Sabtu, Mei 28, 2022
BerandaOpinion & ArtOpinionLanguage and Cultural Values

Language and Cultural Values

By Dr. Amrin Batubara, M.Pd.

In everyday life, we are always exposed to an atmosphere of interaction with one another. Often we are not aware of the phenomena that underlie the interactions that occur around us and even the phenomena that exist and occur within ourselves, namely: the phenomenon of language and cultural value. How important is it for us to understand the two phenomena of language and cultural value? 

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Many writings or articles have discussed these phenomena, but the discussion still seems too technical so that it feels ungrounded in the context in which the phenomena reside.

This article aims to provide answers to the above question by looking at the phenomena of language and cultural values from the perspective of language and cultural literature.

Baca Juga: HBII, Khofifah Encourages Language and Accent Diversity in East Java

It is hoped that this brief article will provide linguistically correct provisions for understanding both of these phenomena that are appropriate to the culture of the speakers.

Various theories regarding the relationship between language and cultural values explain that language is part of the culture, although some say that language and cultural values are two different things; however, language and cultural values have a very close relationship, so they cannot be separated.

There are also those who argue that language is strongly influenced by cultural values, so everything that exists in cultural values will be reflected in language. On the other hand, there are also those who say that language is strongly influenced by cultural values and the way of thinking of humans or the community of speakers.

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Many experts and researchers agree that language and cultural values are two things that cannot be separated. The most famous study delivered by linguistic experts from America is the Sapir-Whorf theory.

These two experts state that the way of thinking and culture of a society is determined or influenced by the structure of its language. Sapir and Whorf saw that the human mind is determined by the classification system of the particular language used by humans. They outlined two hypotheses regarding the relationship between language and thought. 

The first hypothesis is the linguistic relativity hypothesis which states that differences in language structure are generally parallel to non-language cognitive differences. Differences in language cause differences in the minds of people who use the language, and the second hypothesis is linguistic determinism which states that the structure of a language affects the way individuals perceive and reason about the perceptual world. In other words, the structure of human cognition is determined by the categories and structures that already exist in language.

Baca Juga: Succesful Public Speaking

Meanwhile, Piaget, a French scholar, said that culture (mind) will shape a person’s language. This is where Piaget’s theory of cognitive growth was born, and it is slightly different from Piaget’s theory; Vigotsky, a Russian scholar, argues that the development of language is one stage before the development of thought (culture) which then both meet, giving birth to language thinking and language thinking. 

Noam Chomsky, a professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also agrees that the study of language is closely related to culture; likewise, Eric Lenneberg, a linguist and neuroscientist who pioneered the ideas of language acquisition and cognitive psychology, especially in terms of innate concepts, shares a view with the linguistic theory proposed by Chomsky and Piaget.

In sociolinguistic studies, language is defined as a symbol system, in the form of speech sounds which contains something called meaning or concept, arbitrary, productive, dynamic, diverse, and human; also, language can also be seen as a system, that is, language is formed by a number of components that are patterned and can be determined. As a system, language is both systematic and systemic. Systematic means that language is arranged according to a certain pattern. Systemic means that the language is not a single system, but consists of a number of subsystems. 

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Language can also be explained as an arbitrary, conventional, productive, and dynamic sound symbol that has many functions. Dell Hymes, a linguist, anthropologist, sociolinguist, who is an expert in the field of folklore, explains that there are five functions of language, namely: adapting to social norms; conveying experiences about beauty, goodness, nobility; regulating social contact; regulating behavior, and expressing feelings.

In essence, language can also be explained as an orderly speech of human thoughts and feelings, which uses speech sounds which are structures and meanings that are independent of their users, as signs that conclude a goal. 

To understand more deeply language in the context of cultural value, we need to also pay attention to the function of language. In general, the function of language is a tool to communicate both orally and in written communication.

However, more specifically the function of language can be classified into several parts, among others, language has a cultural function, a social function, an individual function, and an educational function.

Language as a communication tool has a function that can be explained as follows. The first is the information function. This function is to convey reciprocal information between family members or community members. News, announcements, instructions for oral or written statements through mass or electronic media are a form of language function as an information function.

The second is the function of self-expression. This function is to channel the feelings, attitudes, ideas, emotions, or pressures of the speaker’s feelings. Language as a means of self-expression can be a medium to express one’s existence, free oneself from emotional stress, and attract people’s attention.

The next function is the adaptation and integration function. This function is to adjust and mingle with members of the community. Through language, a member of the community gradually learns the customs, culture, lifestyle, behavior, and ethics of the community.

They adapt to all the provisions that apply in society through language. With language, humans can exchange experiences and become part of that experience. They use the experience for their life. Thus they are mutually bound to the social group they enter. Language becomes a tool of integration (assimilation) for every human being with society.

The next is the social control function. In this function, language is used to influence the attitudes and opinions of others. If this function applies well, then all social activities will take place well too.

His failure to use language will also hinder his efforts to influence the attitudes and opinions of others. With language one can develop personality and social values ​​to a higher quality level.

Traditionally, there are three functions of language that should be separate but in fact, they overlap; there are many similarities in these language functions but there are also some differences, and the difference lies in the kind of information conveyed by each language function: cognitive function, namely the function of language as a tool to express ideas, concepts, and thoughts. 

Jakobson, who is a Russian-American literary theorist and linguist, says that the function of language is primarily concerned with the literary nature of language which provides a good way of listing the six major language functions that show how the focus changes from one aspect of a speech event to another. He suggests that the function of language can be seen from the point of view of the speaker, listener, topic, code, and speech mandate.

The emotive function or personal function, namely the function of language seen from the speaker’s point of view, is where the speaker expresses an attitude towards what he says, the speaker not only expresses emotions through language but also shows those emotions when conveying his speech. In this case, the listener will be able to guess or see if the speaker is sad, angry, or happy, and so on.

The conative function that is the function of language from the perspective of the listener or interlocutor, is a language function that regulates the behavior of the listener.

Where language not only makes the listener do something but also can do activities according to the wishes of the speaker. This can be done by the speaker by using sentences that express orders, appeals, requests, or seductions.

The referential function or function that is seen from the topic of the speech is the function of language as a tool to talk about objects or events that surround the speaker or exist in the culture in general.

The poetic function, namely the function of language in terms of the message conveyed, is the function of language that can be used to convey thoughts, ideas, and feelings that are actually or only imaginative.

The fatigue function, which is a function that is seen in terms of contact between speakers and listeners, is a language function that functions to establish relationships, maintain, show feelings of friendship, or social solidarity. The expressions used usually have a fixed pattern, such as when meeting, saying goodbye, asking for news, and others.

The metalinguistic function, which is a language function in terms of the code used, is a language function used to talk about the language itself. This can be seen in the language learning process where the rules or rules of language are explained by the language itself. Jakobson’s model clearly demonstrates the problems of trying to construct some kind of taxonomy of the function of language.

Halliday, an Australian-born English teacher and expert in English, in a series of his papers, explores the relationship that exists between function and use in children’s language and adult language.

He proposed a Sociological Semantic theory that showed the loss of seven functions in the language of young children (pre-school) which turned into three macro functions in adult language.

He stated that there are seven functions of children’s language which are gradually replaced by a system that is more abstract, higher in code value but also a simpler function system. This system only has three macro functions, namely: ideational, interpersonal, and textual functions.

The ideational function of language is closely related to cognitive function but is broader in nature because it includes the use of the term experiential expression, evaluative and affective aspects of nature, as well as values, emotions, and feelings.

The ideational function of language is said to be related to the expression of experience which includes processes inside and outside the self, phenomena from the outside world, and phenomena of consciousness and logical relationships that can be deduced from these phenomena.

The interpersonal function is related to the interaction management function and index function which includes aspects of the speaker’s psychological form and social status, namely his identity, attributes, attitudes, and emotions, as well as acting as a means of capturing his attitude towards himself, towards others, and to define the role he plays in that interaction.

It is this language function that then functions to form and obtain social relations and functions in the expression and the formation of one’s own personality.

The textual function is related to the arrangement of the structure of speech acts, the choice of sentences that are suitable as well as grammatical and situational as well as the arrangement of the order of the contents of the sentence in a logical and cohesive manner according to the overall interaction.

Before discussing language in the context of cultural value, it is also necessary to first explain the nature of culture. Clifford Geertz, who is an anthropologist from the United States, says that culture is a symbol system consisting of symbols and meanings that are shared, identifiable, and public.

In line with this, Claud Levi-Strauss, who is a French anthropologist and ethnologist, referred to as the “father of modern anthropology”, views culture as a structural system of symbols and meanings that are shared, identifiable, and public.

Abdul Chaer, who is an expert on Indonesian linguistics, suggests that the definitions above and the opinions of other experts can be grouped into six groups, namely: descriptive definitions that explain the elements of culture, historical definitions which emphasize that culture is inherited naturally, a normative definition that emphasizes the nature of culture as a rule of life and behavior, a psychological definition that emphasizes the usefulness of culture in adapting to the environment, solving problems and learning to live, a structural definition a definition that emphasizes the nature of culture as a system which is patterned regularly, and a genetic definition that emphasizes the occurrence of culture as a result of human work.

The role of language is very important for cultural value because the language has a dominant role in the development of cultural value and language occupies a central and important position in human life because the language has multiple aspects which include biological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects. 

In language, one should pay attention to the norms that apply in the cultural system in which the language is used. Language and cultural value in an area or region have various interactions. The two are interconnected without the public realizing it. 

Through language and cultural values, future generations can know the development and growth of civilizations in the past. Thus it can be concluded that language and cultural value always have a harmonious relationship in every human civilization.

There are various kinds of interactions that often occur between language and cultural values, including that language is used as a means of expressing local wisdom. Apart from being a means, language is also used as a medium to transfer existing local wisdom to the next generation and to spread the local wisdom of certain areas to other areas.

In addition, there is another opinion which states that language and cultural value have a coordinating relationship, namely an equal relationship, which has the same high position; and another opinion states that language and cultural value are two systems inherent in humans. Cultural value is a system that regulates human language in society, so it can be stated that language is a system that functions as a means in cultural values and processes.

The next thing that is interesting in this coordinating relationship is the existence of a very controversial hypothesis, namely the hypothesis of two well-known linguists, namely Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf. This hypothesis is known as the Sapir and Whorf hypothesis.

In this hypothesis, it is argued that language not only determines the style of culture but also determines the way of thinking of humans. A nation with a different language from other nations will have a different cultural value and way of thinking.

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that differences in thinking are caused by differences in language and cultural values. This causes Indonesian to look different from English people because speaking Indonesian is not the same as speaking English 

The relationship between language and cultural value, which has been described above, is what influences language behavior in a cultural context. The cultural value here in a broad sense includes the characteristics and attitudes possessed by speakers.

To better understand the relationship between culture and speech acts, as well as to see cultures that are not the same, thus giving birth to different speech acts or language patterns. In addition, language and cultural value are two systems inherent in humans.

Cultural value is a system that regulates language in human interaction in society, so language is a system that functions as a means which must be accompanied by norms that apply in a particular language community. 

Autor is General Chairman of Perkumpulan Cendekiawan Bahasa dan Sastra (Cebastra)

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By Dr. Amrin Batubara, M.Pd.

In everyday life, we are always exposed to an atmosphere of interaction with one another. Often we are not aware of the phenomena that underlie the interactions that occur around us and even the phenomena that exist and occur within ourselves, namely: the phenomenon of language and cultural value. How important is it for us to understand the two phenomena of language and cultural value? 

Many writings or articles have discussed these phenomena, but the discussion still seems too technical so that it feels ungrounded in the context in which the phenomena reside.

This article aims to provide answers to the above question by looking at the phenomena of language and cultural values from the perspective of language and cultural literature.

Baca Juga: HBII, Khofifah Encourages Language and Accent Diversity in East Java

It is hoped that this brief article will provide linguistically correct provisions for understanding both of these phenomena that are appropriate to the culture of the speakers.

Various theories regarding the relationship between language and cultural values explain that language is part of the culture, although some say that language and cultural values are two different things; however, language and cultural values have a very close relationship, so they cannot be separated.

There are also those who argue that language is strongly influenced by cultural values, so everything that exists in cultural values will be reflected in language. On the other hand, there are also those who say that language is strongly influenced by cultural values and the way of thinking of humans or the community of speakers.

Baca Juga: Gawat! Data Nasabah Bank Jatim Diduga Bocor, Diperjual Belikan di Raidsforums

Many experts and researchers agree that language and cultural values are two things that cannot be separated. The most famous study delivered by linguistic experts from America is the Sapir-Whorf theory.

These two experts state that the way of thinking and culture of a society is determined or influenced by the structure of its language. Sapir and Whorf saw that the human mind is determined by the classification system of the particular language used by humans. They outlined two hypotheses regarding the relationship between language and thought. 

The first hypothesis is the linguistic relativity hypothesis which states that differences in language structure are generally parallel to non-language cognitive differences. Differences in language cause differences in the minds of people who use the language, and the second hypothesis is linguistic determinism which states that the structure of a language affects the way individuals perceive and reason about the perceptual world. In other words, the structure of human cognition is determined by the categories and structures that already exist in language.

Baca Juga: Succesful Public Speaking

Meanwhile, Piaget, a French scholar, said that culture (mind) will shape a person's language. This is where Piaget's theory of cognitive growth was born, and it is slightly different from Piaget's theory; Vigotsky, a Russian scholar, argues that the development of language is one stage before the development of thought (culture) which then both meet, giving birth to language thinking and language thinking. 

Noam Chomsky, a professor of linguistics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, also agrees that the study of language is closely related to culture; likewise, Eric Lenneberg, a linguist and neuroscientist who pioneered the ideas of language acquisition and cognitive psychology, especially in terms of innate concepts, shares a view with the linguistic theory proposed by Chomsky and Piaget.

In sociolinguistic studies, language is defined as a symbol system, in the form of speech sounds which contains something called meaning or concept, arbitrary, productive, dynamic, diverse, and human; also, language can also be seen as a system, that is, language is formed by a number of components that are patterned and can be determined. As a system, language is both systematic and systemic. Systematic means that language is arranged according to a certain pattern. Systemic means that the language is not a single system, but consists of a number of subsystems. 

Baca Juga: Cita Citata Giat Latihan Reverse Crunch Demi Perut Rata

Language can also be explained as an arbitrary, conventional, productive, and dynamic sound symbol that has many functions. Dell Hymes, a linguist, anthropologist, sociolinguist, who is an expert in the field of folklore, explains that there are five functions of language, namely: adapting to social norms; conveying experiences about beauty, goodness, nobility; regulating social contact; regulating behavior, and expressing feelings.

In essence, language can also be explained as an orderly speech of human thoughts and feelings, which uses speech sounds which are structures and meanings that are independent of their users, as signs that conclude a goal. 

To understand more deeply language in the context of cultural value, we need to also pay attention to the function of language. In general, the function of language is a tool to communicate both orally and in written communication.

However, more specifically the function of language can be classified into several parts, among others, language has a cultural function, a social function, an individual function, and an educational function.

Language as a communication tool has a function that can be explained as follows. The first is the information function. This function is to convey reciprocal information between family members or community members. News, announcements, instructions for oral or written statements through mass or electronic media are a form of language function as an information function.

The second is the function of self-expression. This function is to channel the feelings, attitudes, ideas, emotions, or pressures of the speaker's feelings. Language as a means of self-expression can be a medium to express one's existence, free oneself from emotional stress, and attract people's attention.

The next function is the adaptation and integration function. This function is to adjust and mingle with members of the community. Through language, a member of the community gradually learns the customs, culture, lifestyle, behavior, and ethics of the community.

They adapt to all the provisions that apply in society through language. With language, humans can exchange experiences and become part of that experience. They use the experience for their life. Thus they are mutually bound to the social group they enter. Language becomes a tool of integration (assimilation) for every human being with society.

The next is the social control function. In this function, language is used to influence the attitudes and opinions of others. If this function applies well, then all social activities will take place well too.

His failure to use language will also hinder his efforts to influence the attitudes and opinions of others. With language one can develop personality and social values ​​to a higher quality level.

Traditionally, there are three functions of language that should be separate but in fact, they overlap; there are many similarities in these language functions but there are also some differences, and the difference lies in the kind of information conveyed by each language function: cognitive function, namely the function of language as a tool to express ideas, concepts, and thoughts. 

Jakobson, who is a Russian-American literary theorist and linguist, says that the function of language is primarily concerned with the literary nature of language which provides a good way of listing the six major language functions that show how the focus changes from one aspect of a speech event to another. He suggests that the function of language can be seen from the point of view of the speaker, listener, topic, code, and speech mandate.

The emotive function or personal function, namely the function of language seen from the speaker's point of view, is where the speaker expresses an attitude towards what he says, the speaker not only expresses emotions through language but also shows those emotions when conveying his speech. In this case, the listener will be able to guess or see if the speaker is sad, angry, or happy, and so on.

The conative function that is the function of language from the perspective of the listener or interlocutor, is a language function that regulates the behavior of the listener.

Where language not only makes the listener do something but also can do activities according to the wishes of the speaker. This can be done by the speaker by using sentences that express orders, appeals, requests, or seductions.

The referential function or function that is seen from the topic of the speech is the function of language as a tool to talk about objects or events that surround the speaker or exist in the culture in general.

The poetic function, namely the function of language in terms of the message conveyed, is the function of language that can be used to convey thoughts, ideas, and feelings that are actually or only imaginative.

The fatigue function, which is a function that is seen in terms of contact between speakers and listeners, is a language function that functions to establish relationships, maintain, show feelings of friendship, or social solidarity. The expressions used usually have a fixed pattern, such as when meeting, saying goodbye, asking for news, and others.

The metalinguistic function, which is a language function in terms of the code used, is a language function used to talk about the language itself. This can be seen in the language learning process where the rules or rules of language are explained by the language itself. Jakobson's model clearly demonstrates the problems of trying to construct some kind of taxonomy of the function of language.

Halliday, an Australian-born English teacher and expert in English, in a series of his papers, explores the relationship that exists between function and use in children's language and adult language.

He proposed a Sociological Semantic theory that showed the loss of seven functions in the language of young children (pre-school) which turned into three macro functions in adult language.

He stated that there are seven functions of children's language which are gradually replaced by a system that is more abstract, higher in code value but also a simpler function system. This system only has three macro functions, namely: ideational, interpersonal, and textual functions.

The ideational function of language is closely related to cognitive function but is broader in nature because it includes the use of the term experiential expression, evaluative and affective aspects of nature, as well as values, emotions, and feelings.

The ideational function of language is said to be related to the expression of experience which includes processes inside and outside the self, phenomena from the outside world, and phenomena of consciousness and logical relationships that can be deduced from these phenomena.

The interpersonal function is related to the interaction management function and index function which includes aspects of the speaker's psychological form and social status, namely his identity, attributes, attitudes, and emotions, as well as acting as a means of capturing his attitude towards himself, towards others, and to define the role he plays in that interaction.

It is this language function that then functions to form and obtain social relations and functions in the expression and the formation of one's own personality.

The textual function is related to the arrangement of the structure of speech acts, the choice of sentences that are suitable as well as grammatical and situational as well as the arrangement of the order of the contents of the sentence in a logical and cohesive manner according to the overall interaction.

Before discussing language in the context of cultural value, it is also necessary to first explain the nature of culture. Clifford Geertz, who is an anthropologist from the United States, says that culture is a symbol system consisting of symbols and meanings that are shared, identifiable, and public.

In line with this, Claud Levi-Strauss, who is a French anthropologist and ethnologist, referred to as the "father of modern anthropology", views culture as a structural system of symbols and meanings that are shared, identifiable, and public.

Abdul Chaer, who is an expert on Indonesian linguistics, suggests that the definitions above and the opinions of other experts can be grouped into six groups, namely: descriptive definitions that explain the elements of culture, historical definitions which emphasize that culture is inherited naturally, a normative definition that emphasizes the nature of culture as a rule of life and behavior, a psychological definition that emphasizes the usefulness of culture in adapting to the environment, solving problems and learning to live, a structural definition a definition that emphasizes the nature of culture as a system which is patterned regularly, and a genetic definition that emphasizes the occurrence of culture as a result of human work.

The role of language is very important for cultural value because the language has a dominant role in the development of cultural value and language occupies a central and important position in human life because the language has multiple aspects which include biological, psychological, social, and cultural aspects. 

In language, one should pay attention to the norms that apply in the cultural system in which the language is used. Language and cultural value in an area or region have various interactions. The two are interconnected without the public realizing it. 

Through language and cultural values, future generations can know the development and growth of civilizations in the past. Thus it can be concluded that language and cultural value always have a harmonious relationship in every human civilization.

There are various kinds of interactions that often occur between language and cultural values, including that language is used as a means of expressing local wisdom. Apart from being a means, language is also used as a medium to transfer existing local wisdom to the next generation and to spread the local wisdom of certain areas to other areas.

In addition, there is another opinion which states that language and cultural value have a coordinating relationship, namely an equal relationship, which has the same high position; and another opinion states that language and cultural value are two systems inherent in humans. Cultural value is a system that regulates human language in society, so it can be stated that language is a system that functions as a means in cultural values and processes.

The next thing that is interesting in this coordinating relationship is the existence of a very controversial hypothesis, namely the hypothesis of two well-known linguists, namely Edward Sapir and Benjamin Lee Whorf. This hypothesis is known as the Sapir and Whorf hypothesis.

In this hypothesis, it is argued that language not only determines the style of culture but also determines the way of thinking of humans. A nation with a different language from other nations will have a different cultural value and way of thinking.

The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis states that differences in thinking are caused by differences in language and cultural values. This causes Indonesian to look different from English people because speaking Indonesian is not the same as speaking English 

The relationship between language and cultural value, which has been described above, is what influences language behavior in a cultural context. The cultural value here in a broad sense includes the characteristics and attitudes possessed by speakers.

To better understand the relationship between culture and speech acts, as well as to see cultures that are not the same, thus giving birth to different speech acts or language patterns. In addition, language and cultural value are two systems inherent in humans.

Cultural value is a system that regulates language in human interaction in society, so language is a system that functions as a means which must be accompanied by norms that apply in a particular language community. 

Autor is General Chairman of Perkumpulan Cendekiawan Bahasa dan Sastra (Cebastra)