Cultural Function of Language

Topics: Linguistic relativity, Anthropology, Linguistics Pages: 3 (807 words) Published: May 2, 2013
Culture Function of Language

Aynur Huseynaliyeva
Qafqaz universiteti
People from different cultures have different world views that are reflected in their language.  Culture is said to be the beliefs and values that are used to manage people's life in a particular society and people use the language in the society to express the different views in the community. So person’s view depends on the culture. A person expresses his view, mind using the language that has been developed by his culture. According to Sapir, culture is a set of beliefs and practices which govern the life of a society for which a particular language is the vehicle of expression (quoted in Damen 1964; p.61). That’s why our views are dependent on our culture that influences to our mind and way of thinking, as well as we express our thoughts using the language which is formed by that culture. Understanding of culture is possible by means of language. Emmitt and Pollock (1997) argued that even though people are brought up under similar behavioral backgrounds or cultural situations but however speak different languages, their world view may be very different. According to Sapir-Whorf, different thoughts are brought about by the use of different forms of languages. One language doesn’t give enough possibilities to speaker to express his/her ideas properly the other language is open for speaker to find plenty of ways of describing thoughts. It basically depends on the culture rules and culture restrictions. Therefore people who share a culture but speak different languages will have quite unlike world views. However language is shaped in culture and culture is reflected and passed on by language from one generation to the other. (Emmitt and Pollock 1997) The power of language to reflect culture and influence thinking was first proposed by an American linguist and anthropologist, Edward Sapir (1884–1939), and his student, Benjamin Whorf...
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