The Social Existence of Language

Benjamin Harshav

in Language in Time of Revolution

Published by University of California Press

Published in print August 1993 | ISBN: 9780520079588
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520912960 | DOI:
The Social Existence of Language

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The base language serves also as a common ground for all the social, ethnic, and immigrant groups composing a nation. Such groups, too, may form their own “secondary languages,” or fragments of such, but those are deviations from and anchored in the common base language. This was, eventually, an extremely important factor in the revival of one Israeli nation from tribes arriving after two thousand years of separation, who attached their particular “accents” or idiolects to the common base. The base language may also accommodate foreign languages, embedded in it to various degrees, for example, in pop music, science teaching, computer software, or technical manuals—a common feature of the cultures of small nations in this “age of America.” Thus the base language is the “lifeblood” of the entire ramified network of social and cultural systems that constitute a living nation.

Keywords: base; language; Israeli; tribes; accents; cultures; America; systems

Chapter.  1964 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural Anthropology

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