You are currently viewing Unit: 2 – Language, its relationship and functions – Best BBS I year English Notes

Unit: 2 – Language, its relationship and functions – Best BBS I year English Notes

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Language, its relationship and functions fall under the second chapter of English Subject in BBS First Year. This post provides you with the complete notes for this Unit.

What is language?

  • Language is the way of communication.
  • It is an oral, written or non-verbal system of communication.
  • It is a voluntary vocal system of communication.
  • There are more than 7000 living languages around the world.


Language and Meaning

  • Language is symbolic.
  • Symbol is something that represents something else.
  • Nonverbal communication is symbolic
  • Symbols—such as gestures, signs, objects, signals, and words—help people understand that world.
  • They provide clues to understanding experiences by conveying recognizable meanings that are shared by societies.
  • Language is a symbolic system through which people communicate and through which culture is transmitted.
  • If you fold your hands to someone, the gesture symbolizes the idea of greeting.
  •  Some gestures are nearly universal: smiles often represent joy, and crying often represents sadness. 
  • Other nonverbal symbols vary across cultural contexts in their meaning
  • Meaning can be Denotative and Connotative.
  • Denotative is the literal or primary meaning of a word as we can find in the dictionary.
  • Connotative is an idea or feeling that a word helps us.
  • Example: rose- a flower (Denotative meaning)
  • Rose- the symbol of love (Connotative).


Language, Society and Culture

  • Language, culture and society have a correlation.
  • Language is an instrument of culture that is used by humans to communicate with each other, either through writing, oral, or movement (sign language).
  •   There may be many cultures in one society by language diversity.
  • We acquire knowledge from our culture directly or indirectly.

Relationship between language and society

  • Language and society will not be separated.
  • Language is an arbitrary symbol system sound that is used by members of the community as a means of communication, interaction, and identify them.
  •   The function of language as an instrument to do the interaction and communication to convey thoughts, ideas, concepts or also feeling in social life.
  • Language and society is an association between certain forms of language, called the variation or dialect diversity with the use of function in society.
  • The Nepali language used in Jhapa is different from the language used in Jumla.
  •  For example, we use standard language in education activity, we use  non-standard language in non-formal activity, we use a literature language in our art  activity, and so on


Relationship between language and culture

  • Language and culture are the two systems that are attached to human life. 
  • We follow certain cultural norms and values on how to start and end our conversation.
  • For example, the conversation starts with a greeting.
  • Cultural bias is discriminating people negatively on the basis of their race, country of origin, language gender, age etc.
  • Not all people living in Terai are Madeshi.

Stylistic Features

  • Stylistically, language can be formal or informal.
  • Formal Language is less personal than informal language.
  • Communication that can be done for professional or academic purposes is usually formal.
  • It avoids slang or contractions.
  • It is highly sensitive to rules of grammar and sentence structure.
  • Informal language is more spontaneous or causal.
  • It uses slang, contraction and is less rigid about grammar and style issues.
  • It is conversational, personal in tone and often used to communicate with friends or family either in personal emails, text messages.
  • It is believed that oral communication is more informal than formal.
  • It depends on the speakers and the context.


Function of language

  1. Expressive Function
  2. Power Function
  3. Recreational Functions
  4. Dynamic function
  5. Relational function
  6. Professional and technical function

1. Expressive Function:

  • Express observation or describing what you see or hear.
  • Helps to express thought or opinions.
  • Also helps to express needs, want or request support.
  • Eg. I want to buy a book.

2. Power Function

  • Language is powerful.
  • Lg gives labels to express our identities, negative or positive.
  • Ex. In Nepali, the words “Pahade”(for the hill people), or “Maade” (for the marvaris).
  • Language also serves as a means of control.
  • We can use language to praise someone, to criticize.
  • Court language for decision is powerful.


3. Recreational Function

  • Some people like poets, writers and comedians build their careers on their ability to use language for fun and recreation.
  • Language serves humour and creativity, word games and crossword puzzles.

4.  Dynamic Function:

  • Language helps to expand and grow itself.
  • It always remains to change.
  • Sometimes two combine to form a new word with a new meaning.
  • Compound words like feedback, newspaper are formed by the combination of two words.

5. Recreational Function:

  • Some people like poets, writers and comedians build their careers on their ability to use language for fun and recreation.
  • Language serves humour and creativity, word games and crossword puzzles.


6. Dynamic Function:

  • Language helps to expand and grow itself.
  • It always remains to change.
  • Sometimes two combine to form a new word with a new meaning.
  • Compound words like feedback, newspaper are formed by the combination of two words.

7. Relational function:

  • Language specially used for interpersonal or verbal communication plays a significant role in bringing people together and maintaining the relationship.
  • Pronoun I, you, we, our and we are used to suggest relations.
  • The power of language to unite or to divide people.



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