Is language not a cultural object?

Bruno   Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:59 am GMT
I don't think we can just pretend that language IS cultral essential aspect or pretend it IS NOT one.

I belive it depends on point of view, and the particular aspect of every society or group. (My personal and very biased point if view is that language is essential to a culture, since I belive languages must be preserved, but I'll try to be as neutral as possible :P)

As example I would agree it is possible to keep an important part of your culture in another contry in a different language. (Notion of family formation, relationship with religion... can live without traditionnal language in a similar way.)

Nevertheless, I also recall particularities of languages that reflects an important aspect of a culture that will fade of dissapear in another environment if the language is not preserved and used. I heard German languages have alot of words to describe sents?

Also the Inuits have an astonishingly complex vocabulary to describe snow on very specific aspects, considering there language particularities. (See for a short explanation.)

Also the Innu (not to confuse with Inuk (Inuit)) people have particular ways to describe the world around them, the spirits in nature, the hunting...
For example, ''akanakanu'', one word, means something like ''to block the passage of an animal''. Also, they have different ways to name seasons considering the climate they live in and there nomad past life. (These names and perceptions are very vulnerable to outside pressures.)

Outside of there culture, adding the use of another language, they will forget that perception of the world and so there children won't have it...

Still they won't stop bein Innu just because they don't speak Innu-aimun (meaning human-language). But I think it's part of there identity for reasons I mentionned previously.

I tried to express my thoughts, I don't pretend to hold truth, just sharing my point of view on the cultural aspect of language.

**(I took my information on Innu language from a book called «Eukun Eshi Aiamiast Ninan Ute Ulamen-Shipit» ( This is the way we talk at Ulamen-Shipit (An Innu village in Québec also called ''La Romaine''.))**
Guest   Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:06 pm GMT
<<I heard German languages have alot of words to describe sents?>>

What are sents? Do you mean scents?
Herbist   Mon Oct 22, 2007 1:40 pm GMT
<<Also the Inuits have an astonishingly complex vocabulary to describe snow on very specific aspects, considering there language particularities.>>
The parallel processes of linguistic and cultural assimilation of immigrants and their impact on the language and culture of the new society is certainly one of the most interesting and unexplored subjects. Linguistic assimilation seems to be a fast and complete process in a first view, but since persistent cultural relicts have probably a certain impact on the language, this is not so sure. Perhaps Inuits immigrating into Canada introduce new words or new formulations into English.
Guest   Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:11 am GMT
Guest   Tue Oct 23, 2007 9:24 am GMT
Herbist   Tue Oct 23, 2007 12:01 pm GMT
<<I doubt it. The number of Inuit is tiny compared to the population of Canada, and I've never heard of any immigration of Inuit here. >>

In the 19th century, there was a huge immigration of Germans into the US (25% of US-citizens claim to have German ancestors) - what traces did they left in American English?
Guest   Sun Oct 28, 2007 7:12 pm GMT
Read what the Luganda society tells about language and culture: