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The Importance of Linguistics

"A language is not just a body of vocabulary or a set of grammatical rules. A language is a flash of the human spirit. It's a vehicle through which the soul of each particular culture comes into the material world. Every language is an old-growth forest of the mind, a watershed, a thought, an ecosystem of spiritual possibilities." - Wade Davis

Language might be thought of as the DNA of culture. We are programed by our language to view the world in a certain way and remain blind to values and perspectives that we do not have words for. At a time when the spread of English as a world language is exploding it is important to recognize the effects of language imperialism. That is, one language replacing another. To many the question of what language people communicate in may seem trivial. However, language is not simply a method of communicating with another person. It is a way of thinking, a codex of history, a means not only of expression between humans, but between every facet of the natural world and the divine as well. When a language is destroyed it is equivalent of genocide.

Yet the acquisition of additional languages expands all regions of intelligence. It encourages peaceful and creative interaction. It is preserving, regenerative and empowering to both the learner and the culture of study. In addition we are better equipped to identify the values that are absent from our culture because we lack the vocabulary that establishes the idea and brings it to prominence. We realize that we are a reflection of what our language allows us to be. In this realization a responsibility is drawn to choose with care and intention, what language to propagate.

Goals for Linguistic Development:

 

  • Encourage holistic development of world languages.
  • Support of linguistic acquisition and enculturation of Foreign
  • Language citizens within a Second Language Community while
    maintaining Culture 1 Identity.
  • Recover and nourish endangered languages both locally and
    globally.

Helpful Links

Research the languages that are currently at risk of being lost to the world's ethnoshpere in very little time.

United Nations Atlas of Endangered Languages

Wade Davis

Dreams From Endangered Cultures

World Wide Web of Belief and Ritual

 

 

 

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