. The report shows that Yukichi could alternate between speaking in a Samurai fashion and a merchant fashion. This, however, requires prior knowledge of the different dialects.
  6. Yukichi recommends that the officials of the provinces should adjust their speech behaviour to become more domineering. He also says that the government had become more oppressive to facilitate governance.

Question five

It is true that English has spread widely to become a global language. This spread is attributed to the worldwide influence of the British Empire which lasted for close to four centuries. It is the official language of about 67 countries, and the circle of English-speaking nations is ever expanding (Melitz, 2016). The global use of English has provided a common language of international trade. It has been established that language barrier hinders international trade. The use of English as a lingua franca has eliminated this barrier hence facilitating international trade. It does this by promoting dialogue, trust, understanding, and enhances the brokering of deals. An emerging superpower, China, which in the past was hesitant towards English, has now adopted the language due to the realisation that it is essential for trade. The World Trade Organization (WTO) has English as its official language among French and Spanish. When it comes to diplomacy, English promotes international ties given that it is a commonly spoken language. Because of English, the representatives of both US and Russia can hold bilateral talks to promote trade, even when English is not a common language in Russia. Outer circle countries such as India and expanding circle ones such as China can easily access western knowledge and other technological advancements through English. These countries now have an educational curriculum in English which enhances the study of knowledge from the west that might otherwise require translation to be understood. These countries can also easily interact with inner circle countries such as the US through organized science workshops and other exchange programs (Melitz, 2016).


Holmes, J., & Wilson, N. (2017). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Routledge

Krishnamurti, B., Masica, C. P., & Sinha, A. K. (Eds.). (1986). South Asian languages: Structure, convergence, and diglossia(Vol. 3). Motilal Banarsidass Publ..

Melitz, J. (2016). English as a global language. In The Palgrave Handbook of Economics and Language (pp. 583-615). Palgrave Macmillan, London.


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