culture and language

Topics: Language, Linguistics, Linguistic relativity Pages: 3 (1622 words) Published: October 8, 2014
Can language be used as a political instrument? Language is a system of signs and meanings that usually shared by a community of people. There is no doubt that language is very important and necessary in the society. Language offers people the means for interaction and to depict ‘people, places and things’. (Butt and David, 1986) Edward Sapir (1884–1939),an American linguist and anthropologist, was the first one who proposed the idea that the power of language can influence culture and thinkings of people.The Sapir–Whorf hypothesis stated that the different culture conceptions and classification contained by different languages affect the acknowledges toward the whole world and lives of the language users. In the other words, it means that the users of different languages will have different ways of thinking and produce different modes of behaviors just because of the differences in language.(Penn, 1972) As time going by, there is no doubt that language has effects on shaping the way we see and experience the world and in influencing our subsequent behaviors (Hasan, 1996). Politics is a very complex conception and it is hard to define it . In this essay, politics usually refers to the actions of dominating countries by the governments or parties.In the process of human development, languages are always seen as political ties and tools which play very important roles in the formation of nations and social governance. In the following essay, I will talk about the reasons why language is a political instrument and what should be paid attention to when talking about the relationships between language and politics. When it comes to the reasons why language is regarded as a political instrument or a political tool, there are many aspects needed to be considered. First of all, languages are ofter seen as a way to distinguish individuals as groups. For example, people in China all speak Mandarin as their common language. However, as known to us,...
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