Argumentative Essay - Language and Identity

Topics: Language, Dialect, Linguistics Pages: 3 (1017 words) Published: February 13, 2013
English Composition

Language and Identity

Who am I? What is it that defines that personality? Anzaldua argues in her essay that the language is what defines one’s identity. Language is indeed an important component of culture, and culture is known to be a crucial definer of identity. People use language to connect to their identities and communicating their realities and values to themselves and to the world around them… In other words, language is important because people use it to express their thoughts and beliefs. “People evolve a language in order to describe and thus control their circumstances” (Baldwin 109). Consequently, language does not necessarily define identity as much as identity defines language. People decide on what language to use in order to communicate with their communities according to their identities. One’s identity defines and regulates the use of language and not the contrary.

People speak different languages; this difference is used to identify and distinguish between different people, different ethnicities and races. The human need to belong to a group makes them abide to a specific language and dialect that represents their specific community and differentiate it from the rest. Language is what connects people to their communities; they are directly connected to people who speak the same language as them. Anzaldua argues that “Ethnic identity is twin skin to linguistic, I am my language” (Anzaldua 136), which strongly supports the fact that language is used to ensure that people belong to group. Talking the same language and using the same expressions defines to which group people belong to, it also evaluates the truthfulness of the affiliation. “Until I can take pride in my language, I cannot take pride in myself”, which basically states that language shapes one’s identity. This statement however, does not apply to all situations and communities and is certainly not constant. There are people who cannot identify to a...
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