Monday, September 22, 2008

Language is Arbitrary & Conventional

Okay guys...
I will try to answer some questions. Now it's about the features of language: arbitrary.

The term arbitrary here refers to the fact that the symbol that people use is made or chosen without any principle, logic or reason. For example, people in Java do not have a principle or logic to call an animal with long tail, two hands, and two legs and like scratching and playing on trees as kethek. There is no logic either for people in Jakarta to call that animal monyet. This is what arbitrary means.

So, to answer Daniel's question: English people do not have any reason why they call the animal that produces "meauwww" as cat. Again, this is because language is arbitrary: no logical reason is used when choosing a symbol, and no direct relationship between the symbol and the symbolized.

Now that a group of people have chosen a symbol for something, all the members of the group should approve and use the same symbol to refer to the same thing. In the example above, the members of Javanese language society approve the use of symbol kethek to refer to that animal, while the members of Betawinese approve the use of monyet. Again, the symbol should be the result of the convention of all members of the (language) society. That's why language is called conventional.

To answer Wisnukurnia: How is language created?
When a group of people make a new symbol and the all the members approve, then they will make a new language, or at least they add a new word for their language. Remember, language is a system consisting of many elements that support each other.
Well, once the language is used by the people, it will exist. No society exists without language, and no language exists without the society.

Hope, it's clear enough now. For further info, please read Abdul Chaer. He has clear explanation about this.



H4N4_07 said...

Good Morning Sir...
It is my comment about the discussion that held last Tuesday.

well done [wel d^n]
w : voiced, approximant, velar
e : unrounded, centre, middle
l : voiced, lateral, alveolar
d : voiced, plosive, alveolar
^ : rounded, centre, low
n : voiced, nassal, alveolar

Hana Suryani
Thank You....

Rossa YPMP said...

good job [gud job]
g --> voiced velar plosive
u --> rounded back high
d --> voiced alveolar plosive
j --> voiced palatal approximant
o --> rounded back middle
b --> voieced bilabial plosive

inda said...

very nice [verI naIs]
v = voiced, labiodental, fricative
e = unrounded, front, middle
r = voiced, palato alveolar, approximant
I = unrounded, front, high
n = voiced,alveolar, nassal
a = rounded, back, low
I = unrounded, front, high
s = voiceless, alveolar, fricative

wisnukurnia said...

good afternoon sir..
it's my comment about mbak Umi's groups presentation

impressive [ impresIv ]
i :unrounded front high
m :voiced bilabial nassal
p :voiceless bilabial plosive
r :voiced palato alveolar approximant
e :unrounded front mid
s :voiceless alveolar fricative
I :unrounded front high
v :voiced labiodental fricative

Oscar said...

Good afternoon Sir,
This is my comment about the presentation by Jiryan's group this morning
amazing [a·maz·ing]
a: rounded, back, low
m: voiced, bilabial, nasal
a: rounded, back, low
z: voiced, alveolar, fricative
i: Unrounded, front, high
n: voiced, nassal, alveolar
g: voiced, velar, plosive

edwi said...

Night sir, thanks for your answer my question about Language is arbitrary VS language is conventional.
Now, I know that arbitrary is the basic b4 people decide the language (conventional). Like your example about kethek that is called by Javanese as same as monyet by betawinese is same in people mind that is an animal that has 2 hands, 2 legs and tail.
Once more sir, when will be you posting your article about topics 2: linguistic?

Edwi M.
thanks b4

venusdemillo said...

Mr.Agus DePe, The first thing that came out about "Phonology" which presented by 3rd group is a brief presentation

brief :/bri:f/
b : voiced, plosive, bilabial
r : voiced, approximant,palato-alveolar
i: : high, front, spreading
f : unvoiced, fricative, labio-dental

Kezia Kustina Indira Wardhani (C1307013)

Lastika Ary said...

Good afternoon sir, I would like to say happy Idul Fitri day to you, forgive me for all may fault. This is what I get in last meeting

Λ: middle, back, unrounded
n: voiced,velar,nasal
k: voiceless, velar, plosive
i: high, front, unrounded
l: unrounded,front,high
ә: unrounded,central,low

Thanks for read it Sir,….

Maria said...

good morning Mr.DePe
i want to understand well about Linguistic. in the last quiz i couldn't do the test well. i need to study more to pass the exam. i hope u will not give us difficult question.
thank u

Maria Febriana Dewi A
sasing B

Juan Rico said...

Wow, I really think this was the best example-given answer I could ever find! Thank you very much for sharing your knowledge and your clear explanation with us.

From Colombia, Juan Rico

septian suciyanto said...


lee woo said...

Love your job but don't love your company, because you may not know when your company stops loving you. See the link below for more info.