Language Ideologies

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Language and Perceptions and Ideologies Language is the basis by which we communicate with others and ultimately make meaning of the world we live in. It is a combination of indicators, grammatical categories and symbolic meanings we subjectively assign to what we experience and think, and thus it is a critical element in attaining new knowledge. Regardless of the society, knowledge of language is closely related to our knowledge of the world. Thus, language shapes our worldviews and perspectives. The idea that language influences our worldview is referred to as the "linguistic relativity hypothesis" or "linguistic relativism" (Mignolo, 2000). Linguistic relativism shapes our social world and interactions with others. Anthropologists, for example, argue that languages transmit culture and important social values and rules. Mignolo suggests that the history of a people and the history of their language are closely intertwined (2000). If we accept this thinking, then we can view communication and linguistic relativism as social constructs. This means that languages contain rules and implications that present both constraints and opportunities. For one thing, language is often thought of with a sort of "pretense of universality" (Mignolo, 2000). Scholars suggest that English is often viewed as being dominant among the world's languages, or the "standard." Truthfully, English is just like any other language it is merely a product of specific historical, cultural, and
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