BEHAVIOUR, LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION IN OUR MODERN SOCIETY
It is pertinent to note that language cannot be excluded in the study of human nature and there is no doubt that all normal human beings acquires it in one way or the other. It is clear that without decodable language, communication (the desired message to be passed from a speaker to his listener) will be hindered, which in turn will result to lack of mutual intelligibility. This is regarded in the sense that the main cordial objective of communication is intelligibility that is the understanding of a language whether in spoken or written form.
In the light of the above, this research work on the behaviour, language and communication in modern society is centered on man as well as his communicative efficiencies in the society.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In human existence across the globe, communication is a means by which human(s) interact to make life meaningful, objective and valuable. In support of this, Bird Whistell (1968 p.24) wrote
“Communication has been studied as a process identified by the passage of information through the transmission of more or less meaningful symbols from one individual to another, from one group or representative of a group to another group or representative”.
Therefore, communication which may be seen as a life wire of human race cannot be effective without the function tool which is language. Thus, the ideal model for effective human, communication is clearly based on language. Hence, the language of communication in our society as a people may create a barrier to the flow of information among people or better still in the society.
Therefore, for communication to be effective there should be mutual intelligibility, which is very important as the understanding of the language by implication is the only matter which enables communication to be effective among individuals and among nations.
In many nations of the world, the idea of one acceptable language as a medium of communication has been very difficult to come by. This however, is expressed in Bamgbose (1986 p.60) thus!
“The idea of a nation as a linguistically homogenous entity is no longer typical of most new nations of the world. This is particularly true of the new nations of Africa, which are generally characterized by a multiplicity of languages. Nigeria is an example per excellence of new nation with numerous languages perhaps almost 500 of them”.
The multiplicity of language as in the case of Nigeria creates a situation where tribal or ethnic languages becomes weak and only adopted as the medium of communication in the geographical origin of the tribe.
Bamgbose (1981) therefore noted that these ethnic languages in Nigeria only guarantee a closed systems of communication, that is its signals are finite, small in quantity, it utterances do not vary, rather they are only serving the scope of the tribe were such languages is being spoken and therefore cannot be used as a means of expanded system of communication. This practice therefore shows limitations of our languages in expanded systems of communication (in other word “openness” opened system of communication) which refers to the fact that the communication system is capable of producing novel utterances to describe new situations, combining symbols in an infinite variety of ways for an infinite variety of meanings.
Supporting the above idea Ohiri (1986 p.42) stated!
“It is quite impossible for a Nigerian leader to engage in expanded communication addressing the whole of Nigerians at a time using any of our major three languages”.
This situation, according to Ohiri, promoted the introduction, adaptation and use of English language as Nigeria’s lingua Franca. This therefore, shows the limitations of our local languages in expanded communication systems, and the justification for the adoption of English language as the country’s national and official language.
Towards this end, the desire to indicate the importance and functional potentials of behaviour in language and communication prompted this study.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
One of the motivative factors that aids the research carried out on this topic is communication, which is an essential ingredient in the daily affairs of man, with the aid of language as well as the right dose of behaviour promotes language of communication. In this view, this work intends to tackle detrimental effects of bad behaviour in the continuous use of language as a medium of communication in our modern society as people tends to neglect the actions and motions they put in place during communication. This in turn will help highlight the importance of behaviorism in the promotion of language of communication.
Another motivative factor of this research work is centred on our local languages, which have many detrimental features due to its neglection as, a means, of communication in this modern communication system-except in the geographical areas in which it originated and there by limiting its usage in our society (Nigeria) in several national functions.
1.3 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
The purpose of the study is centered on the facts that: Sound and healthy communication are desirable for both interpersonal and international relationship in the globe. In so doing this work seek to educate us that in the system of communication, language is the basic ingredient, hence the place and relevance of language in human existence.
Language is part of our culture, which requires great improvement in terms of behaviour which also gives, way for effective communication; hence the need for developed behaviour in language of communicates is what this work seeks to orient us about.
- 4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study seek to tell or point out the important aspect of our existence as a people and the key elements that facilitates that, in so doing pointing out the lapses of this elements that calls for our immediate attention to change. These key elements includes: behaviour, language and communication.
A good behaviour in the use of language aids effective communication. The progress of Nigeria as an entity with multiplicity of language is greatly determined by this. It is also important for us to accept the deficiencies in all our local behaviors to language and as much try and seek for what it takes for it to be built into a modern language of communication for expansion purposes.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions guided this study:
(1) In what way and manner does communication directly relates to the effective use of language as well as language behaviour?
(2) To what extent does behaviorism of communication whether open or close have effect on primitive or tribal language?
(3) In the sense of expanded behaviorism of communication in our society, to what extent is it realizable or not when a modern language is used?
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This research work seeks to cover all the spheres of language and communication in line with its social functions as well as the different behavioral actions for communication.
It would also cover the needs for the use of modern language as a medium of expanding communication in a multi-ethnic nation like Nigeria.
Furthermore it will also explain the problems national leaders and functionaries have created as well as encountering in the bid of appointing or using a foreign (modern) language (English language) to run the affairs of our society to the detriment of our local languages. Based on this, this study cover only our modern society.