“How Status Can Be Represented And Communicated Through Language”
Language and culture are two factors that can’t be separated. “Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society”(O’Neil 2006). "We can define language as a system of communication using sounds or symbols that enables us to express our feelings, thoughts, ideas, and experiences” (Goldstein: 2008). I believe that language plays an important role in culture and without culture, language would not have existed. The same case goes for language too. Culture wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for language. For instance, language is important for the passing of traditional stories, dances, hymns, and customs down to future generations, and without language these things wouldn’t have existed today. The two must interact! In this paper, I will attempt to point out how language can communicate and determine a status of a particular person through the use of certain vocabularies, and the location of seating at a social setting.
The Pohnpeian or Ponapean language is a Micronesian language that is a member of the world’s largest language families. This language family is called the Austronesian family; formerly called Malayo-Polynesian It is mostly spoken on the main island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. However, there are varieties of speeches spoken on the atolls of Pohnpei. On the atolls of Ngatik, Mokil, and Pingelap, respectively called Ngatikise, Mokilese, and Pingelapese, most of their speeches are similar to the Ponapean language; identifying them as Ponapean (Rehg 1981:5-7). The use of honorifics in the Ponapean language is what makes our culture so unique compared to the other Micronesia languages.
The Ponapean language has two forms or levels of speech, a “high language” and a “low language.” The “high language,” better known as “maing” is used especially among the high...