عنوان مقاله [English]
نویسندگان [English]چکیده [English]
Introduction and statement of the problem: New technologies and the social networks have provided an increasingly facilitated communication among a fast-growing number of people across borders (Crystal, 2004; Ishii, 2011). Some experts believe that, as an inevitable consequence, they have brought about, and continue to do so, some cultural, sociological and political changes (e.g., Jiang, 2000). Meanwhile, language is one of the main affected areas as a result of such a vast use of social networks. Local and native languages are affected by English language dominating social media in an apparently alarming rate, requiring close observation and possible intervention policies. Persian Language is not an exception, yet it is a more susceptible one due to an enormous number of citizens using and joining the social media applications. This study is an attempt to examine the phenomenon in the case of words for which there already exists a native equivalent and probably suggest a solution to safeguard Persian language.
Theoretical background: Language change takes place as a result of so many factors. Lexical change, which is one of the dominant changes in language change in general (Trask, 1998), often appears as a result of borrowing and adding new lexical items to the existing lexicon. Borrowing mainly happens due to scientific, social and political reasons. The brand new lexical items mostly appear as a result of scientific developments, while, the words for which a native equivalent already exists, predominantly find a way in the native language for social and political reasons. The social reason refers to the feeling of placing oneself in a higher social status on the part of people using the borrowed words (Lev-Ari & Peperkamp, 2014). According to Khumalo (2004), in language contact studies, languages are presumed to come into contact with each other. In actual fact, it is always the speakers of the languages who are in contact. Their attitudes towards each other will influence the way they speak. It is, however, convenient for those who study language simply to speak about languages as though they had a life of their own. Contact between people speaking different languages can have a wide variety of outcomes. In some cases only a few words are borrowed, in others whole new languages may be formed. The results of such contact differ according to several factors, including the length and intensity of contact between the groups, the types of social, economic and political relationship between them, the functions which communication between them must serve, and the degree of similarity between the languages they speak.
Methodology: The current study aims at investigating the changes occurring in the application of frequently used vocabularies of Persian language by taking users’ age and gender into consideration. For the purpose of this study, a list of 60 most frequently used lexical items in the social media are selected and the English and the Persian equivalents are offered to the participants in the form of a 60-item questionnaire to select the preferred one. The questionnaires were distributed among 1300 Persian speakers and the frequencies were calculated for each lexical item. A total of 124 questionnaires were excluded as they were incomplete or illegible. The data were gathered from 1176 returned questionnaires. The chi-square test was employed for testing the significance of difference between using Persian and English lexical items among the age groups and across gender.
Results and discussion: The data indicated that users of social networks, including both genders, employed English words more than Persian ones. The data revealed that DOWNLOAD, EMAIL, ONLINE and AKS (عکس) were most frequently used English and Persian lexical items among the males. On the other hand, COPY and MAKHFI (مخفی) were the most frequently used items among the females. Infrequent vocabularies in English and Persian were MUTUAL FRIEND, PIC, CHAP (چاپ) RAYANAMEH ( رایانامه), and BARKHAT ( برخط), respectively. The findings suggest a change in the linguistic taste of Persian speakers, the reasons of which requires a closer analysis.
Conclusion: The results indicated that the recent growth in the use of social networks and the virtual space, among other factors, apparently resulted in more significant use of English vocabularies instead of Persian ones. Such a result turned out to keep among different age groups and across both genders. This issue calls for linguists and sociologists’ attentive attention.
Prominent result: Among a variety of reasons, the new technologies in modern world have represented and thereby promoted new culture and language. The dominance of new culture and English language over the local native culture and Persian language could lead to an increasing corruption in the native Persian language in the long run. It seems necessary to smartly intervene and make an attempt to preserve the Persian language among the native speakers. The intervention seems plausible specifically in the case of those English words for which the native Persian has approximately fully synonymous lexical items.