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Linguistic Stereotypes Essay

1128 words - 5 pages

Linguistic Stereotypes

Language is a method in which individuals communicate in order to get their opinion across to the listening party. Language is the tool which ideas can be conveyed in various ways. Typically, language is referred to verbal communication, however, it ranges to all methods of communication i.e. sign language.

Linguistic stereotypes are an existent form of discrimination. Since, languages are criticized and mocked due to the connection between language and cultural character. Thus, language is significantly related to the identity of the speakers. In addition, languages are vulnerable to criticism due to differences in cultural behavior.

Firstly, according to ‘dictionary.com’ identity is defined as the variety of characteristics by which an individual is recognizable as a member of a group. Or in simpler terms the individuality of a person which makes him part of a society or creates a cultural connection or resemblance. These characteristics can be religion, culture and any other form of behavior that shows a sign of distinction. A personal interpretation is, the link established between an individual and a group which have unique characteristics.

Language has a personality and a mood, created by the behavior of the speakers and their cultural identity. Moreover, this includes the tools speaker use to communicate through i.e. sign language. Languages can be described by human emotions and feelings; therefore, language is personified and dynamic. Historical events have lead to changes in languages in caused flexibility and dynamicity of language. Globalization and colonization also had an effect in word borrowing, and many languages have been altered due to this. Languages are also interpreted in relation to politics, and association is created between language and history. A referring example would be relating German language to the World Wars and Hitler, and stereotyping speakers as being arrogant and rigid as Nazis.

Verbal languages vary in pronunciations. Since, Languages are described as being smooth and light, while on the other hand, languages known to being rough and abrupt. The manner in which speakers pronounce and communicate using words, phrases and hand gesture also has a way in building the personality of the language. Furthermore, whilst a speaker pronounces words and letters that are in the non-speaker opinion rigid and tough, an image of a solid language is created in the observing non-speaker mind. Personally, listening to Hindi dialects, I myself seem to find it challenging to pronounce specific words, and an image of complexity forms in my mind. During dialect comparison, we realize that pronunciation is vulnerable to criticism and satire. Comedians during criticizing a specific group usually imitate the dialect to refer to their identity. Thus when they criticize the language they mean it to the group and their specialized behavior.

Linguistic discrimination is an...

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