Language is phenomenal. People from all the walks of life communicate through the use of different languages or gestures. We can all say that language is the most efficient and enjoyable means of communication. We express our emotions by the use of language. The fascinating thing about language is based on how it evolves and the use of similar words having different meanings to different people. Besides, language is a social identity that defines us, our origin or even one’s social status (Stout 46).
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My visit to Africa in particular Kenya made me appreciate Language. Slum dwellers in the capital city of Kenya, use the word tenje to mean a radio. Similarly, the rural inhabitants living in the western part of the country, use the same word to mean the same thing. On a contrary, those living in the estate in the suburbs of the capital city use the word tenje to mean a mobile phone. Clearly, the word is a tool that can be used to differentiate the social status or identity of a person, more than the interaction of different people (Stout 56).
Another fascinating topic about language is how it has evolved and changed with time. Through the interaction of people of various origin, the result is always a usage of a common language (Claudine 48). The resulting language may be a composition of different languages or dominated by a few. Some languages even become extinct in the process. Take for instance the Blackfoot language of the native Americans, the language that created cohesion and understanding among its users and that has become nothing. The language has also changed significantly where the old and the new generations use the language differently (Stout 46).
Restriction of individual languages in certain institutions is of great interest to any linguistic student. It may create equality at the same time causing more significant damage to one’s language. As said earlier, language establishes a sense of identity. Hampering one from using his or her native language robs a sense of belonging or identity (Claudine 78). A language may become defunct as a result of this. Back in the ancient time in America, schools and police force were restricted from using the Blackfoot language. Today, the repercussions are quite evident. Restoring the past state of the language will not only be difficult but costly to the government.
One thing that I don’t comprehend about language is the reason why it changes and the period it takes to change. I keep contemplating the answers to these two questions. Personally, I have been using the same native language I used at a tender age. It may be impossible for me to realize the changes that have occurred probably due to my ignorance. Could there be any mystery behind the change or extinction of a certain language? (Stout 44) The questions could be answered through comprehensive research by the students in conjunction with linguistic professional. Further reading would supplement the research (Claudine 92).
In conclusion, the topics covered are nothing less than a lifetime knowledge. The topics have made me embrace and appreciate language mainly my mother tongue. Language gives a person a sense of identity. It shows who I am even in a foreign land. I have learnt to appreciate the native speakers rather than viewing them as old fashioned. I yearn to find out more in the future.
Stout, Mary. Blackfoot. Milwaukee, WI: Gareth Stevens Pub., 2005.
Chamoreau, Claudine. Dynamics of Contact-induced Language Change. Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2012.