Functions Of Language

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate May 2001

download word file, 15 pages 0.0

Downloaded 24 times

Although we have one native language, we can use it with more than one functions effectively. In this paper, I will try to examine functions of Turkish language. My investigation, of course, will not be a very comprehensive one because I will work on a limited data. I will only try to investigate the basic concepts of language functions, I will try to provide examples for these basic concepts and I will compare two different types of television programs considering these functions. Working on speech functions comprehensively is the work of sociolinguists so we had better have a look at the definitions of sociolinguistics and sociolinguist before we start. According to an online encyclopedia "sociolinguistics is the study of language as it affects and is affected by social relations. It encompasses such concerns as bilingualism, lingua franca, and other ways that language use is influenced by contact among people of different language communities.

Sociolinguists also examine dialects, accents, and diction as they affect varying social contexts and distinctions, status within a society, and such areas as class, ethnic, and regional differences" ( When we look at its meaning in a dictionary we find that "sociolinguistics is the study of language as a social instrument and in its social context, in which the principles and investigative techniques of both sociology and linguistics are employed" (Webster's Comprehensive Dictionary Of The English Language, Encyclopedic Edition, 1996). Then we can summarize that sociolinguistics investigates the relationships between language and the social factors that affect it and sociolinguists are the people who works on language and the social factors affecting it. Holmes states that "they (sociolinguists) are interested in explaining why we speak differently in different social contexts" (1992:1).

Since I will investigate and compare speech functions in two different kinds of television programs,