Language and personal identity
The term language refers to an individual’s skill and ability to communicate by word of mouth or any other form of human communication that is in the world. As much as there are many and varied cultures and races of people in the world, there are also a variance in the kinds of languages that people use. Communication is one of the crucial effects in the world. It involves the transfer of information from one individual to another. This can also take place between two or more individuals. The kinds of languages that people use vary according to the nature and the upbringing of the individual. One can be identified by the kind and extent of the language that he is exemplifying (Joseph, 2004).
There are various language varieties in the world. These varieties have been nurtured and developed with time. For one to get acquainted to a particular kind of language, he has to get involved in an environment that has the exemplification of that particular language. At some instances, language development takes the genetic characteristics of an individual. This is the reason why people are able to have their identity developed and characterized by the kind of language that they use.
Language is therefore related to an individual’s identity. This could be in various ways. In a more compared way, language refers to the manipulations that an individual explores into the aspects of tactile symbols, auditory and visual communication. On the other hand, identity refers to the expression and comprehension of an individual. This is the way a person takes him or herself in the society, and more so when dealing with various aspects of life. In other words, it refers to the way people compare themselves with others in the society. In many cases, people would like to be associated with particular people in the society. They even go as far as identifying with their language and other characteristics that are exposed by the individual (Joseph, 2004).
People can therefore manipulate their way of communicating with others. After some time, it is normally common for that individual to get used to that particular way of communication. It is at this stage of life that we can say that the individual can be identified with the kind of language that he uses. Learning involves the transfer of knowledge from one individual, may be the teacher, to another, in this case the student. As much as research shows that knowledge is acquired, it is therefore very possible for an individual to be thought a particular language. With growth and development of the individual, it is very possible that he will be ale to be identified by that particular kind of language.
Culture is one of the aspects that have the ability to influence on the kind of language that an individual will portray. They have a great ability and effort to influence on the language and the intellectual abilities of an individual. Culture translates into the kind of society that will be developed. In many cases, the kind of people that one interacts with, mainly at the tender stage of life are the ones that have more influence on the development of character of that individual.
Communication brings unity and more interaction between several members of different communities. There can therefore develop an interrelationship of language between these communities. The kind of language that people use constitutes a society. As people communicate together, they are building a sense of unity and togetherness. This is one of the aspects that have been known to contribute to the development of character and specifically language in an individual. People are therefore liable to particular changes in the society due to their regular interaction with others in that particular society. They also get further influence from the neighboring communities.
Dialect refers to the existence of various languages in the world. There are actually different groups of language speakers that have filled the world. Different people are in possession of languages that may not be in the category of others in the same setting. This therefore shows that there are various expressions and manipulations that an individual can get involved in as concerns the development of the kind of language that one would like to explore into. For instance in the United States of America, you will find that people are categorized into various groups mainly by the factor of the kind of language that each communicates in. we call this a sociolect. This mainly deals with the kind of usage of language that people have found them in. Moreover, you will find that several people are in use of more than one language. This is the case of the bilinguals. These people are also identified by the various languages that they use to communicate to different people. They have developed this to be their own personality as they are now hard to change (Joseph, 2004).
People in the society are normally strongly linked to their language variety in the world. This kind of language is mainly that of the first language that an individual was exposed in. In this case, the first language that an individual get is normally hard to have them changed. This is the language that gets into the individual’s intellect and therefore remains hard for them to change or even forget. Different communities are identified by this kind of language that they first got used to. Psychologically speaking, they have got used to this kind of language hence they find it easy to be identified with it. With the kind of influence and the great period of time that they get involved in this kind of language, the development of their personalities will be skewed to this kind of language. This is when they will get influenced even to the way they use this kind of language. This therefore is a clear indication of the fact that the kinds of languages that people use have a strong determination on the kind of personality traits that these particular individuals will develop.
The various sub-groups of people that we have in the world are due to the kind of languages that they use. It is their identification. Apart from using their common language, people have even derived other activities that go in line with the kind of language that they exemplify. For instance, many communities participate in particular rituals and ceremonies that have characterized their personalities. They are identified by these kinds of rituals and ceremonies. The main thing that first grouped them is the common language that they are used to. They are therefore able to identify and put themselves in the various groups that they are normally found in. Within the same rituals and ceremonies, they make use of the language as it is part of the celebrated characteristic in their lives. This therefore shows the extent of a link that exists between people’s personalities and the kind of languages that they use (Joseph, 2004).
There are various aspects or characteristics that can be used to identify people. People identify more with other speakers of the language that they are using. More attributes are given to the kind of learning that took place before an individual got to know of other languages. It is normally psychological that people are able to learn from the environment that they are found in. the environment refers to the physical setup and more so the people. They are therefore able to interact and learn from being exposed to the immediate environment. It is therefore very easy for one to be identified with other speakers of the language that he is acquainted with. It is normally hard for one to identify with the speakers of other languages. Even for the bilinguals, they are more attracted to a personality that exemplifies the kind of language that they first leant in life.
It is normally hard for people to have their languages changed. This is due to the kind of psychological development that they went through at the first instances of learning the language. The language gets entangled in the intellectual ability of the individual such that he cannot find it easy to change. There are certain factors that can influence an individual’s change in language variety. Learning is the main reason that explores into this reasoning. A person gets to learn other languages till he is carried away by these languages. Being exposed to particular environments will also trigger an individual to change his language varieties. Moreover, an individual’s intention to have the language varieties change is another reason for the change in language varieties.
In conclusion, language and personality are two things that have close relationship with one another. The kind of language that an individual portrays brings out the kind of personality in him or her.
- Joseph, J. E. (2004). Language and identity: national, ethnic, religious. Palgrave Macmillan Publishers.