1 REVUE DE L'AILA AILA REVIEW Association Internationale de Linguistique Appliquée 1985
2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Editor's Note 5 Dell HYMES, Toward Linguistic Competence 9 Matthias HARTIG, Richtungen der Angewandten Soziolinguistik 24 Christina Bratt PAULSTON, Ethnic and National Mobilization: Linguistic Outcomes 49 Robert CHAUDENSON, Norme, variation, créolisation 69
3 EDITOR'S NOTE 5 This second issue of the newly launched AILA Review/ Revue de I'AILA focusses on a broad area in which applied linguistics interfaces with a variety of social and political concern, as well as on the problems variability poses for linguistic analysis and, ultimately, pedagogical description. As was the case for its predecessor, this issue has a distinct international flavor. Not only do the authors represent two continents and four different native countries but the articles appear in three of the world's leading languages of wider communication: English, French and German. Though it was not a requisite for selection, all four contributors to the 1985 issue of the Review participate actively in the activities of their respective national affiliates, in AILA international events, or in important international professional groups. Dell Hymes is current president of AAAL, the USA affiliate; Matthias Hartig has for nearly a decade served as convener of the Scientific Commission of Applied Psycholinguistics; Christina Bratt Paulston, a native of Sweden, is a familiar name on AILA World Congress programs; Robert Chaudenson has for a dozen years ably lead the Comité International des Etudes Créoles, an association that spans four continents and serves as an effective link between the industrial and developing nations. The lead article reviews the development of the notion of communicative competence which Dell Hymes launched in the late 1960's. By providing a broader and deeper anchorage for the language sciences, that concept has stimulated research in a multitude of domains. The inseparable connection between language and the total social context that the notion of communicative implies has profoundly affected the objectives of mother tongue education and second and foreign language teaching. It has also made the use of language in a wide range of social contexts (in the courts, in doctors' offices, in factories) the legitimate object of scientific study, and in this way it has extended the domains for the application of linguistics. As Dell Hymes himself remarks: "...applied linguistics is the area of linguistics in which the practical necessity of a perspective like that of communicative competence is most evident". Matthias Hartig provides an extensive survey of applied sociolinguistic research conducted worldwide in the course of the last ten years. He identifies six main directions: language manifestations of social conflicts; the description of linguistic repertoire, including multi-iingualism and code-shifting; the use of language in inter-group relationships within nations; language planning, both at the national and international level (for the latter, Hartig evokes the question of "neutral" international languages - such as Esperanto); language learning (mother tongue education and second or foreign language teaching); the role of language in social interaction.
4 Hartig shows that there exists an interactive relationship between application and research: the results of sociolinguistic investigations help in clarifying educational, political and social issues. As Joshua Fishman once remarked "there is nothing as theoretically provocative as sensitive practice". This is not to say, of course, that to be sensitive to linguistic conflicts guarantees that one can alleviate them, for conflict solving strategies on one level become conflict generating at a higher level. Christina Bratt Paulston sets forth a theoretical framework whose object is to predict the attitude of social groups toward language issues, notably language maintenance and language shift. She distinguishes four types of social group mobilization, each of which correlates with the assignment of different roles to the use of the group language in attaining group goals: ethnicity, ethnic movement, ethnic nationalism, and geographic nationalism. For instance, whereas ethnicity, which stresses shared roots and a common biological past, does not stress language maintenance, ethnic movements which involve social enclosure and demarcation from other groups are more likely to resist assimilation to the dominant culture and subsequent language shift. The proposed framework, based on the observation of some thirty different multilingual situations on five continents, might serve to help language planners, particularly those charged with the organization and planning implementation of bilingual education programs. Paulston characterizes language as one of the resources available to a social group to gain access to goods and services. To fail to assess the function assigned to the group language leads to ineffectual or counterproductive policies, for, as she points out, "the most elegant educational policies for minority groups are doomed to failure if they do not go counter to prevailing forces, especially the economic situation". Robert Chaudenson weaves together the strands of dialectology, pidgin and creole linguistics, and second language learning as he tackles the problem of the genesis of creole languages, specifically those derived from French. He presents a model more broadly based than Bickerton's bioprogram, in which the grammatical core of creole languages is accounted for by universal features wired into our species' genetic make-up, which spring forth under certain communicative situations and become directly accessible to children confronted with the unlearnable amorphous linguistic materials (pidginized versions of a target language). Chaudenson suggests instead that creolization involves a drastic reduction of normative pressures in language contact situations. Specifically, he argues that French-based Creoles developed from the massive restructuring of highly deviant variants of a "zero degree" of French (an abstract construct subsuming all synchronically attested variants) as it was being acquired by foreign learners of diverse language backgrounds with limited access to speakers of native variants of zero degree French. Although Chaudenson does recognize he existence of auto-regulatory (systemic) processes in language, the focus of the article is sociolinguistic in two respects. First, it establishes the central role of the total communicative context in language change. Second, it underscores the importance of recognizing the fundamental variability of language. If we are to better under- 6
5 stand the processes underlying language and language learning we must abandon exclusive reference to stereotypic standard languages. *** The members of the AILA Governing Board (Conseil d'administration) have striven for many years to establish channels of communication among members of the forty or so constituent national affiliates. Up to 1983, the Bulletin attempted to serve the dual function of disseminating professional news and of providing information on research trends. Despite the selfless and untiring efforts of Bulletin editor Antonio Zampolli inadequate AILA funding made it difficult to sustain that endeavor. The dissemination of professional information is now assumed by the quarterly AILA News/Nouvelles de l'aila, of which two issues (sent to national affiliates rather than to individual members) have appeared to date. It was hoped that the Review would serve as the scholarly organ of AILA and as the direct link between AILA and individual members. Thanks to the efforts of Jacek Fisiak and the assistance of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan (Poland) the 1984 issue, produced in the spring of 1985, reached individual members by early fall. Financial constraints have once again compromised the future of a regular AILA scholarly publication. The small publication budget allocated for the Review proved inadequate to enable Adam Mickiewicz University to continue to produce and disseminate it worldwide. Johan Matter, AILA Treasurer, was able to make alternative arrangements in the Netherlands, although this required dipping into the Association's financial reserves. It is hoped that this way the 1985 issue of the Review will reach individual members by late spring As issue editor, I would like to express my appreciation to my colleagues on the Editorial Board who have helped shape the Review's publishing policies and provided guidance in the planning of this issue and to the four authors for their valuable contributions. A debt of gratitude is owed to Jos Nivette, AILA President, who was instrumental in the "rescue" operation that made publication possible and a special one to Johan Matter, who assumed the difficult task of seeing the manuscript through production, and insuring that copies of the Review reached national affiliates promptly. Thanks are also to Helga Keller and Molly Wieland who ably assisted me in editing. 7 Albert Valdman Bloomington, Indiana December, 1985.
7 9 Toward Linguistic Competence Dell H. Hymes University of Pennsylvania Let me provide a context for what follows. A few years ago, Daniel Coste and France Mugler invited me to publish in French my working paper, "Toward Linguistic Competence," of 1973, together with a new preface. The original essay was issued as Working Paper Number 16 in the series of Texas Working Papers in Sociolinguistics, edited by Richard Bauman and Joel F. Scherzer (Center for Intercultural Studies in Communication, and Department of Anthropology, University of Texas, Austin). Its last chapter, 8, "Ways of speaking", was published as my contribution to the book Explorations in the ethnography of speaking. edited by Bauman and Sherzer (1974). The rest of the essay had never been formally published. A brief preface was easy. What was difficult was to take into account the variety of material making use of the notion of "competence", and "communicative competence", that had appeared over the years. In its diversity this material posed a problem in itself. I began to detect certain strands: the evolution of Chomsky's own attitude toward the term and its implications; objections to the term based on Chomsky's initial conception of it; discussion focussing on the unavoidable problem of the relation between individual knowledge, shared knowledge, and definitions of community; extensions and applications of a communicative approach in the field of language acquisition. The history of the term and its diffusion in the field, the understandings and misunderstandings associated with it, its rejection here and cultivation there, all took on a fascination of its own. What emerged from working through and writing up the information at hand was far too long to be a preface; it became an unexpected postscript. The French volume of 1984 thus has four parts: a "Note liminaire" by Daniel Coste; a "Préface générale" by myself; the 1973 working papers, "Vers la compétence linguistique"; and the "Postface" of I am grateful for the interest and effort that led to the French publication, and now I am also grateful to Albert Valdman for wishing to include a section of the English original in this volume of the AILA Review. It seems, indeed, that applied linguistics is the area of linguistics in which the practical necessity of a perspective like that of communicative competence is most evident. We all realize that much remains to be learned about the nature, number and interactions of the abilities that enter into communicative competence. An essay such as this can only hope to help by clarifying and defending the perspective, as it has developed so far. I do believe that there are many major contributions waiting to be made.
8 Preface 10 Much has happened in the study of language in the last decade, and there may seem to be little need for the argument made here. Do not linguists study all manner of things beyond the single sentence and formal grammar? Is not the term "competence" itself rather widely used? If one examines the current situation closely, I think one will find that there is still a need for the argument of this book. Of course it does reflect the date of its composition, and much could be added to it today. Yet acceptance of the notion of "communicative competence is far from general, and those who accept it differ in their understandings and uses of it. And much of mainstream work in linguistics still proceeds in such a way as to make it difficult, if not impossible, to integrate the analysis of the means of with analysis of their use, and to integrate both with analysis of the realities of social life. We are still far from having the kind of linguistics that is necessary to the of language teaching, and for analysis of the contexts within which language occurs. The same is true for any concern with language that has to do with and change in personal and social life. Since first writing about "competence", I have been given an opportunity to try to do something about linguistics in relation to education. As Dean of the Graduate of Education at the University of Pennsylvania since 1975, I have been able to encourage a small program in educational linguistics, together with cultural study of acquisition and an ethnographic perspective on schooling. This role has led to some essays recently collected, together with an older one or two, in the volume Language In Education: Ethnolinguistic Essays (Hymes, 1980). Those essays address a number of relevant points, but not the notion of competence itself. I welcome the chance to consider here what has become of the notion since the text translated here was written. It has seemed best to put the new discussion after the original text as a postscript. But let me put it in a general context here. The heart of the argument is that extensions in the scope of linguistics to include pragmatics, discourse, text and the like, do not suffice, as long as directions and foundations of linguistics itself remain unchanged. Many more angles may be given a place on the head of a pin, but the pin itself is too small. So long as the object of analysis is taken to be an unsituated language, such as "French" or "English"; so long as the goal of anaiysis is taken to be what is called in this book "systemic potential" of a language rather than the abilities of specific groups and persons: so long as the analysis is based on but one of the fundamental functions served by linguistic means the function associated with terms such as "ideational", "cognitive", "referential" and the like; so long as formal modelling dominates empirical adequacy; so long, indeed, as grammar itself remains the frame of reference within which linguistic means are understood to be organized, as against the organization of linguistic means in styles an repertoires in relation to situations; so long, then, the expansion of linguistics in scope is like a world tour. One may stop at every port, yet fail to penetrate the texture and thrust of life in any of theme. Some scholars recognize that linguistics is at a point at which a historicallv decisive choice may be made. Early in this century the study of language was distributed across a number of named, legitimated disciplines: Romance philology, Indo-European, psychophysics. philosophy, anthropology, etc. Gradually there arose a
9 distinct discipline of linguistics, claiming its own place in the academic sun, most decisively in terms of phonology. Previously there had been careful studies of the sounds of languages within individual fields, and a general study of speech sounds in phonetics and psychophysics, but there had not been a general study of speech sounds in terms of their functional relevance in the structure of language. On this basis a generation of confident scholars debated and elaborated methodology for the analysis of language structure generally. Perhaps phonology came first because it was the weakest point in the chain of the then existing disciplines. In any case, the sequence of development within linguistics was from phonology and morphology to syntax and more recently semantics and pragmatics. The sequence can be described as an arc in terms of which linguistics first separated itself out from other disciplines, around the theme of the study of "language" in and of itself, and now finds itself rejoining other disciplines on an enlarged terrain. Today linguistics is but one of the disciplines contributing to what is called the analysis of "discourse". A pertinent summation from within mainstream American study of syntax and related subjects is that with which Givon (1979) begins a volume: "In the past decade or so, it has become obvious to a growing number of linguists that the study of the syntax of isolated sentences, extracted, without natural context from the purposeful constructions of speakers is a methodology that has outlived its usefulness. First, isolated sentences and their syntax are often at great variance with the syntax of sentences or clauses in natural, unsolicited speech, so much so that serious doubts may be cast over their legitimacy and ultimate reality except as curious artifacts of a particular method of elicitation. Furthermore, the study of syntax, when limited to the sentence-clause level and deprived of its communicative-functional context, tends to bypass and even to obscure the immense role that communicative considerations affecting the structure of discourse play in determining so-called syntactic rules. Finally, the dogma of autonomous syntax also precludes asking the most interesting questions about the grammar of human language, namely, why it is the way it is; how it got to be that way; what function it serves, and how it relates to the use of human language as in instrument of information processing, storage, retrieval, and - above all -communication." There appear to be three choices for linguistics. One is to consider linguistics to be what in one respect it always has been, the skilled study of the structure and history of particular languages, language families, and language groups. A second choice is to accept the expansion of scope of recent years in terms of the foundations, cognitive psychology and psychological human nature, which Chomsky has sought to give it. A third choice is to regard the expansion of scope of recent years as requiring foundations deeper than those that Chomsky is prepared to recognize, foundations that include the social sciences and social life. From this third point of view, the expansion of scope would not be a reaching out, as it were, but a reaching down. What one reaches is not a periphery or an implementation but a deeper grounding. A field of linguistics, broadly conceived, can encompass all three choices. Linguistics would contribute skilled analysis of linguistic means to concerns shared with many other disciplines. It would be central to the work of all who seek to analyze and understand modern life, insofar as it is enacted in communicative conduct. 11
10 Sociologists, psychologists, anthropologists, folklorists, educators and others who are concerned with interaction in families, public places, institutional settings such as hospitals, courtrooms and schools, need the ability to recognize and identify the communicative means which are selected and grouped together to accomplish and express what goes on. A linguistics which abstracts from intonation and individual ability, and which can relate linguistic elements to each other only within formal models of grammar and cognition, however, is not adequate. What is needed is a linguistics which can describe whatever features of speech prove relevant in the given case, and which can relate linguistic elements to each other in terms of relationships of role, status, task. and the like. Such a linguistics requires foundations in social theory and ethnographic practice (Hymes 1964a, 1974) as well as in practical phonetics and grammar. The text that follows sets forth the basis of such a conception at a time when it seemed that almost all of linguistics would follow the direction set by Chomsky. Its concerns still seem pertinent, inasmuch as many who differ with Chomsky today still seem to share his lack of understanding of social life as a ground for the understanding of language. Postscript Let me begin by saying something about the origins of the notion of "communicative competence" in my own work, beyond what is said in the main text. In the main text the focus is on a response to Chomsky. The response, however, had a preparation The glance backward will help to clarify what followed. Then I shall survey various rejections, acceptances, and extensions of the term; and say why it continues to make sense as a central notion; and consider its ramifications for several fields and lines of work. 12 I. Origins of the concern The notion of "communicative competence" arises mainly from the convergence of two independent developments: that of transformational generative grammar on the one hand, and that of the ethnography of communication on the other. The common element has been concerned with the abilities of users of language My own concern grew out of becoming a linguist in the context of anthropology in the United States. In the decade after the end of the Second World War there was much debate about the relation between language and culture, linguistics and anthropology. The formal unit of American anthropology, conceived as comprising four fields (cultural anthropology, physical anthropology, archeology, linguistics) and sustained before the war by a principal focus of study, the American Indian, became strained. American anthropologists mostly neglected American Indian studies for other parts of the globe, and the rise of independent programs in linguistics, made linguistic work problematic for those not trained in it. As a graduate student at Indiana University in both fields ( ), I felt the question of the relation between language and culture to be both an intellectual and a professional problem. The prospects of certain kinds of
11 linguistics and anthropology might depend on the attitude that others took toward that relationship. The spring of 1958 brought together the ingredients of the answer I would reach. In April 1958, I took part in a conference on "Language and Style" at Indiana University, where Roman Jakobson presented a conception of a set of factors and associated functions for language and a broad conception of linguistics in his concluding statement on poetics (Jakobson 1960). And I was asked to write a chapter on the study of personality cross-culturally with regard to language (Hymes 1961b). The chapter led to a search of ethnographic literature for indications of practices, beliefs, and abilities involved in the culturally-shaped acquisition of language by children. The chapter concluded with a sketch of the diversity encountered, and those indications entered as welt into the paper in which I first proposed the notion of the "Ethnography of speaking" (Hymes 1962). The heart of the argument was that "language" and "culture" could not be successfully related by comparing the end-products of the work of linguists and anthropologists. Each abstracted into a partial hypostatized frame of reference, grammar on the one hand, cultural analyses on the other, from the actual relation between language and culture in living speech. To resolve the theoretical problem and to make possible an integration of anthropology, a new approach was needed which would take the organization of speech itself as an object of study and consider the meanings and abilities associated with speaking in particular communities as much a subject for ethnographic concern as sex and weaning. (The argument for cross-cultural study of differences in the functions of speech was made in relation to education in another paper of the same time (Hymes 1961 a). In these same years transformational generative grammar was being given an interpretation in terms of acquisition of language and the abilities of speakers. I took up a formulation by Katz und Fodor (1962): "The goal of a theory of a particular language must be explication of the abilities and skills involved in the linguistic performance of a fluent native speaker" in an essay for a conference in Merida, Yacatan in the spring of 1963, developing a broader conception of the formulation's implications. In the published essay I even used the term "competence", among others, in the context of communication, in describing the goal of an ethnographic approach (Hymes 1964a). I did not yet focus on "communicative competence", however, (contrary to the implication of Blum-Kulka 1982), for the simple reason that Chomsky had not yet made "competence" a focal term. When Aspects of the theory of syntax appeared the next year (Chomsky 1965), a first reaction was that Chomsky could not really be serious in dividing the world of language between "competence" and "performance", while defining the former in so limited a fashion. It became clear that he was quite serious indeed. In the following spring I was able to address his conception of "competence" at a conference on language and the "disadvantaged" at Yeshiva University, as the main text explains. It is Chomsky who has made "competence" central to subsequent discussion. My views appeared in a variety of writings, and in the working paper that precedes this postscript, but not in full book form. A book indeed was intended, as the introduction to the working paper mentions, and even announced, so that others sometimes refer my 13
12 view to it: On communicative competence (Hymes. 1971). Those who make such reference (e.g. Lyons 1977, Newmeyer 1980) have done so on faith; no such book exists. It would have been based on the Song essay of 1968 whose 1973 revision is translated here. This publication is the first book publication by me on this subject. A word of explanation: From 1968 onwards I continued to accumulate references, notes and drafts towards a book, but the very comprehensiveness of the theme kept the book from being written, as against the practicality of more specific tasks. As work in linguistics itself evolved in directions more in sympathy with the broad perspective of communicative competence, there seemed more and more material to take into account. Apart from a few long letters (to Roger Shuy and Joel Sherzer), however, nothing sustained came into existence. It seems now that it could not have. Once the first attack is made and a position defined, to tinker with it seemed akward and to add to it endless. Rather than to continue to argue in general terms, (preceding) one wanted to have empirical studies grounded in the position. Such studies could be the basis for clarifying descriptive dimensions and deepening concepts, through close comparison and refinement of analysis in detail. One wanted to get from speakers and hearers and other participants to a recurrent kind of speaker, hearer, participant; from the necessity of recognizing the dimension of "key" to a specification of the kinds of key in a given community; from reliance on mere dichotomies (direct/indirect. formal/informal, "elaborated"/"restricted", and the like) to finer specification of the kinds of contrast lumped together in them. Most of all, one wanted to get from the general notion of "fluency" to profiles of what combinations of ability counted and in what ways in actual communities. Were not the recurrent prototypes of fluency in the use of language connected to recurrent kinds of social structure, polity, mode of production? Such work was slow to accumulate. The promise of a continuing cadre of researchers from my own university, beginning with Regna Darnell, Judith Irvine, Elinor Ochs (Keenan), Susan Philips, and Joel Sherzer, was cut off by events that forced me to leave the Department of Anthropology for departments in which the perspective was respected, but took no root. And at about the same time ( ) I began to discover underlying poetic patterning in American Indian texts with whose study I had entered linguistics and anthropology. The fascination of unravelling the implications of such patterning became a new focus of energy (Hymes 1981). The passage of a decade has made possible a new perspective, a historical one. What others have made of "communicative competence" is extensive and various enough in its own right. The story tells us something about our subject; reflection and clarification may make some difference. II. Terminological choices Coining "communicative competence" 14 Recognition of a range of ability wider than that involved in grammatical knowledge might have led many people to propose "communicative" to "competence". Just such appears to have been the case. The phrase is used by Campbell and Wales (1970) in the context of the study of language acquisition, as noted particularly by British scholars (Hudson 1980, Wells
13 1981, and others). To be sure. Campbell and Wales might owe something to the use of communicative competence to its use in the study of language acquisition by Slobin et al. (1967), and that use of the term derives from my own association with Slobin, Ervin-Tripp, Gumperz and others in Berkeley in the years The phrase seems to have been introduced independently in the study of language teaching and learning. Paulston (1974, 1979) observes that "communicative competence" has meant two different things in that regard. She points out that Rivers (1973) and those who work with foreign language teaching in the United States have used the term in the sense of ability to engage in spontaneous interaction in a target language (e.g., Savignon). But says Paulston (1979): "People who work in ESL (English as a Second Language), on the other hand, tend to use CC (Communicative competence) in Hymes' sense... to include not only the linguistic forms of the language but also its social rules, the knowledge of when, how, and to whom it is appropriate to use these forms... as an integral part of the language taught. Certainly the use of the term by Jakobovits (1970) and Savignon (1972) is independent of my own, so far as I know, despite our joint presence in Philadelphia at the time. A linguist and philosopher, the late Yehoshua Bar-Hillel, independently developed a use of the term, as indicated in a letter he wrote me (September 5, 1972) on finding a reference to my intended book on communicative competence: "Since I started using the term "communicative competence" at about the same time as you did, and since I regard the conception I have of this term as a rather important one, since I have not seen any new material by you on this topic for a number of years, and since I am going to discuss this subject in my lectures and to deal with what the German heuristic philosophers of science - particular Habermas and Apel- have to say about it (which is rather little), I would greatly appreciate:"(there follow queries about the book, other materials, and the like). There may have been other independent uses. Indeed, the term "communicative competence" has slipped into general usage without need of attribution. It may be used without theoretical intent. When theory is in mind, citations by linguists do seem usually to be to some publication of my own, most often to the account of the main text of this book skillfully constructed by Huxley and Ingram (Hymes 1971e), into the excerpts from it published by Pride and Holmes (Hymes 1972d). (Pride and Holmes cite the intended book of 1971 in the heading of their chapter, and that may be the main source of citation of the book by others). Two of my articles of the period are also cited; Hymes (1971b), cited by Matthews (1979), and, more often, Hymes (1972c), cited by Oksaar (1972) and Walters (1981) in its earlier version of 1967a, and by Lyons (1977) and many others in its version of 1972c. The way in which the term is used does not seem to depend upon the particular source cited or upon any source. Thus, Platt (1977) reports that Bickerton "seems to be critical of the Hymesian concept of 'communicative competence'" without giving a reference for the concept. 15
14 16 Alternative terms The prominence of my own writing, and version of the 1973 text, is due no doubt to the frequency of my expression of an ambivalence which others shared: attraction to the term "competence", frustration with the narrow limit set its use by the leading linguist of the time. That "competence" became a term of reference, of course, is due to Chomsky. Other terms for the abilities of users of language are available and have been employed. In my own first paper focussing on abilities (Hymes. 1964a), I used "abilities", of course, as well as "abilities and skills, echoing Katz and Fodor (1962), and "communicative habits". Katz and Postal (1964) begin their book with the goal of explicating "the notion of a fluent speaker's mastery" of a language. In an essay on the integration of language and literature in curriculum, Sinclair devoted a section to the notion command of a language (1971), and the same term was put forward at about the same time by Teeter (1970), in reflecting on BIoomfield's practice as implying: "Linguistic analysis begins with the productive control of language and its social manifestations, and this is why a grammar not only describes a system but considers its use. Neither langue/parole nor competence/performance are adequate dichotomizations of linguistic facts. To Bloomfield, this was self-evident...a theory of language, however unformed (is to be found here). It is not too much to say that this theory involves no less than the speaker's KNOWLEDGE of a language from his COMMAND of it, Bloomfield begins with command". In a study of bilingualism, Rubin (1972) focusses on acquisition and proficiency, and in an educational context Gorman (1971) wrote of "proficiency": "In the sense that I am using the term, a "proficient" speaker of a particular language is one who possesses a verbal repertoire in that language, the complexity of which approximately correlates with the diverse or limited functional range of the language within the different groups to which he belongs" Others have associated communicative ability with skill (Shatz and Gelman 1973), or directly linked "skill" with "competence". Thus, Hudson's valuable book lists pages which make no use of "communicative competence" under that term in its index; the pages themselves carry the heading "Speech as skilled work" (Hudson 1980). Van Dijk (1981) makes the equivalence explicit: "In other words, the pupil should acquire a full range of communicative skills. Few textbooks, however, are as yet available for a systematic training of this kind of communicative competence". Kinds of competence It remains that Chomsky has made the term "competence" central and dominant (as the last two citations indicate). Even in arguing that Chomsky's grammatical model cannot account for creative metaphor, Basso (1976) speaks of an adequate model in terms of "widened linguistic competence". Kiparsly speaks of "broader aspects of
15 competence" (1968) in relation to linguistic change. When writers have called attention to an aspect of linguistic ability other than the narrowly grammatical, they have frequently labelled it a kind of competence. Three main tendencies can be observed. Writers concerned with literature and verbal art in relation to linguistics have extended the basic concept. The German linguist M. Bierwisch early spoke of "poetic" competence (cited in Foundations of Language 1969, 5:476). The American theorist Jonathan Culler has made a conception of "literary competence" prominent, cf. critical discussion and positive interpretation by Fowler (1981). (Culler also cites "mythological competence".) The well known scholar Martin Steinmann has written of "rhetorical competence" (1982). In the context of anthropology and folklore, McLendon (1971) reorganizes "narrative competence" on the grounds of narrative ability to recognize a variety of versions, including synopses, as instances of the same story, and distinguishes "narrative competence" as well. McDowell (1979) analyzes "riddling competence". A second tendency has to do with interpersonal use of language. Elinor Ochs Kennan wrote of "conversational competence" in children (1974). Hugh Mehan (1972), Garnica and King (1979) and Frederick Erickson and Jeffrey Schultz (1981) have used "interactional competence", while Borman (1979) uses structural competence". Also widely used among scholars with a social science background is "social competence" (Cicourel 1981; Edmondson 1981; Erickson and Schultz 1981 in their title). The use of "sociolinguistic competence" seems to go with linguistic background (Ervin -Tripp 1979; Troike 1970; Canale and Swain 1981). Chomsky himself has come to use "pragmatic competence" in recent years (1980), a use in keeping with the prominence of "pragmatics" among linguists with a concern for logic and formal models. A third concern has been differences among individuals and individual roles. Wishing to address differences that involve inability, Hudson (1980) uses the expression "communicative incompetence". (Cf recognition of the issue by Platt 1977, Hymes in the preceding text.) The issue was stressed early on by Troike (1970), addressing the difficulty of assessing receptive, as against productive, competence, and its relation to teaching students of diverse backgrounds. Saville-Troike (1982) takes up the term "communicative incompetence" with regard to cases in which it is appropriate or advantageous to appear not fully competent (Hymes 1974). Such terms are not necessarily part of an attempt to map out a general model of kinds of competence. Often enough, as with Chomsky, the main point is to name a sphere recognized as necessary alongside the original linguistic or grammatical competence. I will take up the relation between such two broad spheres below, together with some proposals for general models. Here let me note that the principle of a variety of kinds of competence has for some time been enunciated by the well known psychologist, Carroll (1979, 1968) stating that one should "develop a much more elaborate theory of competences and performances than is available in contemporary linguistics and psycholinguistics if one is to deal adequately with linguistic abilities". Chomsky also wishes to assume diversity in fundamental capacities and mental structures (1980). 17
16 Let me also register my belief that the term "communicative competence" will indeed prove necessary as a comprehensive term. Halliday has questioned this (1973). To him the term deals with cultural differences in the role of language at the level of functions, or use, but not at what he sees as the more fundamental level of semantics or of the social construction of reality. He sees "communicative competence" and "uses of language" as both temporary heuristic notions, pointing the way to more general notions, "Êuses of language' to function in the sense of the underlying functional organization of the semantic system, 'communicative competenceê to the meaning potential that is inherent in the social system as interpreted by the members of this or that subculture". In point of fact, my preceding text includes "meanings" as well as "means of speech"(lv), and incorporates "attitudes, values and beliefs" as part of its general model (VI). If I understand Halliday correctly, his conception of "meaning potential" would correspond to my "systemic potential" in regard to the communicatable possibilities of a community or way of life. To be sure, the notion of communicative competence recognizes the distinction between what might be said and what there are ways to say. (Recall the discussion of White Thunder.) Halliday's notion, as expressed here, seems to recognize limitation In the relation between the meaning potential inherent in a social system and actual expression. Within what is sayable in a subculture or community with means available, "systemic potential" would still be but one component among others in an account of the abilities present. The notion seems to overlook the fact that any actual language's semantic system stands in the relation of "metalanguage" to the way of life of which it is part. Even assuming a benign and equitable social system, its articulation of the way of life is selective always. A fundamental question for the understanding of language is the nature of that selective relationship. The emancipatory approach of Habermas to communicative competence focusses precisely on possibilities of communication that are distorted or suppressed in a social system. Politics and oppression are involved, but also the shaping of a distinctive style and satisfactions, as well as exigency or the lack of it in what there is needed to report and articulate with others. In sum, "communicative competence" seems not a temporary pointer, but a needed specification. Between what might be meant and there is means to say, between reservoir of means and ability to call upon them (in a given situation, by a given person), there is a dialectic that never ends. The term and notion "communicative competence" seem necessary for several general reasons. First, the competence of a person in a language is partly and variably a function of other languages he or she may know and use. Moreover, the scope of a language itself is partly and variably a function of its niche among other modes of communication, and may be larger or smaller relative to these, depending on practices with regard to exuberance or reserve in verbal image, discursive or memetic instruction, sensory satisfaction in sound or other senses, etc. It is common in the world to see the scope and corresponding content of a language restricted by the spread of another (Hill and Hill 1979) or expanded under certain circumstances (Hymes 1971d). Second, when we think of persons as able to participate in social life as users of language, we actually need to consider their ability to integrate use of language with other modalities of communication, such as gesture, facial expression, sniffs and snorts, etc. Analysis of politeness implicates such aspects of deference and demeanor. 18
17 Basic meanings such as affirmation and negation must be specified in terms of movements of the head, and of the hand, as concomitants or alternatives to words. In sum, what one knows and what one does in regard to language involves its place in the larger sphere of communicative knowledge and ability. The term "communication" has, to be sure, had connotations of the purely instrumental and external. It may suggest to some that it addresses only what occurs in communication to others. Even if that were so, the work of ethnomethodologists especially has made clear that what occurs in communication implicates what participants bring to communication and have available for accomplishing and interpreting it (Kjolseth 1972, Mehan 1972). The adjective, "communicative", should be taken as comprehending competences in and for communication. "Communicative" is a global term, encompassing indeed reflection and dialogue with oneself. As I handwrite these lines as an addition to a typed page, I am interacting with myself over different points in time, past present and future in the course of a common communicative practice. The limited connotation of "communication" must underlie Chomsky's briefly argued conclusion (1980), reacting apparently to grammatical perspectives such as those of Dik (1980), Givon (1979), and Van Valin and Foley (1980): "It seems that either we must deprive the notion "communication of all significance, or else we must reject the view that the purpose of language is communication. While it is quite commonly argued that the purpose of language is communication and that it is pointless to study language apart from its communicative function, there is no formulation of this belief, to my knowledge, from which any substantial proposals follow... The functions of language are various. It is unclear what might be meant by the statement that some of them are b"central" or "essential". Let us pass by as unworthy the dismissal of serious work as lacking "substantial proposals". In this passage Chomsky appears to refute the relevance of "communication" by saying that, if it is not everything, then it is nothing. Similar arguments could be constructed to refute the relevance of "knowledge" or "ability" to the study of language. One could argue that (a) abilities, or kinds of knowledge, involved in language are various, and (b) either we must broaden the concept of "ability", or of "knowledge", to the point that it loses all significance, or else we must reject the view that "ability" or "knowledge" is central to language. In any case, "communication" is not a purpose of language, but an attribute. Any use of language involves the attribute of communication. What the uses of language are in specific groups, what purposes people have for language, is precisely a question that the perspective of communicative competence is intended to help answer. The fundamental justification for introduction of the notion of "communication" into models of grammar, I take it, is to ensure a scope to grammar that is adequate to encompass the full range of devices and relations people employ in whatever they do with language. The grammarian's attention may be on devices and relations (Dik 1980), not the purposes, and I myself would wish for more attention to the purposes, to the specific relations between means and ends. But the role of "communication" is these contexts, as here. is the same: to ensure scope. The specification of kinds of end, ability, and knowledge occurs within that scope. 19
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