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How Does Mother Influence Her Child In Language

Compiled by :

Okky Wicaksono

09 / 282652 / SA / 14854

English Department




In this assignment, I decided to choose this topic to be discussed. I have a special interest with the children language acquisition since I find it has very strong sense of psycholonguistics. The objectives of this report are to discuss about the topic and it’s application to the real family with real example. Also hopefully, this essay can be helpful as a reference for the other researchers in the certain field of social sciences. The writer used a direct observation to the family object for the related language datas and used an interview for the family personal datas. In the observed family, they used more than just one form of language to communicate. Those languages are depend on the family history and background.
Basically language is a way to communicate. “Bahasa itu adalah alat interaksi sosial, dalam arti alat untuk menyampaikan pikiran, gagasan, konsep, atau juga perasaan”. “ Language is a social interaction instrument, which means a tool for deliver thought, idea, concept, and also emotion”. (Chaer, 2003: 9). Kinneavy says that language has five main functions : expression, information, exploration, persuasion and entertainment. (Michel, 1967: 51).

“Ada pendapat bahwa bayi sejak lahir sampai usia sekitar satu tahun dianggap belum punya bahasa atau belum berbahasa”. “There is an opinion states that the baby since they were born until about a year old doesn’t have language or not speakable yet”. (Poerwo, 1989 in Chaer, 2003: 225). According to the pure empirical or extreme point of view, language is a function of reinforcement which means that the parents teach their kids to speak with reinforcement given towards verbal behaviour. (Mar’at, 2005: 72).

With their parent’s most affection and progressive process, the baby or children start to imitate the sound that made by their parent, especially mother. During this process, the child gets the input factor for their own language acquisition development. This input factor or usually called ‘child directed speech’ is the language that used by the mother to communicate with their children. It has characteristics such as short sentence, there is no compund sentence, high tone of voice, too much intonation, slowly speech, much redundancy and use greetings. (Moskowitz, 1981; Pine, 1994: 15; Barton and Tomasello, 1994: 109). This child directed speech, leading to the Berko Gleason research in 1975, found that generally the father just use short conversation, mostly directive and imperative sentences, that’s why the role of mother’s language influence is more significant on her children.

The basic reason I took this topic for this project is because I think it is very important to know the main causes and influences in the children language development. I’m interested in this psycholinguistics field of study since I realized that nearly every child is somehow being more connected to his mother than to his father emotionally and psychologically. And the third reason is that accidentally I interviewed a family which the boy has lost the role of a father in the family.

The prime objections of this report is I want to show several theories about child directed speech and I present the result of the field observation about this particular topic. As further discussion I would like to help the other psychology, linguistics and antrhopology researchers with this report as knowledge references of their own projects.
Project Methodology
In this certain essay, the two methods that I used for the project are observing and interviewing. I did a direct field observation to a family of my boarding house owner. In order to find out and observe the daily language that being used among the family as the assignment direction, I have been observing indirectly to this family for about two days. I just did the common things I did around my “kost” and look at their daily language and gestures without they noticed about it. Of course I did use my naked eye to observe and sometime I used note to write down the things and remind me what the next to do lists.

After two days indirectly observing the olders and the kid use the certain languages to communicate then I did an interview with the parent and just a short direct conversation with the kid. Definitely I wrote down the datas which I asked them in the note in this case. After I explained to them about this assignment, I started to interview them about their life, members of the family, social and education background, age, language that usually used and the reason surely. From the datas, I processed them to be a story with descriptive method.

Body of the Essay
It is a small and great family consists of three members who live at Jalan Kaliurang KM 5 Tawangsari F6 and I live at their boarding house. Her name is Wempy, she is a widow and a mother of one son. They two live with Heru Setyawan, he is Wempy’s older brother. The three of them was born in Malang, East Java. Wempy’s parents (alm.) was came from Malang, so as their children and grandchildren. But her parents bought a house in Jogjakarta for their old age. The situation changed after Wempy’s divorce, they all moved to Jogjakarta and has been living here for almost 8 years.. So all of them are Javanese, include Wempy’s ex husband.

Wempy married too young and Heru is not marry yet. After divorced with one son, Wempy went to college, she took Bachelor of Public Administration at Universitas Pembangunan Nasional “Veteran” Yogyakarta as her undergraduate program. While Heru had took Economic at Universitas Merdeka Malang. Wempy’s son, his name is Hanarangga, a 10 years old boy, he is a smart student at fourth grade of Sekolah Dasar Negeri Caturtunggal 3, Yogyakarta. Then we can say that all of the members are well educated.

After their parents had passed away and with their parents legacy (house and small sum of money) then Wempy is the one who takes control over the family financial. She renovated the house to be a huge boarding house with the money left by their parents. Now, she is an enterpreneur and businesswoman. She make an aerobic instructor as her part time job while she owns the boarding house with small shop and laundromat in front of her house. Heru is the one who takes the responsibility to keep his eyes on the business. So, I think this family is well economically.

In their past when they still in Malang, almost everyday they used “Boso Jowo Ngoko” to communicate among the families and relatives. This is because, almost all of the Malang people used to talk and speak in “Jowo Ngoko” as their language to interact with the others. Other reason is that their parents (alm.) had never taught or even spoke to them with “Jowo Alus”. Conditionally they used Bahasa Indonesia just for certain situation such as at school, special event, visiting someone, etc. They did that for politeness reason, since they did’t used to speak with polite language other than Bahasa Indonesia.

In Jogja and after Rangga was born exactly, Heru and Wempy are still using “Jowo Ngoko” for their instrument to communicate to others also toward their friends, neighbours and their employees. They just use Bahasa Indonesia to communicate with Rangga, visitors, students who live with them and job clients. They keep using these languages for the habitual reason, simplicity, politeness and easier to use.

The ten years old Rangga, who is missing a figure of a father stated that he usually communicate with his mother and uncle with Bahasa Indonesia, because her mother innate it since he was a baby. Her mother influence to Rangga is very strong in almost all of the aspects. At school, he also uses Bahasa Indonesia with his friends. Wempy said that it is important to teach his kid to be used to speak Bahasa Indonesia rather than “Jowo Ngoko” which is impolite. Rangga said that he understands when someone talk to him with “Jowo Ngoko” but he will reply it with Bahasa Indonesia automatically. So we can see that in this family the child directed speech is very applicated on Rangga.

It is happened because his mother is completely take care of him. According to the Wempy’s answer, when she was pregnant until Rangga was born and he became a toddler, Wempy used to talk with him in Bahasa Indonesia, either his grandparents and his uncle. And since Rangga has reaches 10 years old when I observed his family, so his morphological ability is almost perfect.

During my observation, I also found several things that are really interesting among this family. Wempy and his son used some body languages and gestures as their own non verbal communication. For example : when Wempy asked whether Rangga had took his vitamine pill after lunch or not, Rangga just nodded as he said yes, when Wempy has Rangga (who was focused on his cartoon program on television) to help her serve the lunch food to the table, he just shook his head and had grim face which means disagreeing. The other interesting things are Rangga used to said “Assalamu’alaikum” to say greeting or say good bye to someone. It has been his habitual since he was a kindergarten student.

In this particular family, we can say that there is a significant role of the child directed speech and it mostly influences in Rangga’s language acquisition. It is because Wempy as her mother raises Rangga by herself since he was a baby until now. Wempy is the one who is strongly physically connected and she does interact with him almost everytime since he has no father. That’s why Rangga is speaking Bahasa Indonesia fluently rather than other languages because her mother’s influence.We can conclude that,commonly especially in Jogja, in one family there will be more than one languages which is used to communicate, whether it is conventional languages, family languages, non verbal languages depends on their social background condition.

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