3 Roles of Language in Culture

3 Roles of Language in Culture is discussed in this article ad we hope you find it informative and able to satisfy your research needs.

3 Roles of Language in Culture

3 Roles of Language in Culture
Roles of Language in Culture – Photo Source: https://www.arts.unsw.edu.au

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The ideas, customs, and social behavior of a particular group of people are what is referred to as culture. Although some cultures share some of these elements every culture is essentially unique in some aspects and this becomes the distinguishing mark that sets them aside. In Nigeria, there are many cultural groups because of the multi-ethnicity of her populace.

Although there are three major ethnic groups, there are over 500 languages and just about a thousand dialects in Nigeria.

Language and culture are interwoven and we cannot completely understand the culture of any group in the society if we do not pay attention to the language they speak. Language makes us place people in groups.

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The accent, gestures, and what is so often called mother tongue leave a hint or become a pointer to where the person comes from and influences how we deal with them. In this article, the relationship between language and culture will be highlighted in the paragraphs that follow:

1. Language is the communication medium across cultures

How are folklores, tales, family histories, myths, and superstitions passed across from generation to generation in societies? Language is what is used to do this.

The Yoruba and Igbos have a very rich culture which they pass across through indigenous oratory enriched with proverbs and wisecracks.

Read Also: The Relationship Between Language and Communication

2. Language is the socialization tool used by various cultures

Socialization has to do with the measures used to inculcate the norms, beliefs, and values of people into the younger ones or immigrants.

Language is used in every culture to teach the younger ones the acceptable way of behaving in society. No parent wants to have a child who will be the black sheep of society.

This is because deviants and their relatives are prone to stigmatization. Since everyone wants to be accepted and avoid the leper treatment, they try to groom their wards to conform.

3. Language promotes cohesiveness in homogenous groups

People who speak the same language become easily united. Language is a strong cord that not only binds people together but as well is pivotal to unity.

This is because language is used to settle disputes and conflicts among people. The instrument of social order is also passed across through language. It is easy for two people to assume they have fraternal ties just because they speak the same language.

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In conclusion, language has been a powerful tool for integration and also for division. This is seen in the Bible story popularly known as the Tower of Babel.

Language can be used as a weapon for positive change and also as a negative weapon as is seen in the widespread ethnicity that leads to favoritism of some groups at the expense of another.

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