Daniel Halliday
Dec 29 ยท Last update 7 days ago.
Is linguistic imperialism a threat to indigenous languages?
Linguistic imperialism is that argument that a language can be used to culturally dominate another culture. A pattern of linguistic imperialism can be demonstrated to coincide with historical militaristic colonialism but also more recently with the economic dominance of English language speaking countries. Is linguistic imperialism complimenting economic imperialism? If so what effect will this have on indigenous languages? en.iyil2019.org
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No, language is too fluid
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Yes, but this will not eliminate indigenous languages
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Threatens languages, and damages culture...
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No, language is too fluid

If reality were this simplistic Creole languages would not have come into existence, colonial languages would have all caused the indigenous languages to have already died out considering many colonies have lasted for hundreds of years. The real picture is much more complex, language could be used as a tool to oppress indigenous cultures but it is unlikely that processes like this are inherent to the language itself and more of a result of an intention to oppress. Language changes in isolation, something that will become increasingly rare as we move deeper into the information age, technology has opened up communication and new cultures to each other across the world it is more likely to lead to language cross pollination. Likewise technology also supplies the tools to record, archive and translate all languages so that no languages are threatened.

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Yes, but this will not eliminate indigenous languages

While the effects of colonialism are still very much being felt in many decolonised regions of the world, the linguistic effects of this are not so clear, with indigenous languages still being spoken at home, these languages are not as risk of dying off. However evidence has shown us that the effect linguistic imperialism will have on the indigenous culture is to stifle education, as education has been found to be most effectively delivered in the student's native language. Furthermore, with education at the forefront of colonial cultural control tools, schemes involving the introduction of Creoles and other non-colonial languages in education seem to have a positive effect both on the education and identity of new generations of former colonial countries.

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Threatens languages, and damages culture...

The use of language to help repress and dominate former colonies of imperial nations is well documented, with examples of former colonised nations not being drastically changed culturally by colonialism remaining fairly few and far between. Language has become an imperialistic tool, following the shift from from traditional colonialism to soft power colonialism, combining economic and cultural domination to perpetuate imperial dynamics without having to deal with the political fallout. The effect of this cultural imperialism linguistically is the inevitable loss of language diversity as linguistic homogenisation poses a real threat to indigenous languages and culture.

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